Campbell Hatton: An Investment For The Future
Campbell Hatton will be under intense scrutiny for his entire professional career. The legacy of the Hatton fighting name will carry pressure and comparison, add to that the Matchroom platform he resides on, lesser men would crumble under the weight of expectation that Hatton has on those young shoulders.
To his credit Hatton has taken on a challenge he didn’t have to, he had other options. Losing his first three amateur fights could have convinced him to try something else, he didn’t, Hatton is here for the love of the sport. Brought up around boxing, Hatton wasn’t encouraged to follow the family trade, but probably inevitably, he was drawn to the Noble Art.
Hatton is still growing, physically he is nowhere near the finished article. There are elements of a boy competing in a man’s world, but in time, the man strength will come. Time, in many ways, is exactly what he needs. A relative short amateur career, the experience he will undoubtedly need in the professional ranks will have to be gained by competing in that exact arena. But with experience and knowledge in his corner, Hatton will grow in that department also.
We saw on his professional debut last month in Gibraltar the raw talent, but one that needs time, and probably plenty of it, to develop his skills to the level where he wants to go. There were nerves, a little too over eager to please. The big build-up he received, the excellent Sky documentary Blue Moon Rising added plenty to the pre-fight buzz, but maybe with hindsight, it was a little too much this early in his career. Hatton can be excused any mistakes on his debut, but it is now out of the way and the journey takes its next step on Saturday night on the latest Matchroom PPV. Hatton will have learned and will be an improved fighter because of that experience. In Manchester, we will see a little more of what we can expect in a few years time. The gains will be marginal, but they will be visible.
Some might have expected the second coming of his legendary father, but that was always going to be a tough ask, for anyone, never mind his son. The flaws on display in Gibraltar will be of benefit going forward. The expectations will have lessened, but it gives Hatton breathing space.
Ideally, Hatton would learn his trade out of the spotlight away from the often brutal criticism of the bright lights. But opportunity has knocked, the massive platform will bring the opportunities. Hatton is an investment, a work in progress, the rewards are down the line.
Hatton has the wit of his father, the same likeable personality and seems level-headed enough to handle the pressure coming his way. With a young family, he has a little extra motivation for what lies ahead. In life and in the ring Hatton will have to grow, he says he thrives on the pressure, he will need to. Carrying the Hatton name will make him a big target, resentment and envy will be something he has to live with, something he seems more than capable of handling.
Ricky Hatton gave us many memories that will not fade, Matthew Hatton had more than his share of success, both are a hard act to follow. But Campbell, wants to create his own legacy, memories in his own right. Ambitions are big, the son thinks he can emulate his father and go the whole way. It is far too early to say he can’t.
Gibraltar was the first step, to get where he wants to go, there will be many more. Campbell Hatton is an investment for the future, there should be no rush to collect on that investment anytime soon.. Some will already have judged by what he showed on his debut, but Conor Benn would have been judged the exact same way in his early professional fights. Even Eddie Hearn recently admitted he had real doubts about his prodigy.
But Benn has since developed into a formidable fighter from that early indifference, Hatton should also be appraised when there is more of a resume to be judged on. The young apprentice has time on his hands, in a few years time we will know just how good he is, now is not the time to critique too harshly.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing