Boxing - Hatton: Last year I lost a fortune

Yesterday's announcement that Ricky Hatton's promotional company has agreed to deal with subscription channel BoxNation will hopefully provide some stability for the fighters under its guidance.

Boxing - Hatton: Last year I lost a fortune

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Ricky Hatton

Hatton's slimmed down stable still has eighteen boxers on the books, including world title challenger Martin Murray, British super featherweight champion Gary Buckland and European light middleweight belt holder Sergey Rabchencko, who Hatton also trains.

Yesterday, Hatton touched on what many boxing insiders had known for some time - that his fledgling promotional outfit was haemorrhaging cash and it was only a matter of time before something had to give. Although denied at the time, one of the reasons behind the Hitman's short lived comeback last year must surely have been to provide work, and exposure, for other fighters under his wing.

But the ambitious return didn't go according to plan, and Hatton was still without any kind of TV deal.

“I was contemplating chucking it in. Last year was a shocker, and I lost a fortune," said the former light welterweight boss.

Hatton's decision to hook up with BoxNation was perhaps hastened by Scott Quigg's recent departure to Matchroom. Hatton recalls the events:

"I was bitterly disappointed recently to see Scott Quigg leave Hatton Promotions to move across to the Matchroom stable. Scott was one of my first signings and a young man I brought up from the boxing dinner show circuit to world title level.

"Bearing in mind the massive financial investment, plus the time spent by my team to get him the opportunities we did, to see him sign with someone else while we were still providing opportunities was such a shame. 

"Scott believed that we owed him more fights under his contract. However, a fighter going the places we thought he was going can only fight so many times a year and when we lost our television dates it made our job extremely difficult as a talent such as Scott should be on TV. I was very keen that we get the right fights for Scott not just any fights.

"I told him then that if I couldn't get him a deal I would give him his contract back, shake his hand and sincerely wish him all the best. I did not wish to stand in the way of his career and progress.

"After that, I spoke to Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions and told him how I felt the time was right for Scott to make his name in the US. We agreed a three-fight deal for Scott to box on world title bills in the US which would be co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Hatton Promotions with Scott receiving the purses he wanted. This deal including him making appearances on the undercard of a Floyd May weather fight in Las Vegas and a Zab Judah fight in New York.

"We also had a three fight offer from ESPN, which would have given him huge exposure. The money wasn't great but I offered to make his purse up out of my own pocket. Having offered to make up his purse I was very surprised learn from Scott's then manager that Scott felt (or was being advised) that I must have been taking money away from him in some way. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

"To my surprise Scott refused all of the offers and said he wanted to stay in England. Scott was then asked what he thought of a fight with Carl Frampton. Scott said he felt he was 12 months off that fight.

"I could feel an issue was coming because even after that we got him the chance to fight in the UK on a televised bill with ten weeks' notice. He refused again, this time stating he needed 12 weeks to prepare. My team were struggling to know what else they could do for Scott having presented a number of great opportunities.

"Sadly the only reports we got at that time were that Scott wished to move away from Hatton Promotions.  Given all the efforts this was most disappointing.

"In a last ditch effort to reassure Scott of his future, Richard Schaefer and Oscar De la Hoya agreed to do a conference call along with myself and Scott to advise him on what was the best way forward for his boxing career and what we could do for him. When Scott was offered this chance he told Hatton Promotions that he'd already made up my mind up. He wanted to leave.

A"t this stage I resigned myself to the fact that was it, Scott wanted to go. I feel we could do no more. I believe my team have offered great opportunities to Scott and he has declined them. It is fair to say my views on Scott have changed in recent times. Nether the less, I will watch his career with huge interest."

Touching on yesterday's TV announcement, Hatton, 34, told interviewer James Helder:

"There's a lot to admire being sat next to Frank Warren and Frank Maloney. I'm a rookie in this promotional game. When you look over the years how Frank has struggled through bad times, and Frank Maloney has also had bad times, but they have persereved, and stuck with it, and they are still here. In a lot of ways, that's what I've been through. I lost my Sky dates and I could have chucked the towel in."

Helder asked the Hitman about his disappointment regarding the way the business relationship with Sky ended:

"I thought I deserved a little bit more than an email to my Matchmaker (Richard Poxon).  I only had six dates, and I must have had 15, 16 champions at the time.  I was thinking that If i lose money this year, it's OK because next year I'll get 12 dates - but I got no dates."

The dates Sky did have available were gobbled up by Matchroom, which, after a two year long signing spree, should have plenty of talent to fill the schedule.

The TV landscape in boxing shifts again.

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