British boxing has been booming in recent years and fight fans have been treated to a plethora of massive events involving fighters from these shores.
We’ve had Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in wildly entertaining heavyweight title fights against Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder.
Carl Froch famously ended his rivalry with George Groves by knocking him out in front of 80,000 people at Wembley Stadium in 2014 after their controversial first fight.
Ricky Hatton took a legion of fans with him to America as he tested himself against Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, but Simon Jordan reckons another ‘Hitman’ fight is the best he’s seen this century.
“The fight that I think is probably the biggest fight, it wasn’t because of its size, it was just because of the sheer nature of the opposition or the perceived opposition,” he said on talkSPORT Boxing.
“I actually think the person was in decline when he had this fight. But the perceived opposition and the engagement from the boxing world was Ricky Hatton vs. Kostya Tszyu.”
On June 4, 2005, thousands of fans packed out the MEN Arena in Manchester to watch one of their own make Tsyzu – who was one of the best pound-for-pound fighters around – retire on his stool after round 11.
The man who was recently challenged to a fight by boxing promoter Eddie Hearn insists he had no strong feelings about Hatton vs Tszyu pre-fight but was overwhelmed by what he witnessed in Manchester 15 years ago.
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“I’ve been fortunate to go to a lot of the fights around the world and in Britain. I had no particular dog in the fight besides the fact Ricky Hatton was an Englishman,” Jordan added.
“Of course, I’d want an Englishman to win but I was going to watch a good fight and obviously Kostya Tszyu came with a legendary status, but the sheer intensity of the atmosphere, you saw the people who supported Ricky Hatton.”
Jordan’s experience at the event was improved by the fact he was sitting beside boxing legend Dean Powell, who expertly talked him through one of the biggest British fights of all time.
“I was quite fortunate to sit next to the late, great, and sadly missed Dean Powell who was there. He was a fabulous trainer and I saw him on many trips going to watch some of the great fighters,” he revealed.
“I got to sit next to him and got him to explain to me what he was seeing which was an incredible experience because you’ve got a view because you what a lot of boxing but to have someone who really knows what he’s talking about.”
Tszyu never fought again after his dalliance with Hatton who ultimately retired for good in 2012 but is set to face Marco Antonio Barrera in an exhibition bout this weekend.
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