RICKY Hatton is “really excited” about the prospect of taking Callum Winton to the top in boxing.
That was the message today from coach Bob Shannon who trained the former world champion in his comeback fight and now has the “Hitman” working alongside him in his Manchester gym.
Hartlepool-born Winton has joined the Shannon gym after leaving the Gus Robinson Developments camp, where he had an unbeaten record of three fights.
The 20-year-old, who was dubbed the “mini-Hitman” during his successful junior days at Hartlepool Catholic Club, has trained under both Shannon and Hatton already.
And Shannon says they are optimistic that Winton can go a long way.
“Callum is only young, he’s not yet 21, but I’m very impressed with him,” Shannon told SportMail.
“He’s certainly got something about him.
“Callum is very much like Ricky, he’ll be punching to the head then he’ll go downstairs and whip the body shots in.
“Ricky came down to the gym and did a bit on the pads with Callum.
“At one point he even shouted over ‘Bob, he loves a body shot’ and you could see he was really impressed with him.
“Ricky is really excited.
“With the help of myself and Ricky I think Callum could do really well, he’s got a lot of ability.
“I’d love to make Callum the best to come out of Hartlepool, or certainly one of the best.
“That’s a big thing to say because I know the fighters who have come out of your town.
“Callum has taken himself out of his comfort zone by coming to us and he really wants it.
“He’s a good boxer, a lovely lad from a nice family and me and Ricky won’t let him down.”
Shannon says he liked what he saw as soon as Winton got to work in his Manchester HQ.
“I got a phonecall out of the blue from his brother, Lewis,” said the 57-year-old trainer.
“I arranged for him to come down for a week to have a look at him and I was very impressed.
“Callum’s obviously had a good grounding and it’s up to me to try to improve him further and take him to the next level.”
Team Winton are currently looking for sponsorship to help the unbeaten lightweight with his boxing dream.
Brother and advisor, Lewis, say funding is crucial for costs such as travel and accommodation for his training stints in Manchester.
“Sponsorship would prove vital,” said Lewis. “Sponsors would get tickets to Callum’s fights and their names and logos would be printed on his shorts and training tops etc, to try to give them good exposure.”