Ricky Hatton reveals how Liam Gallagher nearly got him killed
Manchester maybe split by two football clubs, but when it comes to boxing, there was one man everyone in the city got behind, Ricky Hatton.
From his first professional fight in 1997 to the final trip to the ring 15 years later, 'The Hitman' amassed an army of loyal fans which would follow him from British leisure centres to the bright lights of Las Vegas, something which very few boxers of the modern era have been able to replicate.
It's not just the normal working people of Manchester who got behind Hatton however, some of the city's biggest stars got behind him including former Oasis bandmates Liam and Noel Gallagher.
On November 22, 2008, the two brothers accompanied Hatton to the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his fight against Paul Malignaggi and when recalling the event for Mega Casino, Hatton was surprised by how nervous the Gallaghers were ahead of his ringwalk, bear in mind these two had performed on some of the world's biggest stages.
"I gave Noel the Ring Magazine belt and Liam the IBO belt, and you could see they were both a bit nervous, obviously they've never walked a fighter out before," Hatton said.
"They asked ‘what do I do, Rick, what do we do?’. I said ‘get in the ring and hold it up and put it in Malagnaggi’s face’."
Then, Liam Gallagher did something that his fans have become acustom to and that is not being afraid to do something crazy in front of the masses.
"So, Noel got in, I got in the ring, then Liam got in the ring and Liam came straight past me, straight past Noel, and went straight up to P and said something like ‘what do you think about that you d—k head’," Hatton continued.
"I thought that's not quite what I meant, Liam. That's not quite what I meant, mate. I didn't mean to hold up in front of his face and abuse him, but it was funny."
As expected, this didn't go down too well with Malignaggi's fans at ringside.
"Liam's walking around the ringside and Malagnaggi’s fans are at ringside, and Liam's giving the old Liam Gallagher two fingers. It was absolute gold.
"A couple Malagnaggi’s supporters who were at ringside, not people you'd want a mess with. They said 'We love you, Ricky. We love you Ricky, but the rockstar he needs to be careful; he needs to be careful.'
"I went, 'Oh no, what do you mean? He means no harm; he means no harm. That's just what it is. That's rock and roll, isn’t it? That's what it is like', 'Oh no, no, he disrespected us, man. He disrespected us.' I thought, 'Oh, no. Liam’s going to get us all killed here.' "
Hatton went onto to win that night, stopping Malignaggi in the eleventh round, so while Gallagher's antics didn't go down well with the American's team, it may have given 'The Hitman' the advantage he needed.