LIAM GRIFFITHS has been praised by former world champion Ricky Hatton despite defeat on his debut as a professional boxer.
Bognor welterweight Griffiths lost a points decision to hot prospect Adam Little at the Tower Circus in Blackpool in his first venture into the paid ranks.
Local lad Little is trained by Hatton and is expected to enjoy a big career.
Griffiths lasted all four three minute rounds and gained an ovation from Little’s fans for his pluckiness and ability to absorb punishing punches after losing 40-36 on points.
Former world welterweight and light-welterweight champion Hatton promoted the show and was ringside to watch the action.
The Hitman said: “Liam did very well to go the distance and he showed the character and toughness necessary to be a successful professional boxer.
“Some of Adam’s big punches would have stopped lesser opponents and Liam will have a decent future if he continues to work hard in training and tightens up his technique in one or two areas.”
Griffiths was happy with his night’s work even though it ended in defeat.
He said: “I hate losing but no excuses. I took the fight at short notice but I was in the shape of my life and I was full of confidence.
“Credit to Adam Little, he outclassed me on the night. He was razor sharp, hit me harder than I’ve ever been hit before and is a class act who will go far.
“I want to be up against the best I can as often as possible because I don’t see the point in always padding my record with soft victories against easy opponents. There are plenty of positives to take from this and there are plenty of areas to work on and improve.”
Michael Ballingall, who manages and trains Griffiths in Portsmouth, added: ‘Liam has already gained a lot of respect from inside the game.
‘Word spreads very quickly in boxing and I have already had a few calls from promoters asking for Liam to be on their shows because they have heard he’s a good kid who will be a decent addition to the card.’
Tickets for Griffiths’ next fight at Liquid in Portsmouth on Saturday, October 15 are now on sale by ringing 07861 657452 or 07865 086009 as well as from Ace Taxis and the Railway pub.