What was set for the 'War of the Junior Welterweights' has turned into the 'War of Words'. I don't mean trash-talking in the pre-fight press conference, but harsh accusations made long after the bout has been called off. The canceled bout between Ricky Hatton, 36-0 (26), and the WBA light welterweight champion Vivian Harris, 24-1-1 (16), has now turned into a 'he-said, who-said, what the hell happened' scenario. Before, it was a $50,000 bet that both fighters accepted, now it is just accusations that seem to linger on, and on, and on and on. Who is the blame for the negotiations falling through? Harris blames Warren, Warren blames Harris, and Ricky Hatton is in the middle of it all. Now, where does that leave Mancunian Hitman? He will now be facing Michael Stewart, 36-2 (20), on Oct. 1st. in an IBF light welterweight title eliminator. It is not the fight he was looking for, but it is a fight that he will gladly accept. In this interview Ricky conducted with the Doghouse he goes over his thoughts on his up coming opponent and he also has a lot to say about the breakdown of the Harris bout.
Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton
Benny Henderson: What happened to the Harris-Hatton bout?
Ricky Hatton: I'm not quite sure, Harris was the one who said he would come to Manchester in the first place, then changed his mind and with a $400,000 rise! I'd ask Vivian Harris why it didn't happen.
BH: If you are so sure that you would beat Vivian Harris, why not travel to America and fight him? After all, he is the champion.
RH: I would go to America, but Harris has to take his head out of the clouds. He isn't a draw all he has is the WBA belt, nobody is bothered about him that's why he has to go to Germany. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here, now he has turned down a fight with me.
BH: Do you feel that Michael Stewart poses any threat to you?
RH: Styles make fights, and our styles should make it a war for as long as it lasts. He is tough, strong, and durable, but I don't feel he has as much as me. I'll take the fight as it comes, see how things go, I won't be running, obviously just smart in my approach.
BH: What is most important in your career, being the champion or having an undefeated career?
RH: Being champion, that's a daft question.
BH: Vivian Harris blames Frank Warren and lack of money for the fight not going on as scheduled, how do you and Warren respond to that?
RH: Harris said he thought he should have got $1,500,000. Who is he trying to kid? He can go to Germany and fight for $350,000, and there's a good reason for that. He is not the draw that he thinks he is
BH: Why wouldn't Frank Warren go to purse bid with Harris like he states that he wanted?
RH: If it went to purse bids Harris would get 70% and I would get 30%. All Harris has is the belt. Nobody wants to know him, he is the champion but he is no bigger draw than me, certainly not a 70-30 split anyway. Frank Warren is the best person to answer that. That's just my opinion. I can't wait to see who Harris fights next and for how much.
BH: After Michael Stewart who will be next, and will there ever be a Harris-Hatton in the future?
RH: I really don't know. Hopefully the winner of Tszyu v Mitchell. I would be the IBF mandatory, but who knows, I'm getting pissed off with it all.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add in closing?
RH: I want my respect. I don't know what the problem is with making these fights. Ricky Hatton will fight everyone.
I would like to thank Paul Speak once again for all his help, and a big thank you to Ricky Hatton for his time. For more information on Ricky visit his website: The Official Site of Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton.
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