Question: Where will City winger Lee Croft be in the early hours of this Sunday morning?
And for those of you who figured the answer was simple, 'Mercy VIP…', you'd be wrong. He'll be round the Huckerbys' house, sat on the sofa in front of the wide-screen TV watching his big pal from Manchester go to work.
The friend in question? Ricky 'The Hitman' Hatton who on Saturday night steps into the ring at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas for the fight of his professional sporting life against, arguably, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now, Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
A die-hard Manchester City fan – and no mean footballer himself in his younger days – Hatton was always a regular face at the City training ground and come this summer, there was Croft ringside for the Hitman's fourth round stoppage of Jose Luis Castillo.
It was that victory that propelled Denton's finest into this weekend's world welterweight showdown. Both men are unbeaten – Hatton in 43 fights over 10 years; Mayweather in 38 over 11 years. Something is going to have to give and, not surprisingly, Croft is firmly backing his man to triumph.
“Ricky used to come down to training quite a lot when I was at Manchester City, so I know him,” said Croft. “And then I went out there in the summer with a few mates to watch him in Vegas.
“I wish I could go out there this time, but obviously it's in the season so I'll just have to watch it on the box.”
It's not hard to see why Hatton and Croft might knock about together – Hatton is already making a big name for himself on the after-dinner speech circuit and is a genuinely funny lad who has had the boxing Press in stitches in Vegas this week.
Whether he's left in stitches by the blurring speed and unerring accuracy of Mayweather's fists is the big question – as Norwich's own boxing hero Jon Thaxton will witness, the chink in Hatton's armour is that he cuts.
“I'm a boxing fan, but mainly I'm interested in Ricky Hatton,” said the City winger. “I watch all his fights and stuff.
“And I think it's nice that he takes a great interest in football and the other way round – it's a mutual respect there. All the other lads are taking note of him and there was a lot of footballers out there in the summer when he was in Vegas. So it's a nice blend.”
Hatton's renowned love of a good time in-between fights also may have something to do with the bond that exists between the fighter and a generation of City footballers. Such is his popularity that he even crosses that city's footballing divide – Wayne Rooney carried his belt into the ring ahead of the Castillo contest.
“A lot of people reckon the renowned Mancunian boozer-geezer is the best balanced boxer in the business: with a pint of Guinness in one hand and a bacon butty in the other…” wrote Kevin Mitchell in The Observer this autumn, a line that might ring a chord with 22-year-old Croft.
Hatton himself was talking a great fight at yesterday's 'pre-match' gathering. he even got serious for a minute. “A lot's been said in the build-up and a lot of it's been rubbish but I think we both know we can fight. There's so many titles about these days and so many boxers trying to avoid each other that I think it says something when two fighters who are unbeaten are looking to put the fight together like we've done.
“Floyd's No 1 in the division so it would have been easy for me to stay in my backyard in England, to stay in my comfort zone. I didn't need to come to America but I chose to do it for the challenge.”
The real boxing fan in the Canary camp, however, is Croft's own verbal sparring partner Darren Huckerby who will be hosting Saturday's fight night with Mrs H laying on the nibbles.
Huckerby has his on thoughts on the outcome. Cue a bit more banter. “He wants Mayweather, but he ain't going to win I don't think,” said Croft.
Why Hatton will win is a harder question to answer. “I don't know.
“Everyone says that Mayweather's really defensive; Ricky's a real terrier and he doesn't give up. He's just at him, at him, at him… And I'm sure he'll be too much for him to handle. Well, hopefully anyway.”
The view from the Huckerby 'camp', however is different. Both, needless to say, are ready to put their money where their mouth is.
“Hucks says Mayweather is too classy,” said Croft. “Apparently.
“And he reckons he's got too much for Hatton. We'll see – we'll see on Saturday, won't we? But then he thinks he knows everything – you can never win an argument with Hucks! But we've got a little bit of money in it – but we won't disclose figures.”
It won't just be the pair sat on the sofa. And if you're looking for a bit of team spirit floating about the place as Norwich look to prise themselves out of the bottom three, it'll be there in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Hucks has invited all the lads round, so it should be a good night,” said Croft. It will, he said, be an even better night if the Canaries can repeat Tuesday night's trick and pick up another huge home win in front of a likely Carrow Road full house.
“Hopefully, we'll get a good result again against Sheffield United and then we can enjoy ourselves and watch the fight.”
It wasn't the be all and end all – that comes at three o'clock in the afternoon, not three o'clock in the morning.
“Obviouslly there's more important things than the boxing for us at the moment. We need to get another three points here on Saturday because it does affect your weekend when you're not winning.
“So we'll be doing our all come Saturday afternoon to get the three points and then we'll look beyond that at Saturday night.”
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