Much loved Mancunian Ricky Hatton worries about the damage that will be done to boxing if two British fighters don’t manage to come to an agreement to fight each other soon.
The former super-lightweight and welterweight world champion certainly never shied away from the marquee names in his own career.
Several times he made the trip with his army of fans to Las Vegas to fight the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Paulie Malignaggi, and most recently enjoyed an exhibition bout against Marco Antonio Barrera in November last year.
Speaking to TalkSport, he worries that YouTubers and rappers fighting each other are getting more attention than any current professional bouts.
When host Jim White suggests “the big one that we all want to see” is Fury vs Joshua, The Hitman agrees.
“What a tragedy for our sport that would be [if that fight was not made.]
“I know the boxing world has changed so much over the years, we’ve got YouTubers fighting mixed martial artists, we’ve got mixed martial artists fighting rappers, and these fights need to be made for the sake of our sport. It’s hurting our sport that these fights aren’t going to happen.”
He recalls that in his days, “You won your title then you either fought or got stripped. When was the last time we saw AJ or Tyson in the ring?”
Joshua was last out with a points win over Jermaine Franklin in April, while Fury battered Derek Chisora – for a third time – in December 2022.
Since then, there has been lots of talk but no action for either man despite the global clamour for them to face off.