Boxers, Trainers & Pundits
Can Josh Warrington be the new Ricky Hatton? The Panel are not sure
Smith, McCrory, Moore, Arthur, Macklin and Watt
Last Updated: 10/04/15 4:56pm
He is on his way up, he has a city behind him and the local football fans follow him, so will Leeds' Josh Warrington become as big as a certain Rickty Hatton, of Manchester? We asked The Panel...
Josh Warrington could well go as far as Ricky Hatton, but he's got to have the ability to. So far he has shown he is capable but Ricky was of course, top-notch, world-class, so the Leeds lad has got to go on and do that, first and foremost. That said at this similar stage of his career. Hatton was going in with Jon Thaxton and the likes but then improved dramatically after that, so there is time for Warrington to do the same.
"The way his career is moving, he is ticking all the boxers. I think Warrington will get that world-title shot."
Those Leeds fans will follow him everywhere, wherever he goes - and there were a few out in Germany as well, of course. As long as they stay behind him - and I am sure they will - he will have a chance of doing what Ricky Hatton did. But proof is in the pudding and he needs to prove it in the ring. He could well get a shot at a world title and with those fans, the way his career is moving, he is ticking all the boxers. I think Warrington will get that world-title shot.
That is a very, very big ask! Warrington has some great fans and Leeds doesn't have much to shout about in terms of football and they haven't had a decent boxer for a while, so he is going to sell out arenas and fill stadiums. But the one thing we have to remember is Ricky was a national hero. Somehow, he captured the imagination of the British public, the sports fans, the blokes in the pub, they all loved him. He was such a humble guy as well and I haven't seen enough of Warrington to say the same of him.
"Warrington has some great fans and Leeds doesn't have much to shout about in terms of football ."
But if I am honest, from what I have seen so far, he isn't going to be as good as Ricky, simply because he will not be as good as him. When we saw him at the age of 17, then turn professional, we all thought Ricky was something special. Warrington though is on the up, he is getting better and better and he has that huge support behind him. But the one thing he needs to be is Josh Warrington, not the new Ricky Hatton.
I was blown away when I did the commentary for his fight up in Leeds in December. It was nuts and it reminded me of Edinburgh back in the days. But I have never seen anything like that, the fans were going mad! It was unbelievable and Josh put in a great performance. He was clinical, he looked very powerful, he looked really, really good and you know what? He did remind me of a young Ricky Hatton. The atmosphere was something else though, it really was.
"Josh Warringtom can fight too and he is the sort of fighter, with that fan base, that we love in Britain."
But to follow in the footsteps of Ricky Hatton? I am not sure anyone can. I met him when I was about 15 and we boxed in the Golden Gloves and even then he was a lad, who spoke to anyone and was just such a nice kid. But boy could he fight! Josh Warrington can fight too and he is the sort of fighter, with that fan base, that we love in Britain, so who knows? It will be worth watching...
I think Josh Warrington will enjoy that comparison. Obviously anyone who witnessed the Ricky Hatton days and the passion of the crowd will always want to emulate someone like him. I think he’ll happily take that moniker on his shoulders. He is being fast-tracked a little bit, but he’s talented enough and it seems that he can handle that sort of pressure. He’s an exciting fighter, he’s not the biggest puncher, but his work-rate will overwhelm people in longer fights.
"There are people in the British division who can help to fill 20,000 seat stadiums. It should be a good time for him."
Josh has won British and European titles in his last few fights and he’s come from nowhere. That sort of pressure in itself can bring out the best in you. A few years ago, he was boxing six-rounders and it’s a massive change in his career. When you’ve got a following like Josh Warrington, you need to be boxing in big arenas and for big titles, because they soon get bored. They want you in there with tough challenges and there are people in the British division who can help to fill 20,000 seat stadiums. It should be a good time for him.
Ricky was not just a boxer with plenty of fans, he was the real deal. He really was the real deal. He was so exciting to watch and that was just in the ring and that has to be what comes first. That support he had was something special but this guy could fight. He was so good to watch.
"Warrington is trying and he is improving but I am not sure he will go as far as Ricky did."
It's a tall order following Ricky Hatton. Warrington is trying and he is improving but I am not sure he will go as far as Ricky did - but he does have the support! I'm not saying nothing else is happening in Leeds but Manchester is proper Premier League. You have Man United, Man City and other fighters that people got behind yet Ricky was always at the top of the pile. I do think Warrington can get them back up there - maybe not the football team - but Ricky? He was just something else.
It’s not out of the question because he’s got a really exciting style. He’s non-stop, a good body puncher, which Ricky Hatton was famed for, and he’s building such a fan base. I don’t see that as a bad comparison. In my opinion, Ricky is the most popular fighter that Britain has ever produced. The amount of people who went to see his fights in Las Vegas, I’ve never known anybody to bring over those kind of crowds.
"It’s not out of the question because he’s got a really exciting style."
To say that Josh is going along the same lines, okay he’s got a bit of catching up to do, but I can see the comparison. I don’t think Josh Warrington is feeling any pressure on his young shoulders after being compared to Ricky. I think he is loving every second of his career at the minute. Just over a year ago, he was just a little kid boxing along, doing well in Britain.
Watch Josh Warrington and the undercard in Leeds this Saturday night on Sky Sports 2, starting at 7.30pm.