News November 2007

29.11.07 Ricky Hatton telephone transcript

KELLY SWANSON: Thank you operator, and thank you everybody for joining us today for Ricky Hatton's conference call, his last call before the big fight December 8th. And now without further ado, I'd like to turn the call over to Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, PRESIDENT, GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS: Thank you very much Kelly. We are getting closer to the big fight, Undefeated. Now Ricky Hatton is looking in tremendous shape. He feels ready to go, and from the talks we've had with Robert Diaz who was our matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions. He's telling us that Ricky is looking in the best shape ever. He's never seen Ricky like this, so we're very confident that Ricky is going to do and be the first to give that 0 to Mayweather.

And let me tell you one thing, with the odds, a lot of people are going to be losing a lot of money in Vegas. And, Ricky Hatton, I believe, is in for the treat of his life. He's going to be in fight mode and ready to go, and we're just totally excited to be working with Ricky Hatton and be working with both fighters. But without any further ado, we'd like to introduce to you Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton.

KELLY SWANSON: Just one more programming note, the third episode of Mayweather Hatton 24/7 airs this Sunday December 2nd at 10:00 PM. And so the other two parts of the series, if you haven't seen them already, are on HBO on demand at this time.

OK, so now Ricky Hatton.

RICKY HATTON: Hello everybody. Thank you for joining us this morning. Yes, I'm sure every fighter says the same thing when there are travel preparations. They all say they're in the best shape of their life. But just don't want this to be true again, but the training is going absolutely fantastic. And my sparring partners were exceptional. No perfect mirror image to me opponent. I've had several sparring partners. I mean all in all for the five weeks or six weeks I've been sparring now about maybe five, six, seven different sparring partners and it has been great. The training has been great. No injuries, and I've been down on the weight for some time, so me and my food has been better than ever. My strength training with Cary Kays has been better than ever. I mean if I could have written down on a piece of paper how I wanted my preparations to go, the stage I would like to be at this moment. I'm in training camp. It's exactly the way it is at the minute. I am just roaring to go.

I mean as the fight gets nearer, you would expect me to start feeling a little more nervous, but, I feel with confidence building with each day that passes by really. I mean there's no doubt in my mind what the outcome of this fight is going to be. And it's great to finally set foot in Las Vegas. I think when you set foot in Las Vegas the fight is upon you, it's here now. So you get a little bit of a tingle down your back because you know it's finally nearly upon us.

Yes, my body clock's back on track now. Obviously it takes maybe three or four days to get your body clock on track what with the long flight over and the time difference, but I'm back to normal now in that department so to speak. So we've settled in nice to the house. We've got our routine in the gym and everything, so it can't be going any better at the minute. And I don't ask for much, but the only thing I ask for is that every person from the past picks for Floyd Mayweather to win this fight I think. But I'm sure you've all got a lot of questions you want to ask.

So rest assured, I'm in the best shape of my life, and looking forward to shocking the world. So thank you for listening and finally your questions guys.

DAN RAFAEL, ESPN: Hey Ricky, I've been watching 24/7 like I'm sure most of the folks have. And I've seen also yourself and the way you interact with Billy in the corner and the way you guys get along outside the ring in the press conference and such. Can you just talk a little bit about the bond that you and Billy have developed over the years? He's quite a character it seems like. Obviously you like to have a good time also, but you seem to get real serious, obviously, in the ring when you're training, but it seems to be a real friendly relationship outside the ring. Just talk about the way you guys get along with each other and how that's worked over.

RICKY HATTON: Yes absolutely …

DAN RAFAEL: your 43 fights.

RICKY HATTON: I mean, yes, everybody needs to realize that, there's things that it seems to be when you look up my camp there seems to be a lot of laughing and joking and a little bit of fun in there and Mickey taking and stuff like that. But, one thing that's priority and one thing that is probably, a country mile ahead of everything else is how hard we train. It's just we like to make the training fun, me and Billy. I know one thing for certain. I know I hear that Floyd Mayweather is a fantastically fit fighter. He very rarely gets sided in his training and he gives and obviously where he's got in boxing that goes without saying. But I can categorically say that there is one thing that will, is unanimous in this fight, he won't be training as hard as Ricky Hatton, and he won't be in his best shape like Ricky Hatton.

