Ricky Hatton believes his charge Martin Murray will pull off one of the greatest upsets in British boxing history if he defeats middleweight kingpin Sergio Martinez.
The former world champion believes victory for the St. Helens warrior in Buenos Aires on April 27 would go down in British boxing lore alongside his own great victory against Kostya Tszyu in 2005.
However, the humble Hitman declared that if Murray – who fights under Hatton Promotions – upsets the odds against Martinez it would be even greater than his own hard-fought victory.
“Kostya Tszyu was number two pound-for-pound in the world when I fought him and I think Martinez is number three,” said Hatton.
“But Martin is going away to box in front of 40,000 Argentineans so I think it’ll go down as one of the best wins ever by a British fighter.
“Martin is an underdog, he knows that, but he’s more than capable of winning the fight.
“He should look at fights like Lloyd Honeyghan v Donald Curry and John H Stracey v Jose Napoles because they’ll show him that it’s doable.”
Being the opponent in what is the Argentinean sensation’s first fight on home soil for more than a decade would be a tall ask for anyone.
Yet Hatton has been impressed by his fighter’s steely resolve and believes Murray will thrive on the hostile atmosphere at the Estadio José Amalfitani.
“When we went to the press conference over there it was like the Martinez show and some fighters would have crumbled under the pressure, but Martin took it all in his stride,” he said.
“You wouldn’t blame him if he was in awe of his opponent, but he wasn’t –people forget he went into the lion’s den in Germany against Felix Sturm and he handled that well.
“A lot of people asked whether it was too soon for Martin but he proved to himself and the public that he is world class and he’ll take confidence from that.
Despite his promoter’s comments, the interim WBA champion knows he is in for a hard time against Martinez, who was even voted ahead of Lionel Messi as his nation’s favourite sportsman.
But there are some who believe that the middleweight titan is fading fast in his older age and might be ripe for an upset – a view Hatton takes.
“I also think it might the right time to fight Martinez. He’s 38, he’s had a few injuries and he was hanging on for dear life against Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr,” he added.
“I fancied Martin to beat Chavez Jnr anyway – we tried to make the fight and unfortunately at the time Martin couldn’t get into the United States.
“When you see Chavez Jnr having success against Martinez, there’s no reason Martin shouldn’t think anything is possible.”
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