Ricky Hatton believes the reason for troubled youths in the country can be solved by the creation of more youth clubs.
The retired boxer was at Failsworth Sports Centre to perform the official ribbon cutting ceremony and feels the younger generation need more opportunities.
“One thing I can say when I was growing up, there was always a youth club or a community club, I used to go to Hyde Lads Club”, he said.
“I don’t know of any community clubs, no wonder kids are getting into trouble on the streets and getting into bad habits. There’s no youth clubs for them to go nowadays.
“The more gyms and health and fitness places we can get such as this I think it will be better for the community. The trouble our youth are in today is because they are bored, because there’s nothing for them to do.”
Hyde-born Hatton is confident that though there may always be a problem with youth crime, it can be greatly reduced with the introduction of more clubs.
He said: “It’s evident that there is so many bad avenues that kids can go down - the robbing, the stealing, the muggings and there’s a real big knife culture about nowadays.”
“We’re never going to get rid of that completely. But if you can have facilities such as this today in areas where they are sometimes not quite as fortunate and there’s a lot of bad avenues they can go down then I think we’re going to help stop that.”
“I think the more communities that have facilities such as this where they can channel their aggression and spend their time doing something positive, I think the better the country will be as a whole.”
On his absence from the ring, Hatton is enjoying retirement and is hoping he can bring the next champion through his boxing stable – Hatton Promotions.
“I spent a lot of years missing it, then when I made a comeback I found out I haven’t still got it, so in finding that out I could go into retirement happy,” he said.
“I will try and bring the next champion through and do something positive with my life.”
“I drove myself mad the last years in retirement, I gave it a go but haven’t got it anymore, that’s comforting for me.”
Picture courtesy of TerryGeorge via Flickr, with thanks.