Hatton hands former trainer Graham a route back into boxing
Ricky Hatton has invited ex-coach Billy Graham to his Hyde gym to meet his fighters with a view to ‘The Preacher’ having some input into his promotional outfit going forward.
‘The Hitman’ split with Graham following his 2007 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr and the pair have been estranged ever since. The duo even fought a high-profile legal battle in 2010 which was settled out of court when Graham claimed earnings were owed to him from their time together.
Under Graham’s stewardship, Hatton enjoyed his greatest career night against Kostya Tszyu in 2005 and was surprised when his old trainer turned up at the recent celebration to mark ten years since the fight took place.
Hatton now hopes the two friends can rekindle their working relationship in his own gym which he has built up since his own retirement and subsequent comeback in 2009 and 2012.
“We spoke briefly, there was that many people there at the party it was hard to say as much as we wanted to,” Hatton told The Daily Star.
“Billy said we’ll go for a drink and have a pint and talk about the old times and this and that, and I said I’d love that.
“He said: ‘I want to go to the gym as well’ and that’s what I was going to ask him.
“I’ve got prospects coming through here and after what Billy did for me they would love to pick his brain.
“I said I’d pick him up, bring him to the gym, he can see my boys, prospects and champions and then we’ll go for a pint. He said he’d love to.
“Any input he would like to give on me and my fighters is more than welcome.
“He would be a great asset, even if he just came once a month or a once a fortnight, although he would be welcome every day.
“It would be brilliant if he came down. I’m always learning, I’m a rookie coach.
“I might have trained a couple of European champions and a WBC silver champion but I’ve only been coaching three or four years. He can come and teach me,” he added.
Graham and Hatton were a formidable force in the past and now ten years on hope to take fighters like Lucas Browne, Sergey Rabchenko and the Upton brothers to the same heights they enjoyed.