But, yes, Billy and I have been mates for years. I started working with Billy when I was 15, 16 years of age, and we hit it off right from the start. Sometimes, when we talk about tactics or opponents, he'll already be, we won't even have to say anything because we'll both be thinking it. He only has to say one word to me to know what he means. And that's the way you should be with your trainer. You've got to be on the same wavelength as your trainer, and the silly thing about me, but if boxing ended five years ago would we still be mates, it's we've never had nothing more than a handshake between us, me and Billy, in all the years we've been together, which in boxing these days is I would probably say is quite a rare thing.

So no, it's a wonderful relationship and there is time to laugh and joke and there is time to be serious. And, when it comes to boxing, you won't get two more serious men in the sport than me and Billy Graham. I think that was felt by the performance I put on the shake, that, I mean come December 8th really. But we're just two local lads from Manchester, from the housing estates that have done very, very well. And sometimes when you get to a certain level of certain profile, I suppose, people always expect you to act differently. We say what the best and what comes into our mind really, which I think on the 24/7 program has made for quite entertaining viewing at times.

BERNARD FERNANDEZ, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS: Ricky, a lot of us had read the story in ESPN the magazine about, the fact that throughout your career, tended to go up 35, sometimes every 40 pounds between fights. How familiar are you with Roberto Duran's history of doing the same thing, and how amazing is it that he was able to stay on top or pretty close to the top for 30 years?

RICKY HATTON: Yes, I mean so I have a lot in common with my hero. We never take a backwards step. We're very, very passionate. We're very, very fiery characters. And yes, fight his style, great to watch, but yes, we have enjoyed ourselves. I mean a lot of people would say well that will affect your longevity. But I suppose it can do, but I mean a lot of people have said for years, and that's the whole purpose. I mean Floyd has tried to insult me by calling me Ricky Fatton, but what he doesn't realize is I've called myself Ricky Fatton in the first place.

I do put on a lot of weight in between me and my fights, and that's the whole reason I'm putting a Ricky Fatton T-shirt on after the fight because for so many years now fashion critics have turned on me and said, well he's too much weight. He's put too much weight on. I think it was the Kostya Tszyu where it comes to the fourth one when I put on about 40 pounds, and then they turned around and said, oh, Ricky Hatton won't last four rounds. He's put on too much weight. And, just things like, I feel like saying, change the record a bit now. You've been going on about this for the last maybe six, seven years, and in that time now I've won four world titles, two weight divisions. Probably one of the longest unbeaten ones in British fighting, and I'm fighting the pound for pound best per fight in the world. So maybe it's time you should stop pointing the finger at my weight because obviously, it's whatever I'm doing it's working for me. It certainly won't work for the reversal, and up to now it's working for me.

I always feel the need before I start training companies to be out of shape. And I need to put loads of weight on and I need a bit of a mountain to climb so I knuckle down to it, well I mean the beauty thing about boxing is training efforts there's no right way or wrong way. Ideally it would be best if I didn't put as much weight on. But that's the way I am. That's what makes me what I am, you know? It's just if it worked hard for it, it worked for me. It might not work for everyone. Floyd doesn't put an ounce on him between his fights, but every fight is different and that's what makes it such a unique sport.

GEORGE ROSENLASSER, VALLEY NEWS: I wanted to know if you're happy with the way you've been portrayed in 24/7, and have you learned anything about Floyd Mayweather in the show?

RICKY HATTON: A little bit. I've been happy the way I've been portrayed. I mean the way I've been portrayed is the way I am. You know, one thing I think that you see in them is that we are a family.

The other statement I have is, I don't lie about a single thing. People say, do you like to have a drink of alcohol, and I say, yes, yes, of course, I love to. And do you like fat foods, yes. And do you put weight on, yes. And, these people are maybe a little bit more vain, would probably not admit to that, and I do. And I think with what you see with me, you see an honesty in my life, the way I am period. There's honesty in the way I train and prepare for me fights. And, I'd like to think Ricky Hatton is more of the whole package to him. He's not just, my fan base isn't just because of the way I fight. It's the way I am and the way I act, and I think it portrays me, to be exactly what I am, just a normal kid doing very well at what he does. And, yes, no, it's been great.

