Matthew Hatton: “Campbell’s Got A Bright Future And We’ve Got To Aim For The Top.”
By Chandler Waller
This weekend not only marks a giant heavyweight rematch between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin, but also the continuation of a legacy.
Campbell Hatton, son of British boxing royalty makes his long-awaited professional debut on Saturday night. His uncle and trainer Matthew believes the timing is perfect for another Hatton to enter the ropes:
“He’s taken to professional boxing brilliantly, he’s got a good work ethic, he always works hard in the gym. I know we hear time and time again from fighters and trainers that camp’s been brilliant, but it really has. Everything happens for a reason and it’s panned out really well, I think he’s making his debut at the right time.”
Making a successful professional debut for any fighter is a particularly special occasion, and becomes a memory that they will treasure for the rest of their lives. In the current pandemic, amateur boxing has been hit hard and poses future potential problems for clubs all around the country. Therefore, it’s no surprise that we have seen multiple fighters opt for turning over to the paid ranks in the past year. Matthew states that decision to do so has given Campbell an extra spring in his step, he told FightPost:
“Turning professional is a big deal for anybody, it’s a new start. For most kids fighting, it’s what they aspire to do one day, he’s worked hard and made it happen. That was part of the reason in turning professional really, there was nothing happening in the amateurs, and I’m a firm believer in every fighter needs something to aim for – something to motivate them when training gets tough. Without a shadow of a doubt, it was the right move to turn professional and a spring in his step is an understatement, he’s flying at the minute.”
The red carpet is being rolled out for Campbell, the opportunity to begin his professional career not only on a big event, but also in another country is a rare one. European champion turned trainer Matthew says this has the pro debutant buzzing heading into his first professional fight week.
“It couldn’t have panned out any better for him to get on such a huge bill, he gets a trip away on his debut to Gibraltar, so it’s panned out fantastic. You know it’s a great bill to be on, with lots of anticipation regarding the Whyte vs Povetkin fight, so what a great platform for him to make his debut on, it’s fantastic.”
That main event between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin has many torn to pick a winner. Turning the attention briefly to the heavyweight crunch clash, Matthew offered his fight week prediction:
“I think often in rematches, you do see a calm copy of the first one, not in all cases, but I fancied Dillian Whyte to win the first fight, and I fancy him to win this one. I think Dillian is the better fighter at this stage of their careers, and I think you’ll see a similar pattern [to the first fight], he’ll start catching Povetkin, hitting him, hurting him, but guys like Povetkin are dangerous for every second, so if he hits him and hurts him, you get in there and finish him off. No-one is dangerous in the changing room after the fight when they’ve been beat. So, I think you’ll see Dillian Whyte win by stoppage.”
Returning the conversation back to the only win on Matthew’s mind this weekend, the son of Ricky Hatton will undoubtedly pose some questions for boxing fans. The main one being – will he be as good as the old man? Matthew, with his extensive time spent in the sport and knowing Campbell best gave his professional opinion on how far the 19-year-old can go.
“I think for me, boxing is such a hard and brutal sport, it really is. I’ve been involved in boxing for a long time, both inside the ropes and for a while outside the ropes now. If me and Ricky didn’t think Campbell could get to the very top in the sport, we’d advise him to do something else. We all love the sport, but in my opinion unless you’re fighting at a good level and getting well paid for it, there’s certainly easier ways to make money. If I didn’t believe he could get to the top in boxing, I would advise him to do something else, and I think I can speak for his dad there. Campbell’s got a bright future and we’ve got to aim for the top, absolutely. Aim for the stars and you won’t fall far short.”
Campbell will have a heavy burden on his shoulders in carrying on the Hatton legacy. Excitement, nerves and adrenaline are all rolled into one big ball by the time the first bell rings. For those ready to assess Campbell Hatton on Saturday night, Matthew says you’ll get what you’re looking for when you think of the name Hatton.
“Campbell knows to go in there, take his time, pick his shots, but it’s still a very nerve-racking experience. I remember my professional debut, that was a very nerve-racking experience, obviously Campbell’s got the added pressure with it being such a huge bill and the anticipation. This is something he’s got to get used to. I think we’ll see a cool, calm display on Saturday, but Campbell is what he is, he’s an aggressive fighter. I think you’ll see cool and calm, but Campbell can be ruthless when he hits and hurts someone, so I think people are going to like what they see on Saturday.”