DARREN BARKER’S team have turned down a big offer for him to meet British and Commonwealth middleweight champion Martin Murray.
Hatton Promotions, who want to stage the double title showdown in the spring were shocked when Barker’s promoter Eddie Hearn turned down the high purse.
It shows Ricky Hatton’s commitment to making fights that work for British boxing and willingness to work with rival promoters.
Hatton Promotions CEO, Ricky said: “I am not privy to what Darren earned when he fought Sergio Martinez last year, but I think our offer may have topped it or at worse been very close.
"Put it this way, it was a huge amount for somebody challenging for British and Commonwealth championship crowns.
“Eddie Hearn initially made an offer for Matchroom Boxing to stage the fight, which we bettered by a considerable amount.
“Eddie responded and only matched what we put on the table which was strange and added it was his final offer, but we again countered and bettered it by a fair amount.
“Eddie got back to my Director of Boxing, Richard Poxon on Tuesday night refusing and said he ‘thinks’ that he has got Darren a world title fight in May.
“If Darren has got a world title fight for the sort of money Hatton Promotions are offering fair play to him, but this is a concrete offer and not a contest his promoter can ‘think’ will happen.
“I am sure Darren isn’t running scared and would be tempted by our offer, but I cannot say the same about others in his team, although I hope Eddie proves me wrong on that.
“I will work with any promoter for the good of my fighters and I am sure Sky Sports would love their viewers to watch a fight between Martin and Darren.”
Hatton is still hoping that Barker and his team come back to the table, but is now beginning to explore other avenues.
Murray would also accept against WBA Super world middleweight champion Felix Sturm who controversially outpointed him last month.