Ricky Hatton has reacted angrily to Sky Sports severing its ties with Hatton Promotions and vowed that he will find a new broadcasting home for his fighters.
The ‘Road to Glory’ show in Manchester, June 16, headlined by Scott Quigg’s anticipated WBA interim junior featherweight scrap against fellow Englishman Rendall Munroe, will, for the time being, be the last Hatton Promotions event on Sky Sports.
Sky decided last month to end negotiations with Hatton Promotions over a new deal — a move that has left CEO Hatton, a former titleholder at both junior welterweight and welterweight, believing he has been let down badly.
Now the Hitman, whose own glittering career was integral to Sky Sports establishing itself as the leading UK broadcaster of boxing, has broken his silence on the split, launching a stinging attack on the way he was dumped and revealing that talks with rival channels are underway.
“The news came as a blow and I feel we have been unfairly treated, but there are meetings already set up with other TV channels. Next season, I am very confident that my fighters will have a big television platform to perform on,” said 33-year-old Manchester legend Hatton.
“I have a great stable of fighters, many champions and a hard working team. TV companies have contacted me – not me, them, which is encouraging. It shows the great promotions I have staged for Sky haven’t gone unnoticed. Last month I promoted a potential fight of the year between Anthony Crolla and Derry Mathews on Sky.
“When I started promoting three years ago my plan was to build a successful stable and produce champions. I have done that, producing many British, Commonwealth, European and International champions, and world title challengers.
“Just as Hatton Promotions were making their mark, Sky Sports have told me we haven’t got any more dates after the June 16 card.”
The ruthless manner Sky Sports broke the news has left a particularly sour taste in Hatton’s mouth. He learnt of the decision via an email, sent only to his right-hand man Richard Poxon.
“The most disappointing aspect of it all is the relationship I had with Sky until two weeks ago. It isn’t rocket science to work out how well I did for Sky Sports as a boxer and a promoter,” Hatton said. “I was their first world champion to come through without terrestrial TV, gave them their biggest Box Office successes ever and helped make them millions of pounds.
“They repaid me by telling me I had no more dates by email. There was no phone call to me, or anything like that, and even the email was sent to my Director of Boxing, Richard Poxon – not me. If you finish with a girlfriend by email all your mates would be calling you some right names. I obviously have better morals than they do.
“Since the news broke it is amazing the amount of support shown towards Hatton Promotions from fans, journalists and even rival promoters. Hatton Promotions isn’t going anywhere and we will be back on TV in the new season delivering high-class shows for a new broadcast partner.”