Ricky Hatton says he will fulfil a lifelong ambition when he fights Juan Lazcano at the City of Manchester Stadium this Saturday.
The Hitman’s Homecoming bout is set to be the biggest boxing event staged in the UK, but for Ricky it’s the prospect of fighting at the home of his beloved City that is spurring him on.
In an exclusive chat with MCFCTV.com, Ricky said, “It’s a dream come true for me. I’ve been saying for years how much I wanted to fight at City’s ground, so to say it’s a dream come true now is an understatement.
“I had my first season ticket when I was 11, and when you’re a hardened supporter the players are like gods to you, so to be fighting in the middle of the pitch at City will be one of the proudest moments of my career.
“It’s going to be like 50,000 family and friends coming along, I’d rather call them my friends than my fans. Their support has been second-to-none, and I won’t let them down.”
Second on the bill will be New Yorker Paulie Malignaggi, a possible future opponent for Ricky, defending his IBF light-welterweight title and there will also be lots of local interest for the crowd of 55,000 as Ricky explains:
“This is the first show that I’ve co-promoted myself, and I wanted as many Manchester fighters on the bill as possible. My brother Matthew is fighting another Manchester fighter in Craig Watson, as well as a couple of others so I’ve been as good as my word.
“It’s a great time to be a Mancunian, and last week we hosted the UEFA Cup Final at the stadium, which looked fantastic.
“The facilities at City are the best you could ask for, and I think people are going to come away after Saturday thinking they have been to a great boxing show.
“I could not be prouder of the way people in Manchester have supported me, I don’t think there’s been a British boxer who’s had the kind of support I have and the best way I can repay them is by putting on a great show.”