Boxing Social’s Harry Judd sat down with Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton to get his thoughts on boxing’s current affairs.
The former world champion gave his thoughts on another ring return after his outing against Marco Antonio Barrera, the upcoming fight between Tommy Fury and Jake Paul, Liam Smith’s knockout of Chris Eubank Jr, and more.
On future exhibitions: “I’m keeping an open mind”
“I don’t know I’ll just keep an open mind to be honest with you. I’m keeping in shape. I think if one thing was proven against Marco Antonio Barrera is that in an exhibition you’re not going to get hurt. I think that was the worry for me, family, friends and fans in general. ‘Oh Ricky, we don’t want to see you get hurt’ … Providing there’s a respect there with your opponent, the bigger gloves, less rounds, shorter rounds, you’re not going to get hurt.”
“If you’re going to do a list of positive and negatives, the positives list is twice as long isn’t it? I’ll keep an open mind and can never say never. For me, as far as I’m concerned that’s good enough. But if something comes forward, with what the last one did for me – mentally, physically and what it did for other people as well – I’d be an idiot not to at least look at it.”
Tommy Fury vs Jake Paul: “Jake’s done more rounds so has half a chance”
“They are big names in the social media world, aren’t they? I think Tommy’s got good ability with boxing, good punching power. Love Island was about three years ago now … and I’d have like to think he’d have had more rounds. He looked a little bit tired in his last six-rounder in the last round. I think if he’d had a couple of more six-rounders, maybe an eight-rounder, where he’d been fighting a bit more regularly, the outcome of this fight would be a foregone conclusion for me. I think Tommy beats him all day long.
But what gives Jake Paul half a chance is, even though Tommy’s the boxer, Jake’s done more rounds than him. Which is a little bit of a concern, because Tommy is head and shoulders the better kid but it could just be the wrong time. I think Tommy wins, don’t get me wrong. We’re all right behind him.”
YouTube boxing and Jake Paul: “Some of the s**t that comes out his mouth…”
“Jake Paul’s took a bit of stick [with people saying] he’s not fighting anyone, but don’t forget he’s a YouTuber. He’s done the right things – ‘it’s not my area of expertise so I’ll dip my toe in the water.’ And he’s obviously reached the stage now where he could take his chance against a boxer now. Although some of the s**t that comes out his mouth you think shut up will, for god’s sake … But I think he’s a very, very clever man and I think he’s done it all the right way. Fair play.”
“YouTuber versus an MMA fighter or an MMA fighter versus a basketball player, they’re proper fights. I think to myself ‘come on.’ And tag team? What will they be doing next? A f***ing Royal Rumble? Twenty of them in the ring going at it at one time. I’m a firm believer, I’m old school, I always think the best thing is to try and be the best in the world at your weight division, which is what I wanted to do. I think Anthony Yarde last week against [Artur] Beterbiev – that’s what makes our sport good isn’t it?”
“I don’t blame any of the YouTubers or the reality TV people for giving it a go. This is the era we live in now. If you turn round and say I’m not doing that, I think the ship will pass you by.”
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith Rematch: “I think Chris needs to take it”
“He’s got a very, very good chin to be honest with you. He’s dad did. It must be in the genes. But it doesn’t matter how good a chin you have, it can happen, you can walk onto one. I don’t think any of us expected it. I thought it’d be a bit nip and tuck but I could see a twinkle in Smith’s eye, I thought ‘you fancy this, don’t you?'”
“I didn’t see an early knockout, I really didn’t. They say there’s a rematch clause – I think Chris needs to take it, and I think if he wins his stock will go up in people’s eyes. I think even if he takes it and he gets beat I think fight fans will say fair play, because he has come out with a lot of c**p and then to get beat like he’s got beat, I wouldn’t like to see him throw the towel in.”
Liam Smith Elbow Controversy: “You know what it’s called that? F***ing boxing!”
“I can’t see what they’re gonna do with that. In the ring, you get hit with punches on the back of the head, you get hit with kidney punches, you get hit with low blows. A punch will come over and the elbow will follow in after. You know what it’s called that? F***ing boxing! You can’t complain after.”
“I think what Chris needs to do is just say ‘well done Liam, I know I said this, I know I said that, fair play, there’s my hand, I’ll be back.'”
“To chuck the elbow thing I think would be a little bit cheap.”
Kell Brook video leak: ““I’d like to give the person a slap who took the video”
“You don’t know whether he was p***ing about or something like that. But I don’t condone it, I’ve been there myself.”
“I’d like to give the person a slap who took the video because it looked like it was his house … it wasn’t like a house party or anything like that … it seemed like it was a mate or someone that he’d, out the goodness of his heart, said come to my house and have a drink or whatever.”
“To take a liberty and advantage of something like that, I think it’s f***ing terrible. Not condoning what Kell allegedly was doing, but you invite someone in your home you don’t expect taking pictures of anything.”
“To do that, I think – rat.”