Rhodes and Hatton set for opposite corners

Ricky Hatton with Ryan Rhodes after the Sheffield fighter's last scrap
Ricky Hatton with Ryan Rhodes after the Sheffield fighter's last scrap

Ricky Hatton and Ryan Rhodes were two boxers who made a dramatic impact on the British scene, stretching from the 1990s to 2012.

Now, four years after the pair retired from the ring, the Roses rivals will be in opposite corners while their proteges lock horns.

On Saturday, Sheffield’s own Rhodes will be directing his 6ft 8ins heavyweight David Howe against Hatton’s five-fight unbeaten prospect Nathan Gorman for the vacant Central Area title, in Stoke.

While Hatton had the more successful career when he had the gloves on, Rhodes is rising speedily through the ranks as a highly-rated trainer.

Rhodes, who will celebrate his 40th birthday in November, was guided by Mancunian Hatton over the last two years of his career, a period that included two European title fights and a shot at then-WBC super-welterweight Saul Alvarez in Mexico in 2011.

“It might be a little bit weird seeing Ricky in the other corner,” Rhodes said. “He promoted me and got some really good fights so going against him does feel a bit strange. It’s not the first time we’ve come up against each other, though. He was in Sergey Rabchenko’s corner when I fought him. It wasn’t my night then, (seventh round TKO - Rhodes’ last fight) but hopefully things will go my way this time.

Ryan Rhodes

Ryan Rhodes

“Whatever the result, we’ll still be pals. This fight is purely business and we’ve both got a job to do. Afterwards we’ll shake hands.”

Rhodes has been training Howe for the past three months and believes he has seen enough from the 36-year-old to suggest he can pull off an upset.

“I’m looking forward to working with Dave for the first time because he has everything you need as a heavyweight. He’s six foot eight, 18st and he can punch.

“He’s looking good, he’s very fit and the guys he’s been sparring with have been really pushing him. He’s as ready as ever.”

Rhodes added: “Nathan Gorman is a good fighter. I had (Rotherham’s) Kash Ali sparring him a few months ago so I’ve seen him up close and he’s a fighter I rate.

“However, Dave Howe (W11 L3) is Nathan’s best opponent so it’ll be a good fight and hopefully we’ve got the method and the technique to beat him.”

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