“It is looking like most of Ricky’s fights in the foreseeable future are going to be in the states”
Boxingtalk recently caught up with Veteran English trainer Billy Graham, who is currently in the U.S. with Irish Middleweight Champion Mathew “Matt” Macklin 14-1(10), who will face Anthony Little 5-2(1) of Akron, OH tonight at the New Alhambra in Philadelphia, PA. Most notable to us here in the U.S. for his work with undefeated IBF Light Welterweight champ Ricky Hatton 39-0(29), Graham talks to us about the Hitman’s upcoming unification bout against newly crowned WBA champ Carlos Maussa.
RC: Billy what’s going on? How are you enjoying your stay here in the States?
Billy Graham: Good I am soaking up the atmosphere over here (Philadelphia). I have been here before; Ricky has had a few fights in the states. New York, Atlantic City but that was very early on in his career and it hasn’t been an ongoing thing. But now when I have the opportunity to do it with Matt I am looking forward to it and looking forward to being over here on a regular basis.
RC: Give us your take on Matt’s preparation for this fight against Anthony Little?
BG: Preparation has gone fantastic. Ever since I have been working with Matt his preparation has been really really good. I have lots of good talent back home in Manchester, a lot of good fighters. I train a lot of good champions, but Mathew “Matt” has probably one of the most gifted fighters I have ever worked with potentially. He is only a kid, he is only 23 years old, and he won the Irish (Middleweight) title on his 23rd birthday. I have only been working with him for a couple of years, I have known him for longer than that and he has always been one of my favorite prospects. We all knew of him in my camp. He has always been a friend of ours for a while, then he asked me to train him and he is improving quicker than I ever thought. He is made for me; he is my kind of fighter. I think that he improved so much, each fight he has had with me he has improved and I don’t see no reason why Friday night will be any different.
RC: You also train, Ricky Hatton, how is everything going in preparation for his unification bout against Carlos Maussa?
BG: Ricky is on time; he is probably ahead of himself for a minute that is why I was able to come over here with Matt. Ricky has started his training already and training is going great. He has already done some good good sparring with Mathew (Macklin), so Ricky is already on time. You know after the Kostya Tszyu one will see he will be better, I can even tell from seeing him in the gym. You are going to see the best of Ricky Hatton, and lucky for all of you Americans, I think all of the fights are going to be over here.
RC: So if he beats Carlos Maussa, are you saying his next fight might take place over here?
BG: I would think so, Frank Warren has got the M.E.N. (Arena) now, he sewed the M.E.N. up, and he has booked it for a couple of years. I don’t know who the F*@k he is going to sell it with though, because Ricky Hatton is the only one who can sell it out. So it is looking like most of Ricky’s fights in the foreseeable future are going to be in the states. I also will be bringing the rest of my camp as well, which of course include Matthew Macklin. But you are going to see a great performance between Ricky Hatton and Maussa
RC: Has been distracted by the whole parting with Frank Warren and Warren initially trying to stop this upcoming unification bout?
BG: Well everybody ask that of both of us, and I have heard that is what Maussa and his people are counting on. If they are counting on that, Geez, they might as well be pissing in the wind. If that is what they are counting on…. Nothing affects Ricky Hatton, nothing. He is completely focused on Maussa, he is born for this, and it certainly doesn’t affect me. We are completely prepared for and focused on Maussa and we are going to get it right, there is not even a little bit of a problem.
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