The tenacious Kazakh saw off Rau’shee Warren over twelve rounds in Toleda, Ohio as Zhakiyanov put Hatton back on top of the boxing world, just over eight years since the ‘Hitman’ last held a recognized belt.
Upon witnessing Zhakiyanov’s defining victory, Hatton couldn’t hide his delight as the 33 year-old picked himself up off the canvas twice in the first round to win on points.
He's only gone & done it. Been with me years. Couldn't be prouder.x pic.twitter.com/c0oFbLVsT1
— Ricky Hatton MBE (@HitmanHatton) February 11, 2017
“We were surprised when Zhanat went down like that in the beginning of the fight. I just wanted to remind him what he does better and what Rau’Shee is good at. He is never going to outbox him; he had to get in his chest, he had to mug him and make it a brawl. Zhanat did that very well and that’s how he won the fight,” Hatton told the PBC.
“If we lost the fight, we would have been upset, but we’d know it wouldn’t have been a bad decision. I know that Warren is gutted, he feels like he won the fight and let’s be honest – it was the type of fight where no matter who won, the loser would have felt like he deserved to have his hand raised.
“Their styles make for a great fight. Why not do it again? Not just because it was close but because it was such a great action fight and it always will be.”