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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Ricky Hatton: bowled over by Bodrum

Ricky 'the Hitman' Hatton's latest venture's a knockout.

The 31-year-old former boxing champion has been seduced by the charms of the southern Turkish resort Bodrum, and ha bought an off-plan villa at a local golf resort. And that's not all - the champ wants to build a training camp there too.

‘I’m building a stable of about 25 fighters and the place will be ideal for them,' Hatton told the Daily Mail. 'It’s hilly, which will be great for their road work, the heat will help them acclimatise for fights abroad, and the golf makes it an ideal place to chill after a fight.’

 
Hatton's four-bedroom, two-bathroom Bodrum villa has its own swimming pool and cost £159,000 (US $248,000).

Born and bred in Manchester, where he still owns a home, Hatton enjoyed holidays to Turkey when he was young, and had great memories of the country. ‘I used to come here with my ­parents and my brother and, now that I could be described as retired from the ring, I want to spend time here with my girlfriend and my own little boy, Campbell,’ he says. ‘I just can’t get over how much the place has changed. There are golf courses galore and Bodrum is absolutely beautiful.’

Hatton is thought to be worth around £25 million. He is known for being careful with his cash, and this latest investment is typical. Golfing tourism is a driving force for Turkey's economy, with 100 new courses planned in the next four years. Belek is the chief golfing area in the country but Bodrum is starting to gain popularity. An investment in a villa like Hatton's will see the savvy young sports star earn significant capital gains.

And how does the boxer fare on the fairways?  ‘To be honest with you, I just hack around the course — I’m not very good,’ he says. ‘But I find it relaxing. And one thing is for sure — it’s a damn sight less painful than fighting.’

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