From Manchester Online, 25 September 2004
By Stuart Brennan
BOXER Ricky Hatton has become the Del Boy Trotter of Manchester - complete with yellow three-wheeler, sheepskin and flat cap.
The Hitman has paid homage to his favourite star from the Only Fools and Horses comedy classic by leaving his plush BMW X5 at home while he tootles around Hyde in one of the original Robin Reliant vans from the show.
Light-welterweight ace Ricky is an avid collector of showbiz and sport memorabilia, and the van comes complete with Trotters Independent Trading insignia - and rust. He now dresses as Del for a bit of fun.
Ricky, 25, said: "I have always been a fan of Only Fools and Horses, right from my school days. I have every single episode on video or DVD, and I collect memorabilia to go with it - I already have an Only Fools and Horse alarm clock, and signed photos of most of the cast.
"The videos help me to relax - I am always sticking them on when I wind down after training. I'll bet my mum and dad are sick to the back teeth of them."
When the chance came up to own one of the cars featured in the series, Ricky jumped at the chance. He says: "I asked a fellow who runs a website selling this kind of stuff to let me know of any of the eight three-wheelers they used in the show came up for sale and just recently he gave me a call. They delivered it to me, and the night before it came I was so excited I couldn't sleep."
The climax of Ricky's career is rapidly approaching - he faces Mike Stewart in an eliminator for the International Boxing Federation title next Friday night.
If he beats the American, the Hitman is first in line for a shot at the winner of the IBF title clash between Kostya Tszyu and Sharmba Mitchell, in Arizona on November 6.
He draws the line at turning up for the fight in his Trotter-mobile: "But when the fight is over, I'll be back in the Reliant. It's the best money I have ever spent."