And as far as learning anything from Floyd, it's nice to see the little bits that he does, and I mean he's been quite public on 24/7 of the fallout with his father Floyd Sr., which is a shame bearing in my mind how close I am to my family. But, he's putting things right and essentially you see him spending time with his kids. I mean that's probably another side of Floyd where the fans have been able, to see.

But I'm enjoying the 24/7 show. I like what I'm seeing from his training camp. And I like watching his pad work because although it's fantastic for his hand speed, I don't think, I think it's a lot of training in the comfort zone, hitting the speed ball and just, hitting the bag and hitting the pads very, very lightly with very little power I might add. And also the person, Carlos Baldomir who he's sparring with, which I think Carlos Baldomir certainly isn't the quickest, and he plods forward as opposed to move forward, so I think it's when they think they've got, if they've got Baldomir spar to emulate me, then that's a very, very good sign because I think Baldomir – no disrespect to Carlos Baldomir. When he was in the best shape of his life, when he fought Floyd he was far from fit and quick enough, so I don't know what he's going to be like when he's out of shape.

So there are a lot of positives. And I'm looking when I see Floyd in the 24/7. The trouble has risen with his hands again which is common knowledge that Floyd has bad hands. I'm just wondering from my point of view, I mean on the night if Floyd Mayweather beats Ricky Hatton, which I don't think he will, but if Floyd Mayweather was to beat Ricky Hatton and it was a fair result, I would hold me hands up and say, well I was beaten by the better man. But on the night if I beat Floyd Mayweather and it is, seems to be a very fair result, I hope Floyd Mayweather doesn't blame it on the dancing and doesn't blame it on his hands.

ROBERT MORALES, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: Listen, considering that you are going up against the fighter that most experts believe is the pound for pound best in the world, what would a victory over him mean to you in your heart, and what would it mean for your career?

RICKY HATTON: What it would mean? It would mean everything. I mean being a world champion was obviously the dream of every youngster who starts off boxing, but I've become the best fighter in my weight division when Kostya Tszyu. But to be the best fighter in your weight division in the world is one thing, but to become the best fighter in the world in any weight division I think is, I think it just goes without saying it's (INAUDIBLE) and not my words but (INAUDIBLE) words. It will be the biggest win in British boxing history. So I think that it doesn't need me to say what it would mean to my career and what it would mean to my life really, to be the best in boxing period would really be something else. I just can't wait. I believe I'm going to do it. There's not a doubt in my mind, obviously 24/7 shows the best bits, but I mean the more I watch of the 24/7 show it fills me with confidence. As the fight gets nearer sometimes doubt can come in. It's not been the case. Yes, these are the days you've dreamed off. It's massive, it's huge.

CHUCK JOHNSON, USA TODAY: With both of you guys being unbeaten, you and Mayweather, I just want to know, in terms of how you view your record, how important is that 0 to you being unbeaten, to your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself as a fighter?

RICKY HATTON: Well I mean a defeat doesn't finish your career. I think fighters through history have shown that, but, it is nice to have that unbeaten one. It's for your marquee value, obviously financially, being unbeaten, especially when you've got a long unbeaten runs like me and Floyd. So it is important. It's not the be all and end all. I mean fighters have got beat and come back to be better fighters. So it isn't the be all and end all, but, yes, it is important if you're a fighter and a fighter in your heart it's pride, knowing that you've never been, you've never tasted defeat. So yes, it is important.

GARETH DAVIES, DAILY TELEGRAPH: Ricky, at the beginning of this conference call, Oscar de la Hoya said that a lot of people are going to be surprised because they're going to lose a lot of money at the fight, probably referring to the fact that he expects you to win. How do you feel about him backing you to win, and has he given you any technical advice because he's obviously been in, been Mayweather before?

RICKY HATTON: Yes, we chat along the way of, styles and what might work and what might not work. Obviously Oscar sometimes leaves us to our devices because I mean what me and Billy Graham have done from day one, I mean it's got me to this point. It's won me 44, it's 43 fights unbeaten, and all them world fights. So, I think Oscar realizes that, he knows what we're doing, but obviously, there are bits of advices and a little bit, especially with Oscar sharing the ring and being the fighter and the person he is, he's someone who you look up to give you advice, but, yes, he has been great. We're very (INAUDIBLE) from Oscar the sparring partners, I mean both me and Billy we've gotten all these years, so we have been doing something right, you know.

