Ricky Hatton has announced he’d be more than willing to step up to heavyweight in order to trade blows with footballer-turned boxer Rio Ferdinand.
Speaking at the Nordoff Robbins event this week, the 39 year-old stated he’s ready to fight the ex-Manchester United man in what would be a grudge match for the staunch Manchester City supporter.
Ferdinand is campaigning in the top division due to a collaboration with Betfair and recently linked up alongside successful former pro Richie Woodhall as his trainer.
Several boxers have had their say on what some see as a disrespectful move by the one-time England star, who is pushing forty himself and has no boxing experience.
On a potential meeting between the pair, Hatton joked: “Rio’s a great lad and a boxing fan and he wouldn’t have taken it up if he wasn’t going to give it a go and do it justice.
“I’ll make a comeback and fight him,” he added.
Sadly, and tongue-in-cheek or not, Hatton’s admission is yet another blow to Ferdinand’s attempt to be taken seriously in his ring career as the move invokes memories of Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff.
Retired England cricketer Flintoff turned pro for one fight back in 2012, ironically in the same month Hatton’s career was ended at the same Manchester Arena venue, but was widely ridiculed for his trouble.
Flintoff was proving he could be passed by the British Boxing Board of Control in order to have just one fight whilst filming for a documentary on Sky One.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay