RYAN RHODES admits it will be somewhat surreal to see his former promoter in the corner opposite him this Saturday night.
Rhodes pits his giant heavyweight David Howe against Ricky Hatton prospect Nathan Gorman for the vacant Central Area title at the Fenton Manor in Stoke.
It’s an odd scenario for the Sheffield man as Hatton guided the last two years of his career, a period that included two European title fights and a shot at then-WBC super-welterweight kingpin Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“It might be a little bit weird seeing Ricky in the other corner,” Rhodes said. “He promoted me and got some really good fights so going against him does feel a bit strange.
“It’s not the first time we’ve come up against each other, though. He was in Sergey Rabchenko’s corner when I fought him. It wasn’t my night then, but hopefully things will go my way this time.
“Whatever the result, we’ll still be pals. This fight is purely business and we’ve both got a job to do. Afterwards we’ll shake hands.”
Rhodes has been training Howe for the past three months and believes he has seen enough from the Steel City giant to suggest he can pull off an upset.
“I’m looking forward to working with Dave for the first time because he has everything you need as a heavyweight. He’s six foot eight, 18st and he can punch.
“He’s looking good, he’s very fit and the guys he’s been sparring with have been really pushing him. He’s as ready as ever.”
Rhodes added: “Nathan Gorman is a good fighter. I had Kash Ali sparring him a few months ago so I’ve seen him up close and he’s a fighter I rate. However, Dave Howe is Nathan’s best opponent so it’ll be a good fight and hopefully we’ve got the method and the technique to beat him.”
‘The Beginning’ is the first in number of upcoming shows to be hosted by Hatton Boxing, the company founded by the two-weight world champion; Hatton Boxing also manufactures premium boxing equipment and trains thousands of fitness professionals each year through its Academy.
The card also features two further title tussles as unbeaten welterweights Craig Morris and Nathan McIntosh clash for the Midlands Area crown, while Stoke’s own Kieron McLaren locks horns with Chris Adaway in a British Challenge title encounter.
Also featured are Hatton Promotions’ welterweight prospect Sam ‘Taffy’ Evans, Stafford stalwart Rob Hunt, Ruskington’s Dan Cooper and hometown debutant Owen Jobburn.
Tickets to are priced at £30 for general admission and £60 for ringside and can be purchased at Hattonboxing.com