THE 2017 Annual from Boxing News is coming soon, available to pre-order HERE. We throw readers’ questions, things that they’ve never been asked before, at some of the biggest names in boxing, including Anthony Joshua, Sugar Ray Leonard, Carl Frampton and others. Plus there are features, year in review and much more. Don’t miss out.

Here is an exclusive extract from Ricky Hatton’s interview in the Boxing News Annual:

Why didn’t the Junior Witter fight ever happen?

I asked Frank [Warren, his promoter at the time] for it immediately and Frank turned round and said ‘you’re both world class fighters, we’ll build it up into a big fight further down the line and you can fight for big money,’ so that made total sense.

It was different though because I was a ticket-seller, Junior wasn’t. I was boxing at the MEN [now the Manchester Arena] in front of thousands of people and Junior wasn’t and I found myself in the top five in the world. With Junior slagging me off as well, which was starting to get on my nerves, I was of the opinion that I was in the top five so why would I fight Junior Witter when I could fight Sharmba Mitchell, Kostya Tszyu and all these people for big money?

At the end of the day, I did want to fight him and I did want to beat him but why would I give him the opportunity and payday when he’s being so disrespectful and I was highly ranked anyway? It just lost its way, it’s one of those fights that got away and it would have been a good one. It made sense what Frank said and when he built me up, I moved on and Junior didn’t. We just lost the opportunity.