RICKY HATTON believes his charge Sergey Rabchenko will be firing on all cylinders again when he defends his European light-middleweight crown against Adriano Nicchi in Monte Carlo on March 30.
Rabchenko, 26, had looked like a world beater in defeating the likes of Bradley Pryce and Ryan Rhodes, but was a little off top form against France’s Cedric Vitu last time out.
‘The Hitman’, though, says the Belarusian puncher will back to his devastating best later this month.
“Sergey was a bit disappointed he didn’t perform to the standard he expects against Vitu, but there were reasons for that,” Ricky explained.
“He was supposed to box in France and the fight got cancelled so he had to train an extra four weeks and unfortunately with him boxing on my comeback so show I couldn’t work the corner so he was a little bit lacklustre.
“I’m sure he’ll put that right in Monte Carlo because every time he comes in to the gym he’s a level higher than he was before and so far he’s really blown my mind with how he’s performing and improving.
“Sergey has been all over his sparring partners, stepping across quicker, making the ring look smaller and the mistakes he made in the Vitu fight he’ll certainly put right in this fight.”
As well as putting his European title on the line, Rabchenko is also risking his lofty ranking with the WBC against the Italy’s Nicchi.
Currently he is rated as the number two light-middleweight on the planet by the Mexico City-based sanctioning body and Ricky believes his shot at the top spot is fast approaching.
“Sergey is in a position where I think after his next two or three fights me and his manager will want him fighting for a world title,” he said.
“He’s number two with the WBC so he’s most certainly knocking on the door now.
“It’s sometimes frustrating for me as his trainer and promoter because I see the potential he’s got but it’s my job to hold him back and wait for the right time to come and when that does come, believe me he’ll be a world champion.”