Ricky Hatton blasts Saudi ban on booze and ring girls for Anthony Joshua vs Ruiz Jr
Retired boxing legend Ricky Hatton has branded a ban on alcohol and ring girls at Anthony Joshua’s fight with Andy Ruiz Jr as a “let-down for British fans”.
British heavyweight Joshua, 30, will take on the Mexican from 9pm in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
It is illegal to posses alcohol in the strictly Islamic nation and penalties for doing so are “severe”, according to the Foreign Office.
There will also be no ring girls out of cultural respect.
But British hero Hatton, who retired in 2012, said fans have a right to be “p**sed off” by the choice of location.
The popular Mancunian told Daily Star Online: “How many lads go to a boxing match, they go there to have a good holiday, to get p**sed, have a whistle of the ring card girls when they go in?
“It’s like they’ve gone full circle. No ring girls, they can’t go on the p**s.
“You’re not going to have much of a holiday, to not look at any women and not get pissed (laughs), that’s some lads’ holiday!”
He added: “Our fans are the best they travelled to watch me to the ends of the earth, they travel wherever.
“People said to me ‘Ricky, that Mayweather fight, you fought the best, the way you were beat, you gave it your best, 100%, you really flew the flag for us and wore your heart on your sleeve’.
“‘We went away with the lads, we went on the piss, we had a great time, this happened, that happened, never mind the boxing’.
“I can’t see too many lads’ stories being told on this trip.”
He continued: “It disappoints me as a fan but I totally see why. He’s been offered millions upon millions so you can see why he’s taken it.”
Joshua goes into this bout hoping to avenge his shocking loss to Ruiz Jr in June.
He was floored four times before Ruiz won by TKO in the seventh round.