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Page last updated at 19:19 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 20:19 UK

Hatton puts fans before US cash

Ricky Hatton
Hatton is returning to light-welterweight to fight Lazcano

Ricky Hatton says he has declined a bigger payday to ensure his next fight is at a time which suits British fans.

Hatton meets Juan Lazcano at the City of Manchester Stadium on 24 May - his first UK bout since November 2005.

He said: "I put my contract with HBO and Golden Boy on hold so that I don't have to fight at 2am (for American TV).

"I could have made a fair few extra quid (by fighting then), but it's at a fan-friendly time, an English time. It's my way of saying thank you."

Hatton, 29, added: "Finance is important in your career, needless to say, but some things are worth more than money.

"It's all about achieving my goals now and doing right by the fans. I want to be remembered as a fans' favourite, a people's champion.

"It is now about the last few goals of my career, putting the final touches to it before I hang the gloves up.

"I've fought some of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, won six world titles over two weight divisions, and this is a homecoming.

"It's for the fans that have supported me from day one back in England, Great Britain and Manchester, who probably thought maybe they had lost the chance to see me fight again here live.

"They probably thought I was going to have all my remaining fights in the United States, so it's nice to come back."

see also
Hatton set for five more fights
19 Dec 07 |  Boxing

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