Hatton diary: True to my roots

Editor’s note: This is the third of four diary entries, exclusive to Yahoo! Sports, from Ricky Hatton, the No. 10 fighter in the Y! Sports pound-for-pound poll. Hatton fights No. 1 Manny Pacquiao at super lightweight Saturday night on HBO Pay Per View in the biggest fight so far in 2009.

If I beat Manny Pacquiao and become the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world on Saturday there will be one hell of a party when I get back to England.

Such an occasion demands a special venue, and I already know the perfect place.

The New Inn Pub in Hattersley, just down the road from where I live, is your typical, no-frills English ale house.

It is a place that is very special to me; my dad, Ray, used to be the landlord and it is where I still go to relax and enjoy a pint or seven when I am not in training.

Most importantly, it is where I can be around good, genuine people, who know me for who I am and not just a well-known sportsman or someone they have seen in the newspaper.

Win, lose or draw, my life is not going to change after my fight with Pacquiao. You won’t see me at any red-carpet events or at celebrity hangouts. I just don’t like it. It is a load of nonsense.

One thing that comes with success in the sporting world is an invitation to all sorts of events.

Photo I’d much rather throw darts at the local pub than be a “celebrity” and act the fool.
(Getty Images)

For some, I suppose that stuff could be tempting. What happens all the time is that people get a bit of fame and start thinking they are better than others.

They stop going to the places they have always been to and live a different life in a fake world.

When I am not preparing for a fight you will find me in the pub with the same sort of people I grew up with. I like it because it’s real.

More than anything else, I hate it when people call me a celebrity.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned and miserable. But I remember when kids were growing up and they wanted to be a footballer or a boxer.

Now they want to be a celebrity.

In this day and age you don’t have to achieve anything to become famous. You can be famous by appearing on some rubbish television show. It is nonsense.

I see a celebrity as the sort of person who tips off the press when they are going on holiday so a photographer will take pictures of them in exchange for money. That sort of thing happens all the time in Britain and it annoys the hell out of me.

When you get married or go on holiday with your other half it is supposed to be something intimate, not something to flog off for a bit of cash.

I just think that sort of lifestyle is a load of bollocks. I act no different to the man on the street and there is a reason for that.

It is because I don’t feel like I am any different to them, and I’m no different to the lad I was when I was growing up.

I have a chance to achieve something special and I am proud of what I have done in boxing. But there are a lot of people in life who are real working-class heroes and don’t get any credit for it.

What about the man who gets up at the crack of dawn and works all day because he has a wife and four kids to support? In my opinion someone like that is worth 10 times more than some idiot who got famous for doing something stupid on television.

My motivation in boxing was never to become famous or to get rich. I just wanted to make my family proud and be the best I could possibly be.

I have had a good career but this could be the pinnacle of it and I can’t wait to step into the ring.

Preparations are now winding down and I’m doing plenty of technical work with my trainers, Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Lee Beard, before fight night.

I’m hungry, I’m confident and I can’t wait for it all to get started.

The next time you hear from me will be after Friday’s weigh-in, when we will be just a day away from a great fight.

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Updated Monday, Apr 27, 2009