So no, it just can't be going back to where it is, it does make you feel good when someone like Oscar, who certainly knows boxing believes you can do it. And yes, I think a lot of people in Vegas are going to lose money because I think everybody has picked Floyd to win this and everyone has expected him to win me. And I think very few people are picking me to beat him, which really suits me fine. In fact, I wouldn't be, I wouldn't give two shits if everybody picked Floyd Mayweather because I know what an oh sweet victory that's going to be when I do it. And the last time nobody give me a chance was against Kostya Tszyu and we made him quit, and I think I'm going to make Floyd quit.

RON LEWIS, THE TIMES: First thing, could you tell us how you, and what you're still doing training-wise now that you're in Vegas. And last week Cary told us that you, as you put it up to nutrition for the fourth time. Is he actually letting you eat anything you actually want to eat yet?

RICKY HATTON: No, I mean, it would be frivolous to eat anything you want to eat. I mean you can eat as much as you want to eat, but obviously the key is it's got to be good food. There's no point in, if your weight starts and you're going out eating barbeque, spare ribs and chips, I mean that's not going to do you any good. But no, I mean my weight is well on target. I'm on the weight now, so I can increase me diet. The diet's gotten better as the weight's gone down. I mean as the training has intensifies the diet's got better. So I'm bearing in mind, I won't for this fight. I'll be in as good a shape and I'll probably have more energy because I won't have to deplete my body down to the 10 stones, to the 140 pound mark. I've got to just get down to 147. So, yes, I mean everything is going perfect.

MICHAEL KATZ, MIAMI HERALD: Hey, going back to Kostya Tszyu, another fight where nobody really gave you much of a chance to win, do you have that same kind of feeling coming into this fight as you did going into that fight?

RICKY HATTON: Very much so. I mean nobody gave me a fair chance against Kostya Tszyu, and I think Floyd would like to think that with this being the biggest stage that I will have boxed on, I think he'd like to think that the pressure will get to me. But I think I've always boxed big, although it is the biggest stage I've boxed, bearing in mind I'm fighting for the pound for pound title but before I was world champion, I was boxing in front of bigger crowds than I'm going to box on December the 8th. So I think I've always been at the right preparation. I've been groomed for this level. I think that with the Kostya Tszyu fight nobody gave me a prayer. With me, my pressure, when I put people on you, put pressure on a match, but everybody expected me to walk onto one of them right hands of Kostya Tszyu and that would have been it. But my determination, my stamina, my chin, everything, I was oblivious to tiredness, and I was oblivious to pain that night because of the man I was facing. And I knew if I left him alone for just half a second he would probably line me up and nail me with that big right hand.

So with Floyd Mayweather, it's a different, a totally different tale, but I think to beat Ricky Hatton, I think maybe you need that fire power to stop me coming. I mean if you don't hurt me, I'll keep coming all night. And although Floyd has different attributes and different manners than Kostya Tszyu, I mean, probably Floyd has the speed and the defense and the boxing ability over Kostya Tszyu had the strength inside, the physical strength of that right hand, so what I'm trying to say is I think you need power and I think I've been more worried facing power than speed in many ways because I think you've got to stop me coming at you. I mean that's one thing you've got to do. You've got to stop Ricky Hatton coming at you because I'll keep coming all night unless you hurt me. And has Floyd got the power to hurt me? I have no doubt at times in the fight he might lead me a bit of a merry dance and put me off with his speed and his wonderful boxing ability. But can he do it for 12 rounds, and has he got the power to stop me coming? I mean Kostya Tszyu couldn't do it with that big murderous right hand. I think it will be difficult for Floyd, but obviously Floyd has his strengths, his speed, his dependencies, you know, his boxing ability.

So there is no different problems to the Kostya Tszyu fight, but ultimately has he got the fire power to deal with my agitated pressure, and that's the key, agitated pressure, yes.

