In a statement released to the press, promoter and former junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton has addressed the situation with Scott Quigg leaving Hatton Promotions for Matchroom Boxing, saying that he went to great lengths and tried to include Golden Boy Promotions to retain his fighter, who ultimately left anyway.
Hatton, who lost TV when Sky Sports got in bed with Matchroom exclusively, unquestionably had the 24-year-old Quigg's career stalled out simply by not putting on -- or being unable to run -- any shows. Quigg hasn't fought since last November, when Hatton main evented a return bout against Vyacheslav Senchenko. Quigg faced Rendall Munroe, scoring an impressive sixth-round TKO win.
But not fighting for this length of time is obviously a burden for a fighter at Quigg's stage. Hatton says that he contacted Golden Boy and Richard Schaefer, coming up with a plan presented to Quigg to get the super bantamweight contender onto a Floyd Mayweather pay-per-view undercard, as well as a Zab Judah bill in New York.
He also says there was a three-fight offer from ESPN, though admits the money wasn't great.
"In the circumstances this was a fantastic opportunity for Scott to give him exposure to the biggest boxing market in the world," Hatton says. "Having offered to make up his purse (for low ESPN figures) I was very surprised learn from Scott's then manager that Scott felt (or was being advised) that I must have been taking money away from him in some way. Nothing could have been further from the truth."
The decision to go to Matchroom stings Hatton deeply. "I considered taking the legal route to keep him, with respective solicitors exchanging correspondence but it was clear to me that it was a road to nowhere as Scott was prepared to do anything to leave Hatton Promotions. His solicitors letters made that clear.
"I had to think to myself, do I really want to spend money trying to keep a fighter who wants to leave and who I can't get to accept the opportunities we put to him?"
Quigg will make his debut for Matchroom this Saturday, on the Sky Sports-televised Rees-Crolla bill.
Hatton, meanwhile, has made the overdue decision to throw his hat in with old promoter Frank Warren, whose BoxNation channel will offer Hatton's remaining stable an outlet on TV. It's also a move designed by Warren, Hatton, Frank Maloney, and Barry McGuigan to unite against Sky and Matchroom. It's safe to say that the Warren-Hearn, BoxNation-Sky war is definitely hitting a new level.