Buck the trend
Promoter and former world champion Ricky Hatton talks up a promising bill of boxing in Sheffield this weekend.
Last Updated: 22/03/12 5:40pm
Promoter Ricky Hatton, a former world light-welterweight and welterweight champion, is in excitable mood ahead of this weekend's action in Sheffield - live on Sky Sports.
The Hitman has put together an impressive bill for Saturday night, with Gary Buckland's British super-featherweight title defence against Paul Truscott the highlight of the night.
Hatton told Sky Sports: "I'm really looking forward to it. Sheffield's enjoying a real boom at the moment, when you look at last weekend's wonderful spectacle when Kell Brook fought my brother Matthew.
"We're going back there again this week and it'll be a packed house again. We've got a great bill with Gary Buckland v Paul Truscott. Buckland certainly lives up to his nickname of 'Dynamo' and Truscott is an exciting talent so that one should be a real barnstormer.
"We've also got a great undercard featuring all of Sheffield's up and coming talent. Every time I go to Sheffield, it's a pleasure."
Tough to call
Hatton believes the headline clash is tough to call but when pushed, fancies Welshman Buckland to successfully defend the title he won by defeating Gary Sykes with a unanimous decision in September.
But while Buckland has racked up more experience at higher levels, Hatton is quick to point out that the fighters, who are both 25-years-old, are equally capable and the bout could turn into a classic as a result.
Hatton said: "Buckland has more experience and he's been in the trenches but Truscott is also young and has the talent and the ability. It'll be a very tough fight for both fighters. If you were going to give one the edge, you'd have to give it to Buckland purely because he's had more experience.
"You saw Buckland face John Murray when he was up at lightweight and you saw him when he won the British title last time out - 'Dynamo' really sums him up. He'll try and draw Truscott into a brawl and Truscott will try and use his boxing ability.
"Buckland has to be one of the most exciting fighters in the country. If you've seen him and Truscott fight before, it can't be anything other than a barnstormer.
"Richard Towers, my heavyweight prospect, is also fighting. He's a bit behind the likes of Tyson Fury and David Price but I think he's about to break into the scene and it'll be interesting to see what kind of performance he puts on.
"We've got Fury, Price and Towers in the heavyweight division, Quigg, Carl Frampton and Rendall Munroe in the super-bantamweight and Darren Barker, Martin Murray and Matthew Macklin in the middlweight. It's exciting times for British boxing."
Hatton also took time to look back on his brother Matthew's defeat to Brook last weekend - also in Sheffield.
Brook, 25, heightened his claims for a world title shot with a wide points victory over former European champion Hatton, and Ricky offered an honest assessment of the clash, during which Brook appeared to wink at the Hatton family late on.
Hatton said: "I thought Matthew had a chance with his experience and his boxing ability but Brook was excellent and the better man won.
"There can be no arguments from my brother or myself. I'm a boxing fan and not just a promoter and it'd be nice to watch Brook progress. When he takes the fans to Las Vegas fighting for world titles, I'd like to think I'll be over there cheering him on.
"It was very gallant from Matthew. When you think where he came from, losing six and eight rounders, to be European champion and fighting for a world title, it's a great success story for him. Matthew will have a little bit of a break now and think about the future."
On the controversial wink, Hatton added: "At the time, I was furious, but when it's a big occasion, the 11th round and both fighters are tired, who knows what goes through a boxer's head. He winked in the direction of the family and I was sat next to Matthew's girlfriend, who had her head in her hands.
"I wasn't happy in the heat of the moment but it's forgotten now, and me and the Hatton fan would like to wish Kell Brook all the best. I hope he goes on, lives the dream and wins that world title."