EXCLUSIVE: Ricky Hatton predicts big things for Ultimate Boxxer brand, talks Hearn / Warren rivalry
Britain’s first boxing Entertainment, Ultimate Boxxer, saw its grand opening in Central London on Monday and will officially launch on April 28.
The new format, which has similarities to UK PrizeFighter, will give boxer’s the chance to showcase their skills with a £50,000 prize fund for the victor.
Ricky Hatton accepted Benjamin Shalom’s offer to become ambassador and non-director and will help spearhead the event with his vast boxing knowledge.
The ‘Hitman’ views it as a great opportunity for boxers to get on the big stage.
“I was very fortunate, I had a great amateur career and then I signed with Frank Warren. He opened a lot of doors for me because he could see my potential but not everyone is so fortunate. You don’t really get a contract these days unless you’ve been to the Olympics Games or something like that,” Hatton explained to World Boxing News.
UniLad, the official broadcasting partner of the franchise, has a whopping 36 million likes on Facebook. With the potential of reaching millions of viewers, Hatton was quick to highlight the huge significance of how social media can elevate up and coming boxers onto a bigger platform.
“With this format, some of the youngsters are now going to be able to get that chance to fight with the Ultimate Boxxer whereas they may not have previously been given an opportunity to do so.
“It’s a good format and think it’ll be a massive success, social media is massive, to be honest and anyone who goes on social media, their reputation and stock is going to go up, so it’s a big chance for these kids.
“I’ve always had a great fanbase, still have a great fanbase and there’s probably no better person to bang the drum on it. I’m a trainer, a promoter and manager, it’s basically giving a little bit back to the sport that has been so good to me. It’s going to be great.”
Leading promoters Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn have continued their own war-of-words as they compete for the top bragging rights at the domestic level.
Warren, who formed his own TV station in BoxNation, has now merged with BT Sport – whilst Hearn has the backing of Sky.
Hatton believes it can only benefit the sport.
“Eddie has got sky behind him which is the main machine in many ways, but Frank’s got BoxNation and BT and has been down a few times but he keeps coming back.
“It’s great you’ve got competition, when there was just one tv station the competition just disappears, it’s good for the sport,” he concluded.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95
Sign up at www.ultimateboxxer.com for access to ticket pre-sale on Feb 19 for event launch