Now that's a punch line...

Boxer Hatton takes to stand-up

Boxer Ricky Hatton is embarking on a new career as a stand-up.

The world light-welterweight champ begins a tour of small theatres this week, following his success on the after-dinner circuit.

And he’s unlikely to be the target of any hecklers.

Hatton, 29, will be sharing the bill with former boxer Frank Bruno, and says he’s learned the techniques of comedy from studying his friend Bernard Manning.

However, The Hitman’s comedy career will take a back seat to his boxing commitments, and his mini-tour will be over by September to allow him to return to full-time training for his next fight – against Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas in November.

His agent Paul Speak said: ‘The stand-up tour came out of the fact that Ricky was in so much demand on the after-dinner circuit. Dates were selling out so quickly that people had to start finding bigger venues.

‘We are looking for a different audience now to make Ricky's act accessible to people who can't afford £100-plus for a sportsman's dinner.’

Hatton is also reportedly set to appear in a film alongside Johnny Vegas.

His tour dates include the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage tonight, Cliffs Pavilion in Southend tomorrow, Bournemouth International Centre on Friday.

Published: 9 Jul 2008

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