If anyone is keeping tabs, you can add retired former boxing champion Ricky Hatton to the growing number of boxers and boxing personalities who have relented and admitted their appreciation of mixed martial arts.
FightHub TV spoke with The Hitman – who held the IBO and The Ring light welterweight titles and retired after losing via knockout to Manny Pacquiao – recently and got his take on MMA, a sport which he admits he viewed in a similar light as fellow boxing legend Bernard Hopkins, who has also changed his tune on the sport.
“At first mixed martial arts wasn’t seen as too popular, but the more and more – it’s getting bigger and bigger all the time – and the more and more you look into it… at first I thought it was just people rollin’ about on the floor on top of each other, but that’s far from it,” said Hatton. “As it’s getting more popular, you look into it a little bit more scientifically, there’s a lot more to it. I’s not just about standin’ there and usin’ your feet and usin’ your fists,” he explained. “It’s about gettin’ your opponent on the floor, puttin’ him in a certain move, which is a work of art in its own right. The more and more popular it’s gettin’ it’s not become just a part-time thing now. It’s a professional sport and I’m sure I speak for the mixed martial arts people as well as the boxing people in saying that these people — the nutritional people — are the best probably even more so in mixed martial arts because it’s a lot more physical than boxing, isn’t it? I can say slowly but surely, the more I’ve watched it I’ve become a bit more of a fan.”
Check out the video below.