By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
RICKY HATTON says Deontay Wilder will be facing a man who believes he is the greatest fighter in the world in Tyson Fury.
And the former world champion reckons that supreme confidence is Fury’s best weapon when he takes on the WBC heavyweight champion in Los Angeles’ Staples Center this weekend.
Fury’s belief is unwavering that he will remain unbeaten, hand Wilder his first loss and claim the WBC title in the early hours of Sunday morning.
That is despite the fact he has had just two outings against opponents well below world level since his hiatus from the ring after he dethroned Wladimir Klitschko as heavyweight king in November 2015.
“If anyone can do it after just two fights back it is Tyson,” said Hatton, who will be with Ben Davison as well as legendary trainer Freddie Roach in Fury’s corner this weekend.
“Tyson has many attributes – his skill, his height, his awkwardness but Wilder’s biggest problem will be Tyson’s belief in himself.
“He went to Germany against Klitschko and wasn’t bothered, he is going to LA and is not bothered, only had two fights back and not bothered.
“He believes he is one of the greatest of all time. That is what Deontay is up against – someone with that belief.”
Hatton has been in Fury’s corner since his comeback win over little-known Sefer Seferi in June.
But the former two-weight world champion believes he is also part of another team with the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’.
That is a trio of Hatton, Fury and another ex-world heavyweight champion in Frank Bruno.
They are three big names in British boxing who have all suffered public battles with mental health.
“Frank Bruno, heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, me, one of the most popular fighters this country has had and we have all had problems,” said Hatton.
“It shows it can happen to anyone and it doesn’t matter what you have, how much you’re loved.
“I hope I speak for Frank and Tyson when I say this but we see that as our job now – not just throw the punches – but as ambassadors for people with mental health issues.”
Hatton has witnessed Fury battle back dark days of booze binges and cocaine abuse as the ‘Gypsy King’ used his gym to train for his return to the ring.
And Hatton, who was famed for his pranks with his team when he was a fighter, believes the spirit in his gym helped Fury get back to the top.
“You have to have a good sense of humour for me to train you,” said Hatton. “I think he has felt more at home in my gym than any other.”