Report: Manchester Rivalry Fades in Boxing Glory

Ricky Hatton Reflects on Uniting Manchester with Rooney’s Ring Walk

Cross-City Support in the Boxing Ring

Ricky Hatton, a name synonymous with boxing excellence and fervent Manchester City support, accomplished a rare feat in 2007: he bridged the sporting divide of Manchester. Known for his entrance to the strains of “Blue Moon,” the City club anthem, Hatton managed to draw support from both sides of Manchester’s footballing rivalry. His fight events were gatherings that saw jerseys of blue and red blend in the crowds, showcasing an impressive unification of the city’s sports fans.

Iconic Partnerships and Local Heroes

In an enlightening chat with FourFourTwo magazine, Hatton revealed the extent of his widespread backing, “I was lucky enough for lots of players to come and see my fights, from both the blue and the red sides of Manchester.” Notable names such as Paul Dickov, Micah Richards, and Nicky Weaver from City, alongside United’s Michael Carrick, Nicky Butt, and Wayne Rooney, were regular attendees at his bouts. Hatton’s popularity transcended local football allegiances, bolstered by his down-to-earth persona and relentless fighting style.

Rooney’s Memorable Walk-On

One of the most talked-about moments in Hatton’s career was when Wayne Rooney, then a star for Manchester United, walked him to the ring for his light-welterweight defence against Jose Luis Castillo in Las Vegas. This event marked the end of Hatton’s unbeaten streak, but also stood out as a symbol of city unity. Despite some grumblings from the City faithful, Hatton insisted there was never any significant backlash. “I don’t think I did, actually – perhaps in small quarters or down certain pubs, but I never had anyone come up to my face and say so,” Hatton explained, highlighting the minor nature of any dissent.

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Shared Spirit and Mutual Respect

Hatton’s affinity for Rooney went beyond mere football loyalties. He admired Rooney’s straightforward, passionate play, which resonated with his own approach in the ring. “I’ve always liked Wayne. He is no-nonsense and has no airs and graces. He played football with his heart on his sleeve and I like to think that I boxed in that fashion as well,” Hatton remarked, drawing parallels between their approaches to their respective sports.

This collaboration between Hatton and Rooney not only highlighted a moment of sportsmanship transcending rival colours but also cemented a legacy of mutual respect and admiration between two of Manchester’s finest sportsmen.

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