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Ricky Hatton says meeting Ali his 'proudest moment'

London, Wed, 18 Jan 2012 ANI

London, Jan 18 (ANI): Boxer Ricky Hatton says that despite all his achievements, his 'proudest' moment was when he met his idol Muhammad Ali, who just turned 70 on Tuesday.


The dream meeting came in August 2009 when Ali visited him in his Hyde gym when the 'Greatest' was on some fundraising work.


"I've been fortunate to achieve a great deal in my career, but meeting Ali remains one of my proudest moments" the Mirror quoted him as saying.


"Like any boxing fan, I grew up idolising Ali, so to meet him was just an incredible moment.


"He is just such an inspiration because of everything he did in his life. He truly was a great champion," he said.


The former two-weight world champion remembers how the moment had brought a 'lump to his throat'.


"I'd always wanted to meet him and my chance finally came when he was over in the UK a couple of years ago doing some fundraising work for his charity, the Muhammad Ali Foundation," he said.


"The excitement was incredible and the police had to close off the streets because there were thousands and thousands of people there to see him.


"I think he was going to come into the gym in a wheelchair, but he said he wanted to walk in. Seeing him do that was very emotional and it brought a lump to my throat," he added.


Hatton got the chance to spend some more time with Ali backstage at a charity dinner that night at Old Trafford and he says he will always treasure their time together. (ANI)


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