El Weeblerito I
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Hatton v Marquez in May?
Graham: You'll never be as big, Amir
Amir Khan will never be as big a star as Ricky Hatton - even if he knocks him out.
That's the verdict of Billy Graham, the trainer and mentor dumped by Hatton 18 months ago.
Graham has taken legal action against his former light-welterweight world champion in a dispute over pay that could come to a head this month.
But despite the bitter rift, Graham (right) is adamant that Hatton is unchallenged by Khan or anyone else as British boxing's No.1 hero.
Graham said: "No matter what's happened between Ricky and me, it won't change my opinion of him as a fighter and what he's done for boxing in this country. He's the best thing that's happened to British boxing in my lifetime and I'm 50-odd.
"However good Khan is, he will never be as big as Ricky.
"What made Ricky so special was not just his exciting style and his great wins. It was the way he appealed to everyone.
"No one else could attract the crowds he did and take so many fans over to America to watch him fight. It was unbelievable.
"Ricky was the complete package. A fighter like Ricky Hatton comes along once in a lifetime. Khan will never be able to match him.
"At his peak, Ricky would have destroyed Khan.
I don't know what Ricky's like now because I've not been working with him, but I have a feeling the result would be different.
"Khan would now be just too fast for Ricky. Khan's also got a better chin and looks a lot more powerful up at lightwelterweight.
Khan is capable of knocking out Ricky."
Hatton and his promotion team are aware the mooted all-British superfight against WBA champion Khan would be a box-office bonanza, but could have catastrophic consequences for the Hitman's reputation.
Hatton first revealed to Sunday Mirror Sport he was leaning towards a comeback, and a meeting with Mexico's lightweight world champion Juan Manuel Marquez would be a far less dangerous idea.
Graham said: "I wouldn't like to see Ricky fight again and I think deep down he doesn't want it either.
"He'd be a fool to get back in the ring and anybody who talks him into fighting again should be ashamed.
"Ricky's a national treasure and that's how the British public should always remember him. Some people are already saying he wasn't as good as he was made out to be. That's ludicrous.
"But if he's going to fight Marquez in May - and that's the word - it's probably the best choice he could have made. He's a smart counterpuncher, but Ricky ought to be too powerful for him"