RICHARD TOWERS must seize the opportunity to punch his way into Britain’s top 10 heavyweights, says Ricky Hatton.
The 17 and a half stone Wincobank bruiser takes part in his 12th pro fight on a Hatton show at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge on Saturday.
While unbeaten, he needs more wins over successively more challenging opponents if he is to get up the greasy boxing poll.
Towers takes on Yuri Bihoutseu hoping to impress the sport in general, and Hatton in particular.
Former world champion Hatton said: “Richard is ranked at no 13 in Britain and I think he can get a lot higher than that, and an early target would be to get in the top 10.
“He is a work in progress. He seems to be getting bigger for every fight and he’s certainly getting better.
“Anybody who gets hit in the right place by someone his size is gong to end up on their back-side, but there is a lot more to it than that and he is learning every day.”
Hatton believes that while Towers is 32, there are plenty of other British heavyweights around that age or older.
“Audley Harrison is 39, Matt Skelton is 44, then there’s Michael Sprott, 36, Danny Williams, 38, and Martin Rogan, 40.
“He has the heart and drive for it, Richard just lacks experience. There could be good things ahead for him if he continues to impress.”
Towers has a 72 per cent KO rate and hopes to increase that against Bihoutseu, a 24-year-old from Gomel, Belarus.
The boxer, himself, partly puts down his body shape to prison food - he served six and a half years inside.
Towers believes a six and a half year spell behind bars has helped kept him in shape.
He said: “People say prison food is terrible, but I ate healthily, I didn’t smoke or drink or have any late nights. And when I came out (2007) I didn’t give into any temptations, either bad food or criminality, as there is no longevity in that.
“I have been lucky to spar with the likes of Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury and I am working on all the things I need to.
“I look at Floyd Mayweather Jr and Roy Jones Jr and I see how accurate they have been and how they don’t get hit.
“I feel young, I spar with young kids who are as fast as jack-rabbit and hopefully the sky is the limit.”
Towers currently gives talks on his life at local schools, as he seeks to put something back into society.