RICKY HATTON is predicting an explosive ending to Zhanat Zhakiyanov’s interim WBA bantamweight title fight with Yonfrez Parejo this weekend.
The teak tough Kazakh challenges for the crown at glitzy Salles des Étoiles venue in Monte Carlo on Saturday night (November 7) and ‘The Hitman’ believe his charge will put in a show-stopping performance.
“Zhanat is one of those fighters that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end because he’s got such raw power,” Hatton said.
“I’ve been training him for about two-and-a-half years now and he’s seemed to get stronger and stronger each day since.
“He’s knocked his last 12 opponents out and I believe he’ll make it 13 on Saturday night.
“Obviously, Parejo is going to be a very tough opponent. He’s won the interim belt and scored some good knockouts of his own, but Zhanat is a bit of an animal and I think he’s going to be too much for Parejo.”
Victory on Saturday would make Zhakiyanov the first fighter from Hatton’s stable to win a version of a world title.
“I don’t do anything in half measures so when I started training and promoting, I set out to take a boxer all the way to the top,” he said.
“Zhanat will make me very, very proud if he wins this WBA title on Saturday, but we won’t be stopping there.
“Winning this will put him in line for a shot at the full title and that could mean a big fight with Jamie McDonnell.
“Jamie is one of the nicest you’ll ever meet and I’ve never met anyone with a bad word to say about him, but boxing’s a business and we’d jump at the chance to face him.
“I suspect Jamie might vacate and move up a weight at some point soon and if that’s the case then great. Zhanat’s always ready to fight and he’ll be willing to take on whoever is put in front of him for the vacant title. Before we can think about that, though, we’ve got to concentrate fully on beating Parejo.”