Ricky Hatton packed a punch in Preston when he arrived for a special book signing on Wednesday.
Seventy people queued up in Waterstones in Fishergate for a chance to meet the boxing legend and for him to autograph his new book, Ricky Hatton’s Vegas Tales.
You win world titles to make a living but when you retire and the belts are gone, the love of the fans goes on.Ricky Hatton
Paul Burrows, 30, travelled from Carnforth with son Marcus, seven, to see The Hitman.
Paul said: “I love boxing and Ricky’s a legend.
“I went to Manchester to see his last fight, and now Marcus is getting into boxing.
“Ricky retired a little early for Marcus, but he’s very excited to meet him.”
Craig Gregson, 41, and Helen Carter-Gregson, 37, of Preston, were among the first to get in line.
Craig said: “I’m a big boxing fan and I’ve been to see him fight in Manchester and I was in Vegas in 2007 to see him fight Mayweather, that was a once in a lifetime trip.
“I’ve also seen him train in the gym. He fights like a lion.”
Ricky, who was battling a heavy cold, was applauded into the shop when he arrived with a team of minders.
He said: “I always said my biggest achievement is the fanbase I have.
“You win world titles to make a living but when you retire and the belts are gone, the love of the fans goes on.
“It makes me feel very, very proud.”
He added: “When you look back at the Vegas fights, which is what this book is about, I took 5,000 with me when I fought Urango, 10,000 for Castillo, 15,000 for Mayweather and 20,000 for Pacquiao.
“If there was such a thing as a time machine, I’d go back and sit in the stands and in the bars and watch it.
“I was in the training camps for weeks before a fight, so I never saw that side of it, but I’m sure the fans have some hilarious stories to tell.
“And that’s what I’ve tried to capture in the book. It’s not just by me, it’s by the team, the fans, the press and family. Everyone’s had a go!
“I’ve read the book and it makes me chuckle.”
Ricky is inviting fans to attend a fundraising Las Vegas Party in Turning Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, on June 13, to mark 10 years since he won the World Title. Proceeds to breast cancer charity Genesis and homeless charity Barnabus.
For more information visit www.hattonboxing.com