RICKY HATTON believes the reputation and fan base of his son Campbell will have increased despite the 23-year-old now having to rebuild after suffering his first defeat.

Twenty-five years on from Ricky winning the Central Area super-lightweight title against Tommy Peacock in Oldham it was the turn of Campbell to try and win the same title against James Flint in Sheffield last month.

Fighting for his first belt and in his first 10-round contest were significant milestones for Campbell who hadn’t greatky impressed in his 14 fights beforehand.

The more seasoned Flint took Hatton’s unbeaten record beating the Mancunian deservedly by unanimous decision. While it was an admirable effort from the beaten Hatton there were signs he still had plenty to learn.

“He didn’t fight a good fight but there’s no blame on anything it’s just an experience,” his father told Boxing News.

“It was his first 10 rounder and he didn’t know how to pace it. He set off like a like a chicken with no head (in) the first round. Campbell has a good engine. He’s like his dad I had a good engine but if I set off at a pace like that even I’d have gassed coming down the home straight. You’ve got to know when to put your foot on the gas (and) when to take your foot off the gas (and) when to try and take a little bit from your opponent while conserving a little bit yourself.”

Ricky Hatton was known for his incredible work-rate, stamina and body punching which all came together during a career where “The Hitman” became a unified world champion at 140lbs in 2005. The popular working-class hero didn’t suffer his own first loss until he stepped in with modern day great Floyd Mayweather Jr in December 2007. And while Hatton’s ferocious tempo in a fight was thrilling to watch he urged Campbell to remember that having such a skill isn’t something you should waste.

“One thing having a good engine is it should be a luxury not a necessity,” Ricky said.

“He can set off at a high pace but (not) if it’s a high pace of crap and wasted punches and not landing and hitting the target. Campbell was throwing punches 10 to the dozen and I promise you in a long drawn out 10 round fight that takes more out of you than the opponent if you’re throwing them 10 to the dozen and you’re not landing any.”

“The second round I thought, He’ll slow down and think, and he didn’t,” he added.

“He went quicker and quicker. And in the end, he showed tremendous heart and guts and character to dig in certainly in the last round. That last round I had my heart in mouth thinking, Oh my God he might get stopped here but he dug in. He’s not gone in there and got his head boxed off, he’s been outmanned and been out experienced but he can get that back.

“I think his stock and fan base went up in defeat because of the manner of it and he’ll be back. That’s what fighters do. He’s a fighter, he’s got a big heart and he’ll come back. I think more people are thinking, Fair play to him he dug in there. If he comes back stronger and better I’lI think he’ll be respected by them people.”

Campbell is now on the lookout for a new trainer having recently parted ways with his trainer Matthew who also happens to be his uncle. Ricky says he and his brother will always be there for Campbell if he needs to pick their brains.

“He just fancied a change,” Ricky said.

“Matthew’s done a fantastic job with him. Been working with him for years even when he was coming through as an amateur. I think it’s just time. Campell’s his own man. He made his own decision (and) just wants to try something new. And in this game, you only get one chance. He’s got my backing he’s got Matthew’s backing. Me and Matthew have always said, ‘Listen, wherever you go Campbell, whoever you decide to be your trainer mine and Matthew’s doors are always open for advice.’”