Macklin vs Gevor Set For Khan-McCloskey Undercard
Former world champion Ricky Hatton is loving life as a big fight promoter, even though he has not yet ruled out a return to the ring himself.
Hatton has not fought since being knocked out by Manny Pacquiao almost two years ago and has no immediate plans to get back into training.
He now runs the burgeoning Hatton Promotions and is busy preparing for Amir Khan's WBA light-welterweight title defence against Ireland's Paul McCloskey in Manchester next month.
Hatton, 32, a champion at two weights, said: "I'm enjoying it massively.
"I always said from day one that after becoming a champion the next best thing is to bring someone along and make a champion.
"For every lad in my stable, I throw every punch for them.
"I still dream of a comeback every morning I open my eyes but the one thing in consolation, if I never fight again, is seeing the joy my fighters are getting.
"To pack the MEN Arena out on a world title show, Hatton Promotions has come a long way in two years."
Hatton was speaking at a press conference to promote the 10-fight undercard for the April 16 showdown, the highlight of which will be a WBA middleweight title eliminator between Birmingham's Matthew Macklin and German Khoren Gevor.
It was pointed out the date could clash with his beloved Manchester City's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United, but he admits his fighters would come first if that was the case.
The Football Association are still to announce whether the Wembley clash between the two fierce rivals will take place on April 16 or 17.
Hatton said: "It would be heartbreaking because it is not too often City get the chance to go to Wembley.
"But unfortunately it might fall on this night and my loyalty is to my fighters. I want to see them progress and fulfil their potential.
"All I will say is, if I am going to miss out on the derby, they better all win!"
Hatton has high hopes for all his charges and is particularly proud to be linking up with Khan, whose football team Bolton will also be involved in the FA Cup semi-finals.
"If you were a Ricky Hatton fan for the type of qualities I showed - no fear, die hard, wear your heart on your sleeve - Amir Khan has shown that in recent fights," Hatton said.
"I think he will slowly climb the pound-for-pound rankings and when (Floyd) Mayweather or Pacquiao pass on the torch, he will be in prime position to carry that torch as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world."
Hatton is expecting a sell-out at the 19,500-capacity MEN Arena for Khan v McCloskey, with more than 13,500 tickets already sold.
He said: "The main event is a wonderful fight and on the undercard we have got current champions, champions of the future and many who can be world champions.
"I am absolutely delighted with the undercard we have put together.
"It is a massive chance for Hatton Promotions to show what we can do on the biggest stage and I think we have got the fighters to make this show a great success.
"It could be a simple case of if you snooze you lose with this one. You need to get your tickets.
"It is going to be a fantastic night of boxing."
The evening will provide an opportunity for Macklin to move closer to his world title dream having missed out on a Las Vegas debut when American Winky Wright pulled out of a proposed fight in April.
Macklin expects to be be given a shot at a world title should he triumph and, having overcome the frustration of Wright disappointment, feels his ambitions may even be better served against Gevor.
The 28-year-old said: "I was very disappointed when the Winky Wright fight fell through, it was a big opportunity to catapult myself in America on a big card in Vegas but they say everything happens for a reason."It's not the same profile fight as Winky Wright would be but it is certainly as tough a fight and being chief support to Amir Khan, with the profile he carries in this country and on such a big card on pay-per-view, it is not too far away.
"I was very disappointed for a few days but I've picked myself back up."
With Macklin offering chief support, the card also features two British title fights, involving champions John Watson and Anthony Crolla, and two WBA 'interim' title fights.
This Grevor fellow look tough and some say he beat Sturm he looked to be winning to me but I never watched it all. He is an inside type of fighter who likes to get you to open up so…Comment by hyeduk on 03-15-2011
Khoren Gevor is not a German, he's an ArmenianComment by warp1432 on 03-15-2011
Very good fight for short noticePost a Comment - View More User Comments (3)