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Ricky Hatton joins those banging the drum for Anthony Crolla-John Murray collision



Talks are currently ongoing for Manchester lightweights Anthony Crolla and John Murray to meet in a mouth-watering clash in April. The Manchester Evening News reports how the fight could take place on April 19th on the under-card of Scott Quigg’s WBA super-bantamweight title defence against Nehomar Cermeno at The Manchester Arena.

And one man who has added his voice to those calling for the potential classic is former two-weight king Ricky Hatton. Hatton likes the look of the match-up, a genuine clash of styles and “The Hitman” told The Manchester Evening News he wants to see it take place.

“It’s a great fight,” Hatton told the publication. “It’s a real clash of styles. Anthony Crolla has got wonderful boxing ability, neat footwork and is good at judging distance. But sometimes he gets drawn into fights. If anyone is going to draw you into a fight it’s John Murray. He’s very strong and makes you fight his fight. Styles make fights. With Crolla and Murray, it can’t help but be a great fight.

Hatton says he gives the edge to the in-form Crolla, yet he acknowledges how dangerous and hungry Murray – two wins into his comeback – really is.

“People might say Murray has seen better days and Crolla is in the form of his life,” Hatton said. “But Murray will work hard and get in your face. Sometimes you’ve got to make an opponent fight your fight. Crolla has got to be careful and do what he does best. You’ve got to give Crolla the upper hand on recent form, but Murray is very big and strong. He’s boxed at the higher level. He’s made his comeback and will see this as his last chance. He’s dangerous and hungry.”

It’s possible some fans will feel Murray, 33-2(20) would benefit from one more fight before he gets in there with the accomplished Crolla, after all Murray has boxed just six-rounds in a return that followed a two-year layoff (a four-round win over Michael Escobar in November and a two-round win over John Simpson this past Saturday), but the 29-year-old says he is ready now and wants Crolla next.

Crolla, 27-4-1(10) had a good 2013, picking up wins over Gavin Rees and Stephen Foster and boxing a draw with Derry Matthews, and the two years younger man is a talented boxer in his prime. As Hatton says, this one could well come down to which fighter makes it his fight on the night. The two know each other well, having sparred plenty of rounds back when they were stable-mates, and both men have said already they have plenty of respect for one another and expect a tough fight.

Can the powers that be make this potential thriller a reality?