‘The Hitman’ Ricky Hatton has opened up on the upcoming Zhanat Zhakiyanov vs Ryan Burnett, a battle which will see his current charge pit himself against his former charge in the form of Ryan Burnett when they look to unify the IBF and WBA (Super) bantamweight division, this Saturday at the SSE Arena in Belfast, live on Sky Sports.
Few are better placed to pass judgement on the upcoming battle than Hatton, who comes to Belfast in the corner of Zhakiyanov while lining up against a man in Burnett who tasted his first experience of professional boxing under the guidance of Hatton. After a stuttering start to his professional career, Burnett decided it would be best to part company with Hatton after only 4 professional fights and instead choose to ply his trade under the stewardship of Adam Booth.
Reflecting on his time with Burnett, Hatton acknowledged that Ryan was correct to explore different avenues given his battles with his own personal demons at that moment in time; “I knew 100 percent that Ryan had the ability to go all the way when I was training him,” recalled Hatton. “I was having a lot of problems at the time, I wasn’t in a good place at all, and Ryan felt the training was better elsewhere.