Aussie Michael Katsidis has revealed an ambitious plan to tempt former two-division champion Ricky Hatton out of retirement – once he beats Scotland’s Ricky Burns for the WBO interim lightweight belt at London’s Wembley Arena, England, Saturday.
Tough, uncompromising Katsidis (28-4, 23 knockouts) reckons ex-junior lightweight titleholder Burns (32-2, 9 KOs), who is making his debut at 135 pounds, is the best British boxer he could be facing right now. However, the 31-year-old from Toowoomba, Queensland, is equally adamant that a catchweight contest against Manchester legend Hatton next year would be a far bigger deal for English fight fans.
Too right it would. Hatton, after all, officially ended his career in July, has not fought since he was hammered out of sight by Manny Pacquiao in December 2009 and is concentrating on being a promoter and trainer with his company Hatton Promotions.
Yet Katsidis seems convinced Hatton, a junior welterweight and welterweight titleholder and still only 32, can be enticed back into the ring. Indeed, he claims the Hitman has already been sounded out regards the possibility.
“I don’t want to look past Ricky Burns, and no disrespect to the bloke, but I am going to win this title, I am going to beat him and then I want to bring out one of the best English fighters ever, “ said Katsidis on Frank Warren’s Box Nation TV channel.
“Ricky Burns is Scottish, for one, and I want to bring England one of their own and one of the biggest fighters they have ever had – and that’s Ricky Hatton. We can meet halfway on the weight. I was talking to Graham Earl, who is a good friend of Ricky’s, the other night and he says this fight can happen. We’ve started talking already and this is a reality. “
If that was not enough of a curveball, Katsidis, twice the WBO interim champion, then took a swipe at another Brit, in WBA and IBF junior welterweight holder Amir Khan (26-1, 19 KOs), as he continued with the charm offensive towards Hatton (45-2, 32 KOs).
“I’ve spoken with Graham Earl about Amir Khan – but he he’s had two opportunities to fight me already, so that’s out,” he said. “Ricky Hatton is, without doubt, the greatest fighter. Let’s be honest, he had his hands down against Manny Pacquiao.
“And you’d have to agree that styles makes great fights. Ricky is a legend and this is a fight that’s got to happen.”