Published Friday, 28 June 2013
Ricky Hatton was in Belfast to support his protege. (© Pacemaker)
The Hitman is supporting his protégé, Belfast lad Ryan Burnett - who steps into the ring for his second professional fight on Saturday night.
Champions both past and present gathered as Hatton opened a new gym in Belfast city centre.
He proved popular with local fans and was singing Burnett's praises.
"Some lads sometimes walk through the door and you think 'he's a little bit something different', and I think that's what he's going to prove," explained Hatton.
"It's a long way yet and a long way off. Baby steps, but it gives him a chance here to perform here in his own town and you get your fan base by regularly appearing in your home town.
"Hopefully this is the first of many trips over to Belfast."
It will be Burnett's second professional fight and his first in Northern Ireland.
He takes on Slovakian southpaw Elemir Rafael.
The local boxer said: "People at world level say to me 'you're really good' but I don't really take any of that in. I just think to myself 'I'll just get this fight out of the way and I'll work towards the next one' - I don't think of myself as going to be this superstar.
"I think of myself as I'm there to get the job done, and if I reach my potential then I think hopefully it's good enough to bring me to the world title."
© UTV News