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Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 11:24 UK

Hatton targets fan-friendly venue

Ricky Hatton
Hatton can expect another huge crowd for his next fight

Ricky Hatton says his next fight in America must be held at a venue with the capacity to accommodate his fans.

Hatton beat Juan Lazcarno to retain his IBO light-welterweight title in front of 57,000 supporters at the City of Manchester Stadium on Saturday.

He is next set to face the IBF champion Paulie Malignaggi in front of another big crowd in America in November.

"If we go to fight in Las Vegas again and they want to give me 4,000 tickets I won't put up with it," he said.

"There's nothing to say I have to fight at this place or that place."

A number of Las Vegas casinos and New York's Madison Square Garden are keen to stage the contest but Hatton's popularity, despite his loss to Floyd Mayweather last December, means that finding a venue with sufficient capacity is not easy.

"My intention is to go back there and win world titles but it's hard for me to look people in the face who have had tickets off me all through my career, and tell them they can't have any," Hatton added.

A November fight date rules out an outdoor venue such as the 60,000-capacity Yankee Stadium, while Madison Square Garden's 20,000 capacity would be likely to sell out within minutes.

Promoter Oscar De La Hoya is relishing the prospect of taking Hatton back to the States.

"There is no other fighter like him," he said. "He's the biggest box office in the game right now."

Hatton, who has set up his own promotion company Punch Promotions, is already planning for life after retirement and hopes to be as successful behind the scenes as De La Hoya.

The American founded Golden Boy Promotions and is one of boxing's top promoters.

And Hatton said: "Ricky Hatton without boxing would be like fish and chips without salt and vinegar.

"I'm going to train fighters and manage fighters and I've got a great team behind me who are going to go into the promotional side."

He added: "I'd like to be a friend to my fighters, like Oscar De La Hoya is to his fighters.

"Some of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world are with Oscar because he's a friend to them and there is an honesty there, which sometimes is very rare with promoters."

see also
Hatton has points to prove
23 May 08 |  Boxing
Hatton criticised for lifestyle
21 May 08 |  Boxing
Hatton wary of 'demons'
15 May 08 |  Boxing
Hatton puts fans before US cash
01 May 08 |  Boxing

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