DAVID ISAACSON, SUNDAY TIMES: I read some time ago that you met Floyd at a boxing fight, and when you approached him he was quite rude to you. Would you mind taking us through that and just saying whether that's going to pay effect to it all in terms of your mindset going into this fight?

RICKY HATTON: I don't think it will affect my mindset going into the fight. It was when, it was at the Hopkins fight, Jermaine Taylor, and it was blown up to be a little bit worse than what it actually was to be honest with you. I mean I think we both sat in the same row, and he sat a few seats further down, so he had to obviously walk past me. And I stood up and I went to shake his hand, and he wouldn't shake me hand, and he muttered something under his breath. I think somewhere on the lines of, how let's get it on, I'll knock you out, or something like that. So, I mean he didn't want to shake me hand, I mean there was no incident, pushing or shoving or arguments. It wasn't merely a thing, but out of respect I just, hi Floyd, how are you doing, went to shake his hand, then he just dismissed me, as if I was saying, I want to beat you type attitude. But I have to be honest, I didn't lose a wink of sleep over it. So, I mean that's Floyd really. I mean and it's not like we should all get to a stage where you, that's the dominance issue, you shouldn't lose any sleep and get worried about it. No, that won't affect me before the fight. I think it's not just how Floyd acts in this fight, it's how he acts in all his fights. So I don't take anything personal. I think that's just Floyd.

DAVID ANDERSON, DAILY MIRROR: Hey Ricky, I was just curious to see how you're getting along. It sounded like some sort of student (ph) highs (ph) with you, Matthew (ph) Market (ph) at home watching Porky's (ph) videos. I hope you're all behaving yourselves.

RICKY HATTON: Well the last thing I think we, last kind of thing that we come (ph) under (ph) is students (ph) I think, but, no, I mean this is a busy house. You know, we've got, there's me, Matthew, you've got Matthew Matten, Lee Beard who is one of the coaches at the gym. And we've got popular security guards that keep an eye on the house when we're out, and people are coming in and out of the house and I'm not one of these fighters that like's to shut himself away from everything. I like my life to, I don't want people to act different around me, and I don't want my life to change as much, although, we miss your homely surroundings and your home comforts like back home, but you try and get on as much as, as normal as possible don't you? And that's what we're doing really Dave.

DIEGO MARTINEZ, REFORMA NEWSPAPER: Hi Ricky. Diego here from Reform Newspaper in Mexico. Ricky, when you watch the videos, what mistakes you have found in Floyd Mayweather's title?

RICKY HATTON: What mistakes? Well he has a lot in his armor. He's very, very good at what he does. He's got a wonderful defense, and he likes to take the steam out of his opponents by making them miss. There's nothing more tiring than when you're missing your opponent.

But yes, I mean he has a lot of strengths, I think he waits for his opponent and when it's me he shouldn't be waiting too long because someone who is constant and on you all the time as me, I mean who doesn't really tire and get stronger in the fight, he doesn't want to wait around too much. But, no, he's got fantastic hand speed. I mean, but I think, I think my styles or attributes to diffuse what he does. I mean speed is a good thing, but I move in very, very quickly on me opponents and stick to them like glue for long periods. I have a constant buddy at that and generally he's struggled against people that have put the pressure on him, Castile, the first fight, against de la Hoya, and really I wouldn't even call that pressure, to be honest with you. I mean if that's, if that's what pressure is and he tends to not like pressure then I think he's got a whole lot of trouble coming his way.

STEVE CARP, LAS VEGAS REVIEW: When Manny Pacquaio fought here in October, he talked about the tremendous burden that comes with being a national hero, and I'm wondering, for you back in the U.K., with all the people that are coming over here to support you, as well as back at home, how do you deal with the pressure that comes and the responsibility that comes with being a national hero?

RICKY HATTON: I think I deal with it quite well really. I mean it all depends on your frame of mind. I, you know, it's, you know, for me it's just another fight. I'd like to think that there have been more nerves at this stage, but I mean I think as the fight gets nearer and doubt starts creeping into your mind, the pressure does tend to come under you. But I mean, doubt hasn't come into my mind yet. This isn't a fight where there's the slightest bit of doubt in my mind that I'm going to lose. So obviously in knowing that, you're fighting an opponent that you believe you can beat. The pressure doesn't come under you as much as what you'd maybe have if you were going in there expecting to lose.

