Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton has trained a fighter to a world title for the first time.
Kazakhstan’s Zhanat Zhakiyanov survived two first-round knockdowns to outpoint American Rau’shee Warren and claim the WBA bantamweight title in Ohio.
The 33-year-old, trained by Hatton since 2013, was given a split decision 111-115 116-110 115-111.
Hatton, 38, tweeted: “He’s only gone and done it. Been with me years. Couldn’t be prouder.”
Zhakiyanov stunned many inside the Huntington Center with a tenacious comeback as the fight progressed in Warren’s home city.
He improved his record to 27 wins and one loss, inflicting a second defeat on 29-year-old Warren’s 16-fight professional career.
Hatton’s last fight came in 2012 after a three-year spell out of the ring during which he suffered with depression and substance abuse.
The former light-welterweight and welterweight champion now manages and trains a number of fighters from his gym in Hyde, Manchester.
Zhakiyanov, who signed for Hatton Boxing in 2011 but only starting training with him two years later, is in the same weight division as Britain’s Jamie McDonnell and IBF champion Lee Haskins.