Lovemore N'dou says that he's ready, willing, and able to face Ricky Hatton on November 24 in Manchester, if the "Hitman" were to give him the call for his first fight in over three years. Hatton officially announced his return to the ring last Friday.
I really do recommend reading the whole interview, as N'dou is a terrific interview in general, but here's a snip:
"Look I really don’t care whether his camp picks me as an opponent for his first comeback fight or not. However if they do pick me everybody knows it’s gonna be a hell of a tough fight. We both have styles that make a good fight. It’s the kinda fight that will test whether Hatton still has what it takes to be the great fighter he once was. Like I said before I’m prepared to fight him for nothing as my purse would go towards the orphans of the HIV AIDS epidemic in South Africa."
This is pretty much the exact reason why I really do like this idea, which I've said before. N'dou isn't the contender he used to be, but he's not a bum, either, and he would be someone who can tell us if Ricky Hatton still has something left, without being a major risk in a comeback bid.
I also found this part pretty funny. N'dou is a pretty honest dude:
"Ricky Hatton doesn’t need me to sell tickets. He can fight my grandmother and still sell out the place. He is popular and boxing fans love him. ... One thing for sure Ricky Hatton is a professional. He is good at what he does, hence his fans are still yearning for more. If he does fight me I expect a very tough fight and I’m training the house down already."
Tickets are reportedly moving fast, with Hatton saying early that 10,000 had already been sold, and this fight doesn't even have an opponent yet.
I don't know if N'dou will be there or not on November 24, but I think he's the right sort of choice. I would be rooting for something on that level, even if it's not N'dou.
Of course, N'dou also does some politicking, and says that he doesn't think a Hatton-Malignaggi rematch -- which seems to be the ultimate goal at the moment in this comeback -- is worth much other than Malignaggi having the WBA welterweight title. That's a pretty damn important thing, really, since Hatton would like to win another title, and there's Malignaggi holding one, and the two are both popular fighters who could do some business together again. Malignaggi's career has been rejuvenated this year, while Hatton, like N'dou says, is a ticket seller supreme. There's real weight to the idea if it turns out Hatton still has something in the tank.