But no, I have a fantastic following. It spurs me on. It makes me feel proud. I get a huge rush when fight fans turn around and say how much they love me and that I'm the people's champion. They respect me because of all the success that I've had, I haven't changed one little bit. My feet are still firmly on the ground. And I look at myself as no different than the man in the crowd. So that spurs me on I think, it doesn't make me, where the pressure should get on you. It doesn't get on me. The only pressure I have on myself is to myself, needless to say I want my fans, to make my fans and country proud, but I try and use it to me advantage and it is an advantage. And it's all down to the mentality of the person or to your self really. I mean my mentality is it doesn't affect me. I just look forward to doing them proud rather than I don't look forward to the burden of letting them down. I look forward to how proud I'm going to do when I do win.

JOHN DILLON, DAILY EXPRESS LONDON: I want to come up to, over to Mr. de la Hoya and ask a question there and ask his assessment of the two fighters' styles and his assessment of the contest.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yes, I'm here.

JOHN DILLON: Yes, I wondered just, could you just give us your assessment of them, of both fighters with two very contrasting styles? And just tell us what you think really.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well I mean my thinking is, I've been in there with Floyd Mayweather and we fought at 154 pounds, even though he was lighter, probably weighing around 150, 151. Obviously the power is different. Where Floyd really doesn't rely on power, he relies more on his speed. And from what I've seen with Hatton, he relies on both, because he has both. He has speed and power. And I think the difference with any fighter that Hatton has faced is that Hatton brings intelligent pressure. And I think that's the key word there. He not only comes forward and puts pressure on you more than, more than I did and even more than Castillo did, but he does it in a very intelligent way. And so I think that's going to play a big part in this fight. It's going to be a tremendous fight. You're going to have both of the best fighters in that ring that night and it's all about who is going to be in the better shape and who is going to want it more. And it's going to be a great fight.

MARKS STANIFORTH, PRESS ASSOCIATION: There are quite a few obvious comparisons from a British point of view between this fight and Lloyd Hunigens win over Donald Coolio a time ago. I just wondered if you'd seen tapes of that fight and whether there was anything you can take from it and, if you appreciate those certain similarities?

RICKY HATTON: Yes, there was some, I think, most people would have, some call it the best pound for pound fighter in the world at the time. And I think what Floyd's best attribute when he comes into the ring was his famous approach. He got into the ring and, it was like, I don't care who you've beat or who've you've won or how many titles you've won or how many weight divisions. He didn't look at the stats. He just looked at the man. And, he went out there without jumping right on him straight away, let the punches go, combinations, I mean real, put the pressure on him, controlled pressure, and totally threw him out of his stride and beat him up in the end.

It's stuff like that, I mean nobody gave Floyd Hunigen, nobody gave Lloyd Hunigen a chance. Nobody gave me a chance against Kostya Tszyu. And some Robert Geran against Sheboy Leonard the first fight. Nobody gave Geran a chance really. I mean sometimes the fellow with the most talent doesn't always win. I mean the tactics right, who wants it most, who is in the best shape, who gets off to the best start. And there are lots of things in the equation that sometimes result, and if boxing has told us one thing, look how many upsets there's been through boxing history really.

Not anybody says that this fight is beyond me. I mean I think I've got the style to give Floyd Mayweather absolutely nightmares. I mean, when you think the fight he's come closest to losing was obviously against Oscar last. Oscar put the pressure on him. And Castillo the first fight. And Castillo in a lot of people's eyes won the first fight. And so a lot of people would turn around and say, well when, Ricky put on a bad performance against Castillo, than Floyd did, but then you'll also have some that will say well Castillo has seen better days.

