I was bitterly disappointed recently to see Scott Quigg leave Hatton Promotions to move across to the Matchroom stable.
Scott was one of my first signings and a young man I brought up from the boxing dinner show circuit to world title level.
Bearing in mind the massive financial investment, plus the time spent by my team to get him the opportunities we did, to see him sign with someone else while we were still providing opportunities was such a shame.
Scott believed that we owed him more fights under his contract. However, a fighter going the places we thought he was going can only fight so many times a year and when we lost our television dates it made our job extremely difficult as a talent such as Scott should be on TV. I was very keen that we get the right fights for Scott not just any fights.
Scott came into my office for a meeting, rightly concerned after the loss of the TV dates. I explained to him how difficult it had been and told him to give me a few weeks to sort him a deal.
I told him then that if I couldn’t get him a deal I would give him his contract back, shake his hand and sincerely wish him all the best. I did not wish to stand in the way of his career and progress. Scott agreed and thanked me.
After that, I spoke to Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions and told him how I felt the time was right for Scott to make his name in the US.
Schaefer thought the same way so we agreed a three-fight deal for Scott to box on world title bills in the US which would be co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Hatton Promotions with Scott receiving the purses he wanted. This deal including him making appearances on the undercard of a Floyd May weather fight in Las Vegas and a Zab Judah fight in New York.
We also had a three fight offer from ESPN, which would have given him huge exposure. The money wasn’t great but I offered to make his purse up out of my own pocket.
In the circumstances this was a fantastic opportunity for Scott to give him exposure to the biggest boxing market in the world. Having offered to make up his purse 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.
To my surprise Scott refused all of the offers and said he wanted to stay in England.
Scott was then asked what he thought of a fight with Carl Frampton. I was prepared to work on putting together an opportunity in relation to this. Scott said he felt he was 12 months off that fight.
I could feel an issue was coming because even after that we got him the chance to fight in the UK on a televised bill with ten weeks’ notice. He refused again, this time stating he needed 12 weeks to prepare.
My team were struggling to know what else they could do for Scott having presented a number of great opportunities. We asked him exactly what he wanted us to do and he said that he didn’t know and needed time to think.
Sadly the only reports we got at that time were that Scott wished to move away from Hatton Promotions. Given all the efforts this was most disappointing.
In a last ditch effort to reassure Scott of his future, Richard Schaefer and Oscar De la Hoya agreed to do a conference call along with myself and Scott to advise him on what was the best way forward for his boxing career and what we could do for him.
When Scott was offered this chance he told Hatton Promotions that he’d already made up his mind. He wanted to leave.
At this stage I resigned myself to the fact that was it, Scott wanted to go.
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?
I feel we could do no more. I believe my team have offered great opportunities to Scott and he has declined them. It is fair to say my views on Scott have changed in recent times. Never the less, I will watch his career with huge interest.
Ricky Hatton MBE