Ricky Hatton reckons that Nathan Gorman has the boxing tools to dismantle Daniel Dubois on July 13.
The two unbeaten heavyweights look to settle the dispute over who is the superior fighter next month at Greenwich’s 02 Arena.
British ring legend Hatton, pictured below, trains Nantwich’s Gorman and is totally confident his charge has the superior skills to put a first blemish on South Londoner Dubois’ record. Both men are promoted by Frank Warren and the winner will claim the vacant British title.
Hatton reckons Gorman has been left annoyed at the hype building around Dubois, from Greenwich.
Gorman is 16-0 – with 11 stoppages – while Dubois has lived up to his “Dynamite” nickname with 10 early nights from his 11 victories. The pair boxed hundreds of rounds in the amateurs as part of the GB squad.
Hatton said: “Nathan firmly believes he got the better of all the spars back then, but Daniel has had all the coverage – whether that has been in the papers or TV. Where Daniel has been boxing at York Hall and big venues, Nathan has been put on at Walsall Town Hall.
“I know from when I first started training Nathan it p***** him off. He said: ‘I know I can beat him, I got the better of him in sparring’. I told him: ‘Listen Nathan, you’ve got to work hard and then you will get a chance to fight him and prove it’. And now he has got that chance.
“Sometimes they say you should be careful what you wish for – but I think it is the opposite way for us. We have got it and now Nathan will get his rewards.”
Manchester’s Hatton, 40, boxed at the top level and fought the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao and Kostya Tszyu.
Either Dubois or Gorman will take a career leap forward next month. It has a similar feel to when George Groves and James Degale, also promoted by Warren at the time, clashed for the British super-middleweight belt. Both men would go on to win world titles.
Hatton said: “A few years ago these fights used to be two or three years in the making but it doesn’t seem to be the case now.
“You’d had to have had 30 fights to box for the British title years ago. Boxing has changed. But even so, it’s still a credit to Nathan and Daniel for taking this fight at such young ages and so early in their careers. Both lads think they can win it and that’s why we are where we are.”
Hatton doesn’t believe that the amount of sparring between the pair will turn the encounter into a dud.
“Style-wise it can’t help be anything but a great fight,” he said.
“Daniel is going to put it on Nathan. Nathan will use his speed and his boxing ability. We’ve prepared to have it out with Daniel – but we have to choose our moments when to do it.
“Nathan thinks he got the better of those rounds but there is a big difference between three three-minute rounds back in the day in the amateurs and 12 three-minute rounds in the pros.
“Nathan has turned into a good solid all-round pro with nastiness about him, especially in this training camp.
“Everybody knows he can box and has got the speed but he has got to show that little bit extra – show what he has got in the tank.
“I don’t think he has always shown that, he has switched off at times when a fight has been too comfortable. He can’t afford to do that in this fight.
“That will bring the best out of him.”
Dubois has boxed just 33 rounds so far – 10 of those against seasoned American Kevin Johnson.
“He is my cup of tea as a fighter,” said Hatton. “He is in your face, he goes for the knockout and has a high punch volume.
“But when you look at Nathan, I just think he has more tools in the tool box. He has got the boxing ability, the boxing speed and a very, very good boxing brain.
“When you speak of boxing ability, there is absolutely no doubt he is going to find the target against Daniel. Daniel is not the most agile of fighters, as good as he is.
“But I’ve said to Nathan: ‘You can’t use that speed and movement unless you pick him off and make him pay’. If he thinks he can just use pitter-patter shots which have done so well for him in the past, it’s going to be a different game come July 13.
“He needs to hit him hard to get his respect – with bad intentions.
“It’s a 50-50 fight no matter which way we all look at it. What my lad needs, in order to win it, he hasn’t really shown yet. But it’s nice for me to know what he is capable of.”