But if I can make a statement now without sounding too disrespectful to me old friend Jose Luis Castillo, even Castillo in the first fight against Mayweather, when he was seen to be in his pride, if you narrow it down and say, was his footwork, was Castillo's footwork as good and as quick as Ricky Hatton's is? Was his body punching as good as Ricky Hatton? Does he move in on his opponent as quickly as Ricky Hatton does? Is he as big a hitter as Ricky Hatton is? Does he have as much boxing ability as Ricky Hatton does? Does he have a better work rate than Ricky Hatton? I would have to say no to all of them. And, as you know, he nearly did it, so I've got huge confidence out of that, I know what I'm up against, I know what his strengths are and I know what his weaknesses are and I know what I think he tries to do in the fight. I think I've got the tools for the job, and that wasn't meant to be disrespectful to Jose Luis Castillo. I mean but I think in every department from footwork to strength to speed to boxing ability to power to work rate, I think even in his prime I think I have it in every department. And when you think Castillo nearly beat Floyd, that's the way I see the fight going.

RAUL SAENZ, NOTIFIGHT: Ricky, in the last teleconference with Floyd, he says that, he mentioned that he's not fighting the best British boxer right now. For him, the best British boxer is Joe Calzaghe. When he never has fought out of Europe, what are your opinion about that?

RICKY HATTON: Well people will make their own minds up how, you know, people will make their own minds up how good they actually think I am or how good they actually, or how good they think I am in the standings of boxing champions, past and present. I mean it's up to the people to make their own minds up. I mean I let them make it up. I'm not going to go out and say I think I'm the best. I think this, I think I'm not but little comments like that makes me, throws me compliments for the fight really because he's not as clever as what he thinks. One minute he's saying he's the best pound-for-pound. If he's saying he's the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and in fighting me he's not fighting the best fighter in Britain, what a fool he's going to look when he gets beat.

EDDIE GOLDMAN, SECOND OUT RADIO: I don't know if you've gotten a chance to see the full HBO 24/7 series that they're showing in the states here. On the second episode, they seem to hint that maybe Floyd is having some problems with his hands. They showed him getting physical therapy a couple of times a week, and at the same time they showed you doing all the leg presses and messing up Billy Graham's finger during the training. Do you think there's anything to that or that may be a factor in the fight?

RICKY HATTON: Well I mean Floyd has always had problems with his hands. I mean that's pretty common knowledge. I mean he's had it for all his fights apparently. We never saw that on the last 24/7 fight, the last 24/7 build up with Oscar and Floyd. So, but that, I mean he might be having trouble with his hands. And to be honest, I'm only worried about how my preparation is going. I mean I'm not worried about Floyd mainly. If Ricky Hatton's preparation is OK, that's all I'm bothered about. But I think, as I said earlier to answer the questions to one of the guys, I mean I'm not going to turn around and call Floyd a liar. I mean it is common sense everybody knows he has problems with his hands. I don't think it will happen, but if Floyd Mayweather was to beat me on the night and it was a fair result, I would hold my hands up and say well I got beat by the better man. But I think if I beat Floyd Mayweather on the night and it was a fair result, I hope Floyd doesn't bring out the old, my hand got, because I mean we're the best pound-for-pound fighters I mean that's, if you wanted to be a cynic you could probably say, well if you've got an injury you want to hide the fact, so why is he telling everyone. So if I beat Floyd Mayweather on the night and it's a fair result, I would like to think Floyd would be man enough and turn around and say, well I got beat by the better man on the night, the better man won. And I would hate to think that he would turn around and say, well, I got beat because I went in the dancing competition or I got beat because of me hands. You know? That's just the way I see it.

FRANCIS WALKER: Ricky, Mayweather talks a lot of trash and he's talked down to you on a number of different occasions. Do you think it's an attempt for Mayweather to try to get into your head or is this just all for show?

RICKY HATTON: I don't know. I'm not really bothered. And you need to know me personally before you, to realize that whatever he's doing, I mean it's not getting under me skin. I mean he's tried to insult me by calling me Ricky Fatton. I mean doesn't he realize I named myself Ricky Fatton in the first place. I mean I don't think everything he's tried to do, I think he's an insecure person. I think that's why he surrounds himself with five or six bodyguards, and they always seem to be yes men. You know? And he always needs people whispering in his ear, you're the man, you're number one, you're going to do this, your going to do that. And that's all a sign of insecurity. You don't need anybody whispering in your ear, to tell him the best, if you believe that. If you believe you're the best then you don't need anybody reminding you or reassuring you, and that's the way I feel.

