Photos: Mark Robinson / Hatton Promotions
Sergey Rabchenko believes he will soon be challenging for the world light-middleweight title with Ricky Hatton fighting his corner.
‘The Hitman’ began training the Belarussian earlier this year, and their partnership paid immediate rewards when Rabchenko stopped Ryan Rhodes in June to become the European champion. Rabchenko (21-0) makes the first defence of his title against French southpaw Cedric Vitu (35-1) at the Manchester Arena on Saturday November 24th. The bill is headed by Hatton who makes his comeback against former WBA welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko.
Sergey who has won 16 of his contests inside the distance is now living near the Hatton Health and Fitness gym in Hyde.
Rabchenko said “The facilities are excellent at the Hatton gym and there is an great atmosphere among the boxers. Ricky was always one of my favourite fighters and it has been a fantastic experience getting his expertise. With Ricky at my side I can win a world title.”
Manager Philippe Fondu is making sure that his protégé learns the right English during the ten week camp and hopes fight fans here will adopt him.
Fondu said “Sergey is feeling very happy to prepare his first European title defence in the Hatton Gym, under the excellent guidance of Ricky Hatton and Mike Jackson. The also allows Sergey to learn English. He is having daily language lessons under the tutelage of a personal teacher. The chemistry between Ricky and Sergey is absolutely fantastic, and I truly believe that Sergey has the potential and the qualities to go all the way to the world title, win it and keep it. It’s an immense satisfaction for Sergey and for myself to have this wonderful opportunity boxing in a sold out Manchester Arena on the undercard of Ricky’s comeback fight. Sergey will make sure he performs so make all of us proud.”
Although Ricky’s return has grabbed global headlines, his show features the best of British on a magnificent undercard.
Scott Quigg (24-0-1) and Rendall Munroe (24-2-1) contest the vacant WBA interim super-bantamweight title, Martin Murray (24-0-1) will feature in a major contest and Gary Buckland (26-2) risks his British super-featherweight title against local idol Stephen Foster Jr (30-3-1).
Also in action are Hatton Promotions hopefuls James Dickens (12-0), Adam Etches (9-0) and Scott Jenkins (6-0).
This card is a sell-out with all the tickets sold inside a week.