Two-weight world champion Carl Frampton has likened Southampton’s hot prospect Ryan Garner to British boxing legend Ricky Hatton.

Garner will be back in the ring on June 23, fighting on the undercard of Billy Joe Saunders’ world title defence against Martin Murray at the O2 in London aiming to extend his perfect professional record to eight wins from eight.

Frampton has done plenty of sparring with 20-year-old Garner and had warm words of encouragement.

“Yes, a very, very good fighter,” said Frampton.

“I did a lot of sparring with Ryan when I was with the previous outfit and he is a nice kid, who is very, very physically strong.

“A similar style to Ricky Hatton – relentless and comes forward a lot. Ricky kind of, not being disrespectful to someone who was an amazing champion, could be a bit reckless and jump in. That was what won him fights because he could overwhelm people.

“Ryan Garner is like Ricky Hatton with a little bit of finesse about him as well.

“The kid could do a lot, I genuinely believe that. He is a big lump as well for a super featherweight, with big, big legs. He was telling me he makes super feather pretty easy, but everyone says that.

“I think we will see him moving up the rankings pretty soon.”

Sparring with a boxer of the quality of Frampton, who currently holds the interim WBO featherweight world title, has been a huge boost for Garner.

Frampton is hoping for a mega fight against Oscar Valdez in August, and insists he would consider drafting in Garner again to help him.

“He was wrong for Donaire, but he would be good for Valdez, for example,” said Frampton. “So if it someone like Valdez next then of course, I would love to have him in.”

Garner is being promoted by Frank Warren, who has spoken of his belief in the Southampton youngster’s ability to potentially make it all the way to the top of the boxing food chain.

The Wayne Batten trained fighter remains hungry and ambitious after overcoming a well-publicised out of the ring issue and even has his eye on a potential world title fight at St Mary’s in the future.

For now though it is all focus on the next contest, which is scheduled to be against Roland Petrovics. The Hungarian had a solid start to his career but is on a four fight losing streak.

Garner should have plenty in the locker to deal with him but it will still be tricky enough against another young and durable boxer, while being involved on such a stellar card is another learning curve.