Sports Agenda: Hatton family fear menace of Dennis

Last updated at 00:03 08 December 2007

Ricky Hatton's jilted promoter, Dennis

Hobson, is one of the invited guests at the BBC

Sports Personality of the Year show on Sunday

— but neither Ricky nor manager dad Ray will

want him interviewed on live TV.

For Hobson's version of events, which saw him

removed as their promoter by the Hatton family

for the Floyd Mayweather fight in Las Vegas

early tomorrow, does not reflect well on either

Ricky or Ray. They described Hobson as part of

the family in the build-up to the world champion

boxer's previous fight against Jose Luis Castillo.

Yet Hobson found out that Hatton senior had

been negotiating with rival promoter Oscar de la

Hoya about the Mayweather contest even while

attending Hobson's birthday party in Jersey.

The businessman had taken a huge financial

gamble in promoting Hatton after his split with

leading promoter Frank Warren, only to be cast

aside when more cash was offered elsewhere.

Hobson said: 'Ricky and Ray know exactly

what I'm owed financially and what I've done for

them. It's very disappointing and leaves a very

bitter taste in the mouth. I feel I've been

dumped on from a great height, having opened

up opportunities in America and pay-per-view.

'And it's more about the lost friendships than

the money. They said I would be a friend for life.'

I'm a celebrity .... get me out of here

Ronnie Irani, the former Essex cricketer,

has been so out of his depth as a joint

presenter of TalkSport's Alan Brazil Breakfast

Show that he's a strong contender for Sally

Gunnell's title as the worst performing sports

celebrity on radio or TV. TalkSport bosses are

under pressure to bring back proper broadcast

journalists such as Irani's predecessors,

Graham Beecroft and Mike Parry.

Testing time for Barwick

The FA held their nerve to host

the jumpiest £13,000 Christmas

press drinks party possible in

Soho this week, with the invited

media on edge over the mystery

of the next England manager.

FA chief executive Brian

Barwick provided a

detailed set of answers to an

England football quiz, but only one question

mattered to everyone there and that answer,

multiple choice or otherwise, wasn't forthcoming.

Thompson keen to leave FA

FA chairman Geoff Thompson, who prefers

his UEFA and FIFA duties to his Soho Square

work, has made it known he won't hang

around after a new independent chairman is

free to start his three-day-a-week role. The hot

favourite remains former Manchester United

chairman Sir Roy Gardner, who appointed

David Gill as his chief executive at Old Trafford.

Gardner's arrival would only accelerate the

rise of Gill as an FA powerbroker.

No spotting the moles

Three probes to find the moles responsible for

leaking information to newspapers have come

to nothing, as press paranoia runs at full pelt.

Spurs have drawn a blank in their search for

the person responsible for ex-boss Martin Jol's

departure becoming widely known before Jol

himself was told, while police still do not know

the identity of the insider who briefed Sun snappers

about the raid on Harry Redknapp's house.

And RFU disciplinary chief Jeff Blackett has

turned down requests to launch an inquiry into

leaked documents to Sports Agenda, being fully

aware that genuine journalists never reveal

their sources.

RFU chief executive Francis Baron blamed

this column last week for stalling his talks with

England team sponsors O2 over a new deal —

because we quoted from leaked material that he

had set 'aggressive targets'.

Dallaglio's hard sell

Sales of Lawrence Dallaglio's

autobiography don't look to have been

affected by the newspaper serialisation, which

brought him heavy criticism for the way he

castigated England coach Brian Ashton despite

playing only a bit-part in the World Cup.

Dallaglio's book has so far sold nearly 40,000

copies. Former England cricket coach Duncan

Fletcher has not benefited greatly from his

often hard-hitting book, selling just 7,550 copies.

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