UK Boxing: McKenzie On Hatton; Froch in Bute talks; Sykes vs. Crolla

14.05.09 - Former world boxing champ Duke McKenzie today told talkSPORT, the UKís only national commercial speech radio station, that Ricky Hatton should not turn his back on boxing despite his second round defeat to Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas earlier this month. Speaking to Paul Hawksbee and Andy Jacobs on the Hawksbee and Jacobs Show about Hattonís future, McKenzie said: ďIím probably in a minority where I think he should carry on. Itís very easy to pass judgment and say he should retire. Obviously heís made a lot of money. But itís not just about money where Ricky Hatton is concerned. Itís about being one of the best fighters in the world..

ďIf youíve lost to a Floyd Mayweather or a Manny Pacquiao letís get it right, there are world champions and there are elite world champions. He has lost to two of the best fighters in modern day boxing, no disgrace. Getting knocked out in the fashion that he did by Manny Pacquiao is no disgrace.

ďIíve been in the exact same position and had I listened to my doubters after getting knocked out in one round when I lost my second world title, two fights later I was world champion again. So, Amir Khan is boxing for the world championship in July. Iím sure the nation would pay to see Ricky Hatton against Amir Khan at Wembley Arena.Ē

Froch in Bute talks

Super-middleweight champion Carl Froch expects to defend his WBC belt against IBF title holder Lucian Bute some time this September. It is understood that Frochís promoter Mick Hennessy has already made contact with the Canadian championís camp.

Froch has made no secret of his desire to unify the super-middleweight division. The Nottingham-born star has set his sights on the IBF and WBA title.

Froch told the Steve Bunce Boxing Hour on Setanta Sports News that negotiations were under way.

He said: ďWe seem to be making some ground, although thereís nothing official, with Lucian Bute. Itís a fight Iím definitely interested in. Iím WBC champion and I want to unify the belts.

ďHeís a tough champion, heís IBF champion and it gives me the chance to unify the divisions. And thatís something I want to do.

ďHe pulls a big crowd in Montreal. Weíre talking about 15,000 Ė 20,000 fans. But with the Canadian dollar the way it is, if you work it out in comparison, itís probably the same as getting 7000 in the Nottingham Arena.

ďIf I have to go to Canada and fight Lucian Bute over there Iíll do it. But Iíd like to get a fight in Nottingham, for the fans.Ē

Recent reports had suggested that Froch would go up against Bernard Hopkins. However Froch revealed he wasnít interested in taking that fight.

He added: ďItís not a fight Iím massively interested in, heís not a champion.

The problem with Hopkins and his people is heís the fight everybodyís interested in so he tends to price himself out of the market. And he tends to give you peanuts for wanting to fight him.

ďHeíll want 80%, you get 20%. Itís unrealistic.Ē

Sykes vs. Crolla Added To Stoke Fight Card

A tremendous battle between super feather prospects has been added to Frank Maloney's May 29 fight card at Fenton Manor Sports Complex In Stoke.

Undefeated Dewsbury stylist Gary Sykes meets popular Manchester grafter Anthony Crolla in a British title eliminator that supports the main event featuring reigning champion Chris Edwards vs. Usman Ahmed in a British flyweight title bout.

25 year old Sykes, 11-0 (4), has gone through a lineup of experience building bouts since turning pro in February, 2006 and won every round in a significant victory over spoiler Harry Ramaogoadi last year.

22 year old Crolla, 13-1 (5), is riding a five bout win streak including a revenge gaining rematch over the only man to defeat him thus far, Syrian hard man Youssef Al Hamidi, last August.

The stakes couldn't be higher in this mouth watering clash of hot prospects as the winner will get the opportunity to challenge for the British super featherweight title.

2008 Olympic bronze medallist Darren Sutherland heads the superb undercard at Fenton Manor.

Frank Maloney Presents the Flyweight Championship of Britain between reigning champion Chris Edwards and challenger Usman Ahmed with full undercard at Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke-on-Trent, England on Friday, May 29, 2009

Tickets are on sale at £35 and £75 and available from and 0871 226 1508.

Sky Sports will broadcast live on SS1 starting at 10PM.

Article posted on 15.05.2009

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