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Warrington Inspired By Hatton's TKO of Tszyu as Selby Looms

Josh Warrington has prepared for Saturday’s fight with IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby by turning to the trainer who inspired Ricky Hatton’s greatest night.

The 27-year-old from Leeds finally gets his shot at the world title he has long sought, when at Elland Road – where he will be led to the ring by Lucas Radebe – he can justify comparisons with Hatton.

In addition to Warrington’s physicality and growing fan base the circumstances in which he challenges Wales’ Selby are similar to those surrounding perhaps Manchester’s finest fighter on the night he came of age.

selby-warrington_1

Hatton had long been groomed for success but before he challenged the great Kostya Tszyu in 2005 in front of an expectant crowd in his home city he was dismissed as a significant underdog who would prove out of his depth.

With Warrington similarly not expected to beat Selby – like Hatton with Tzsyu, his pursuit of the champion has been long-term – he has sought the advice of retired trainer Billy Graham to learn how Hatton passed his biggest test.

“It was quite a long conversation,” Warrington said. “He was talking about how he dealt with the pressure and the atmosphere and the approach they had in their camp, how they went through it and how they believed on the night. It was nice to hear that and it certainly reassured me.

“When Ricky Hatton boxed Kostya Tszyu he was the massive underdog, and nobody was giving him more than four rounds in that fight, and Kostya Tszyu was a massive favourite, worldwide, and a great champion.

“Ricky Hatton had a massive fan base behind him, and a lot of pressure. No one expected him to win but he still had a massive fan base. He managed to do the business, and it was nice to listen to his (Graham’s) experience of it. The way they went about it, and dealt with the pressures, and everything else that goes with the occasion of the night.

“Any time I have been down (to Elland Road) prior to this fight, I’ve always taken a couple of moments just to visualise it. I’ve taken a couple of minutes to look around and look at the crowd and just get myself used to it. It excites me. It’s obviously a massive occasion, there are billboards all over the city promoting the fight, but I’m relaxed, I’m calm, I’m ready to go.”

The winner of Saturday’s fight hopes to next defend the IBF title against Carl Frampton at Belfast’s Windsor Park, but further options would include Mexicans Oscar Valdez and Leo Santa Cruz in one of the world’s strongest weight classes.

“We’re lucky to be in a division that is one of the best in boxing,” the 31-year-old Selby said. “We’ve got some great champions and most of them are associated with (influential manager) Al Haymon, so fights with myself should be easy enough to make.

“I know they are all tied up at the moment like myself but I’m sure when we get though this fight they are there to be made.”

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by HighLightReal on 05-18-2018

[QUOTE=Sid-Knee;18780327]You're a beast that's been awoken? Hahahahaha. Yeah, you're definitely American. The delusional levels are beyond what anybody else can compete with. Go away you tit.[/QUOTE] You lost little boy?

Comment by Sid-Knee on 05-17-2018

[QUOTE=HighLightReal;18780309]Remeber you quoted me? I warned you about this and now your confronted with the beast you've awoken. Take my advice next time and you won't have to tuck you tail in between your legs. Otherwise I might check hook…

Comment by HighLightReal on 05-17-2018

[QUOTE=Sid-Knee;18779993]I knew you were American. Only you lot could reach the level of c*ntiness you have. You clearly have a problem so i'll leave it. Too many of you freaks on here already, so I have zero desire to get…

Comment by Sid-Knee on 05-17-2018

[QUOTE=HighLightReal;18778747]I said don't quote me you little cum stain. The fact you came at me with such a retarded argument is smug. You don't know **** about boxing and I bet you're a toothless Britard with 0 boxing knowledge outside…

Comment by Marvlus Marv on 05-17-2018

[QUOTE=Sid-Knee;18777158]Hatton's head wasn't in Tszyu's face, it was in his chest. Hatton's a pressure fighter so staying close was the smart decision to not allow Tszyu to get range on his shots. The only problem before the fight for Ricky…

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