Ricky Hatton says new WBA 'super' champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov might make Jamie McDonnell wait for fight
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 14/02/17 5:36pm
Ricky Hatton has revealed the emotional celebrations after guiding Zhanat Zhakiyanov to a world title and warned Jamie McDonnell to "get in the queue" for a future fight.
The Kazakh pulled off an upset points win over Rau'shee Warren last weekend to claim the WBA 'super' bantamweight title, with trainer Hatton watching proudly in the corner.
After battling his way up the rankings, Zhakiyanov is now recognised as one of the top fighters in the division, and Hatton is carefully considering the 33-year-old's next career move.
He tried in the past to secure a fight with McDonnell, who is the WBA 'regular' champion, and insists the Doncaster man is not the only option for Zhakiyanov.
We're the No 1, we've got the best. We wanted to fight Jamie and they didn't want to know, so they might have to get in the queue.
"We tried to make the Jamie McDonnell match and they didn't want to know," Hatton told Sky Sports. "Now the tables have turned and we've got the belt, maybe Eddie [Hearn] might pick up the phone now.
"We're the No 1, we've got the best. We wanted to fight Jamie and they didn't want to know, so they might have to get in the queue."
Hatton was a two-weight world champion during his ring career and fully understood the outpouring of emotion from Zhakiyanov after he had achieved his long-term ambition.
"It was very emotional for me, because I know what he put into it, and I knew what I put into it when I was fighting for a world title," said the Mancunian, who famously defeated Kostya Tszyu to win the IBF super-lightweight belt in 2005.
"He was black and blue obviously, one of his eyes closed. He was on the phone to his wife, his family, his brother, on Facetime and was crying into the phone.
"A tear came to my eyes. It's a lifetime dream to call yourself the best fighter in the world."
It was also a proud achievement for Hatton after watching Zhakiyanov become the first world champion from his own gym.
"From my own personal standpoint, I don't think there are that many champions that have been a world champion and trained a world champion," he said.
"It's another box ticked for when I look back. I retired from boxing, had all my difficult times out of the ring, but this is what it's all about for me now to bring the next champions through. This is my first one and hopefully more to come."
You can hear more of an exclusive interview with Ricky Hatton on this week's Toe 2 Toe podcast.