Ricky Hatton May Fight At Wembley In May
14.02.08 - Matthew Hurley: According to a report filed by MEN Sport, Wembley has offered a bid to Ricky Hatton’s camp to schedule his return to the ring there instead of Manchester City’s Eastlands. Blues officials were hoping that Hatton would fight on May 24th at the City of Manchester Stadium but Wembley has countered that and is looking for a fight on May 31st..
Article posted on 15.02.2008
The national stadium holds 20,000 more fans than Eastlands but Hatton has said that he wants to reward his hometown fans for all the support they have shown him, in particular their willingness to travel to the United States to watch him fight. Thousands of Hatton fans made the trip to Las Vegas for his unsuccessful bid to win the WBC welterweight title from Floyd Mayweather. According to the report Hatton has been offered $1 million from American television to fight in the early morning hours to accommodate US fans but the fighter balked at the offer because he would rather his hometown fans be granted the luxury of watching his return to the ring at a normal hour.
An insider in the Hatton camp told Men Sport that when a venue and an opponent are finalized the bout will be held at a time of convenience for British fans.
“Wembley has made a pitch, but Ricky has set his heart on Eastlands. If it was about money we’d be going back to America and Vegas or Madison Square Garden in New York. But it’s not. He wants to reward his fans by fighting in England, preferably here in Manchester in English time, so maybe a father can take his children along and not have to stay up until the early hours.”
Although no opponent has yet been determined, names that have been mentioned include Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi. Boxrec.com has listed Isaac Hlatswayo, 27-1 with 9 KOs as a tentative opponent for May 24th. Hlatswayo, a welterweight out of South Africa, last fought on October 12th winning a unanimous twelve round decision over Robert Medley in Australia. Hlatswayo’s past opponents include Kendall Holt (L UD12) and Nate Campbell (W SD12).
Hatton has also maintained interest in a rematch with Floyd Mayweather who will fight Oscar De La Hoya in a rematch of their May 2007 fight in September. Mayweather knocked out Hatton in the tenth round of their December bout and earned a split decision victory over De La Hoya in their fight.
According to in interview with Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer in the Sporting Life a rematch between Mayweather and Hatton remains a possibility.
“I know Ricky is interested in a rematch with Floyd,” he said. “Let’s see what the next few fights bring and let’s see what’s going on with Mayweather. Potentially there could be a rematch. The last time it was on Floyd’s home turf in Las Vegas. If there’s a rematch it should be on more neutral soil, maybe London. It would be the perfect fight for Wembley Stadium.”
Schaefer went on to acknowledge that he had met with Hatton’s father Ray and his attorney Gareth Williams and, over a handshake deal, the ‘Hitman’ will continue to fight under Golden Boy Promotions for his next fights.
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