Boxing


Hatton/Urango: Ricky Hatton Crosses Atlantic For Whirlwind Tour

Ricky Hatton13.09.06 - Photo by Paul Speak - Undefeated former two weight world champion Ricky Hatton is in the midst of a visit to America this week and it's anything but a vacation as "The Hitman" is covering the colonies from Atlanta to Las Vegas before heading back to his beloved Manchester in less than a week's time.

"Ricky flew out to America on Sunday and he's been in Atlanta, Georgia looking at the venue for the Juan Urango fight, as well as one or two gyms and he just got a feel for the place," said the father/manager of Britain's most popular fighter, Ray Hatton.

"He'll be in New York on Wednesday because he's going to be a guest of honor at the Boxing Hall of Fame and then he's been invited as a guest by Marco Antonio Barrera and Golden Boy Promotions to watch Barrera fight Rocky Juarez in Las Vegas on Saturday."

Hatton gave up the WBA Welterweight crown recently in favor of dropping back down a division to challenge newly minted IBF 140 lb titlist Juan Urango. "Obviously, the negotiations are going ahead with Urango," said Ray Hatton. "We feel it will be a good fight because neither fighter will have to go looking for each other. I think Urango's last fight wasn't that good because it was such a clash of styles. Ben Rabah is a slick mover, where a fight between Ricky and Urango will be a little bit more toe to toe and a bit more exciting for the fans."

While Team Hatton continue to draw their bead on Urango as the next target, the exact date of that clash is still up in the air. "We're due to go into full training for a December date because we've been told we're fighting then, even though there's rumor about that it could be January," exclaimed the elder Hatton. "We're prepared, if we don't hear anything to the contrary, to go into training the minute Ricky comes back from the Barrera fight, to get ready for December.

"We'd rather fight in December because we feel that Ricky's had long enough off now but if it means the difference between a much bigger show, then you've got to go with the fact that we're more than willing to fall in line with HBO, if they want us to fight in January. Rumors have it that Jose Luis Castillo is on the bill, Ricky's on the bill and maybe Evander Holyfield too. If the rumors do prove to be correct, then we're more than willing to switch if HBO want us to fight in January."

Regardless of whether Hatton sees action again in December or January, it will mark the longest period if inactivity for the Englishman since turning pro nine years ago. With that in mind, Ray Hatton is looking for his son to have a busy 2007 and hopes to have Ricky fight on HBO three times next year, with all the contests ideally taking place in America.

While Team Hatton isn't taking Juan Urango lightly, Ray likes what he sees on the horizon for his son. "Now that Ricky is moving back to 140, there's quite a lot of big fights there," he said. "It's even rumored that Miguel Cotto might just stay down. It seems now that since Ricky's come down in weight, all of a sudden, the division has heated up again and everybody wants a piece of Ricky."

Article posted on 13.09.2006



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