Ricky Hatton admits he wanted Lucas Browne to fight David Haye, not Shannon Briggs, for the world title.
The former two-weight world champion is now promoting the Australian, who has been given the chance to regain the WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight strap after being stripped of it earlier this year.
Browne will face Briggs following the governing body’s delayed decision and although he is “delighted” his man is fighting for the vacant title, Hatton would rather have taken on Haye.
“It’s not the fight I wanted to be honest, because we were working on a fight with David Haye,” he told Sportsclubsociety.
“As a fighter I always wanted to fight the best and as a promoter I always try and match my fighters with the best and this would’ve been for the fans especially.
“They would’ve loved to see Lucas Browne against David Haye but at least the fact that he is fighting for his old title is a bigger plus.
“I am surprised the WBA sanctioned the fight with Shannon Briggs, though. Lucas was always going to fight for the vacant belt but the next one in line for him was David Haye, so that was the obvious one to make.
“But the WBA have their reasons for sanctioning that one but I will be a very proud when he wins that title back after the heartbreak of the way he lost it in the first place.”
Hatton also believes it will be “too rushed” to sort out the exact date or venue for Browne’s battle with Briggs and has not ruled out taking a world title fight to Australia.
‘Big Daddy’ has fought five times in the United Kingdom and went to Russia to take the WBA belt from Ruslan Chagaev in March.
“He is Australia’s first ever world heavyweight champion but he didn’t get the chance to celebrate it in the manner Lucas deserved,” said Hatton.
“At least he gets the chance to regain his world title and do Australia proud.
“Lucas has a good fan-base and the UK fans know he is exciting because he’s got a big, big punch and given the way the British heavyweight scene is, the UK would be a good place.
“But from a non-selfish point of view and to repay Lucas for the dedication he’s shown since being stripped, I think as it’s Australia’s first heavyweight champion of the world, to win his title back, it would be fitting to be in his home nation.”
Briggs was the WBO heavyweight world champion a decade ago and like Hatton, wanted to fight Haye this year but recently accused the Brit of being “not a man of his word”, after negotiations fell through.
Hatton has already told Browne that fighting ‘The Cannon’ is not “a walk in the park” but admits he is already looking forward to the build-up.
“Shannon Briggs is not far off Mayweather when it comes to his chat but I think he’s taken a few more punches than Floyd!” he said.
“Briggs is very loud and very vocal and he doesn’t really do it disrespectfully, so people like him are good for boxing.
“Maybe it wasn’t the fight we wanted but it is certainly going to be entertaining. If you can’t get Lucas in with a big name, the next best thing is someone so colourful and loud, with a big mouth, like Shannon.”