De Niro admits he’s Ricky Hatton

ROBERT De Niro has been playing the fictional boxer Ricky Hatton for the last fifteen years.

Hatton's next opponent will be played by Carl Weathers

The apparently-Mancunian pugilist reached the heights of world champion, and slumped to the lows of reserve guest on Soccer AM before bouncing back, but his career has all been part of the latest Martin Scorsese film Raging Bloke.

During the press conference for ‘Hatton’s’ latest comeback the truth came out after the method actor accidentally dropped into his Jimmy Conway character from Goodfellas and started strangling a reporter with a telephone cord.

De Niro said: “The accent was tough because I had to sound like I was having an argument with a bee that had flown up my nose, but the hardest part of the role was looking like I enjoyed the company of Oasis.

“I’ve mixed with mobsters for roles and dated Naomi Campbell for a while but those guys are seriously high maintenance.”

The actor underwent major plastic surgery for the immersive role, and bulked up for the washed-up part of Hatton’s life by moving to Didsbury and getting his personal chef to feed him nothing but chips and gravy for two years.

De Niro is tipped for a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his Hatton role, but insiders believe this will go to Al Pacino for his incredible portrayal of Frank Bruno since 1982.

De Niro said: “I’ve come to love the character of Ricky over the years but it will be good to move onto a new role so I can get the fuck away from Manchester before I grow gills. Fuck you, rain. Seriously. Fuck you. “