BOXING: Hatton Must Pass Tricky Tackie Test to Tap World Rewards
Byline: Mark Staniforth
Ricky Hatton knows his dreams of world domination could turn into a nightmare against Ben Tackie at Manchester's MEN Arena tonight.
Hatton has acknowledged that the Ghanaian represents the toughest test yet to his 33-fight unbeaten record and the WBU light-welterweight title he puts on the line again.
But equally Hatton knows an impressive victory will silence his critics and earn him the acclaim of the discerning American market he needs to conquer.
Hatton even admits to being a little scared ahead of his highstakes encounter but believes that can only serve him well.
He said: 'In the ring I am fearless but I think you need to be a little bit scared beforehand to perform at your best.
'The best opponents bring out the best in me whereas against easier ones I have tended to get a little complacent.
'Tackie is the best opponent I have fought so far and that is good for me. I know he will be fighting as hard in the last round as he is in the first.'
The 30-year-old Tackie, a member of Ghana's fearsome Ga tribe, is a hard, come-forward brawler with the biggest punch Hatton has yet faced.
Tackie's achievements did diminish slightly in consecutive conclusive points defeats to world champions Kostya Tszyu and Sharmba Mitchell.
But Hatton's style is better made for him and he will have gleaned encouragement from some of the champion's recent displays. …