If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Shannon backs Hatton to win world title
The man Ricky Hatton has chosen to guide him through his comeback believes that the fighter's road to redemption will take him all the way to a world title.
Hatton approached Manchester-based Bob Shannon, who previously guided his brother Matthew to a world title challenge, to link up with him two weeks ago and the veteran trainer says that he could see the desire in his friend's eyes from that moment on.
The Hyde fighter has been out of action since his last fight saw him knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in their IBO light-welterweight title fight in Las Vegas. Shannon said: "This has come out of the blue for me. I got a phone call from Ricky two weeks ago asking me to come and see him because he was thinking of fighting again."
He continued: "I looked him right in the eyes and said to him, 'why are you doing it'. He told me he couldn't stop thinking about the Pacquiao fight and what he could have done differently.
"Everyone deserves a second chance and when he told me how he wants to redeem himself for his son, his family and his fans, that's what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to want to be the man he used to be."
Shannon believes he can guide Hatton back to the top. He said: "It's now my job to get him back up there. For the last week we've been doing hand eye co-ordination and timing sessions and I can honestly say he's unbelievable.
"It's like he's never been away from the gym and I feel like I've trained him from day one because we've just gelled together. He still moves like he used to do and my job is to work with that class and ability he's got. I'm so excited this legend is back in British boxing and he will be a world champion without a shadow of a doubt."
For Hatton the comeback is about far more than reclaiming a world title belt. Despite admitting he longs to return to the top of the profession after three years, the motivation for him is much closer to home.
"I don't want people telling my kids that I blew it," admitted Hatton. "I want my kids to be able to say 'he was a world champion, he had his problems, but my did he bounce back'.
"I want British sport, my kids and my fans and my friends to be proud of me again. I have had my problems but I'm over that now and I want people to look at me in a different light. I don't want people to see how I flushed my life away."