I think he's an insecure person and I think he does like to play mind games. And I don't think he does it to try to intimidate you because he needs to look in the world. He's not exactly what you call intimidate looking with his nice suits on and his bling. He doesn't exactly make me want to run down the street away. But I think what he tries to do is get under your skin and annoy you, more annoy you rather than scare you. He must surely know when he sees me and he looks in the mirror and he knows that I'm not scared of him, and he knows that I believe I can win. And he knows I have no fear with him. So I think, especially when we did the promotional tour, I think when he realized what little reaction he got from me, I think that would have affected him more than me. He really does not bother what me when he insults me or care what he throws at me. I could not care less, from the bottom of me heart, couldn't care less.

"UNDEFEATED" — WBC world and Ring Magazine welterweight champion "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather will meet world junior welterweight and Ring Magazine champion Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton for the WBC world welterweight and Ring Magazine championships Saturday, Dec. 8 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, and sponsored by Rock Star Energy Drink, Tecate Beer and Southwest Airlines, the fight will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View. For more information on Mayweather vs. Hatton, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com.

The HBO all-access series "MAYWEATHER/HATTON 24/7" debuts a new episode Sunday, Dec. 2 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. The four-part series, with unprecedented access, will chronicle the fighters' preparations for the Dec. 8 super-fight at MGM Grand and will provide viewers with a compelling look at two extraordinary champions.

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29.11.07 Pacman to fight Marquez !

The bout, backed by Golden Boy promotions, is a rematch of a 2004 draw in which Pacquiao knocked Marquez to the canvas three times in the first round. One judge scored the fight for each boxer and the third had the matchup even.

Marquez, 34, is 48-3 with one drawn and 35 knockouts while Pacquiao, who turns 29 next month, is 45-3 with two drawn and 35 knockouts. Marquez is 19-1-1 since 1999, the lone defeat a unanimous decision loss to Indonesian Chris John in March of 2006.

Pacquiao is 19-1 with two drawn in the same span, losing only a unanimous decision to Mexican Erik Morales in 2005. Pacquiao has won six fights in a row, the most recent a 12-round decision over Barrera last month.

Marquez has won four fights in a row, taking the WBC crown from compatriot Marco Antonio Barrera last March and defending against American Rocky Juarez earlier this month

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29.11.07 Floyd "I'm not a bad guy"

Floyd Mayweather is eager to ditch his image as boxing's bad guy in the final run-up to his WBC welterweight title showdown with Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas next week.

Despite his startling skills, Mayweather's constant 'trash-talking' has alienated many fans worldwide, while doing the so-called 'Pretty Boy' no harm at the box office.

Now with Mayweather set to become the first boxer in history to attract more than one million pay-per-view buys for two fights in the same calendar year, he wishes he was judged more favourably.

Mayweather said: "Everybody is entitled to judge a person how they want to do - but I've got a good heart. I never did anything illegal and all I did was go out there to dedicate myself to the craft of boxing.

"People portray you as they want to portray you. But I conduct myself like a gentleman. I'm not out there pushing Ricky Hatton off the stage or shoving him. I'm just saying I believe in my skills.

"Each fight has to have a good guy and a bad guy. When I fought Oscar De La Hoya I was the bad guy, but when I fought Zab Judah I was the good guy - because he was even worse than I was.

"That's the hand you're dealt and you have to deal with it. You fight through everything. Everything is a struggle - but you don't let anything break your confidence and just stay focused and just be you."

Mayweather's stage-managed public persona certainly differs a lot from the personable and intelligent man who is only to happy to fulfil his exhausting media relations schedules.

There is the sense his frequent dismissals of Hatton's chances on December 8 are founded more in his own astonishing self-confidence than any criticism he has of the Manchester 'Hit Man' in particular.

"I don't overlook any of my opponents," added Mayweather.

"I always approach every fight in a great manner and I am always pushing myself to the limit and trying to get the best out of Floyd Mayweather.

"I'll continue to do that. I always train hard and I dedicate myself - so that in 20 years' time when my grandkids read stories about me they'll know that I was one hell of a good fighter."

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29.11.07 Hatton Mayweather fever begins to grip

Ricky Hatton discussed the mouth watering showdown with his nemesis Floyd Mayweather on December the 8th of December.

26.11.07 Skelton’s dream date with Chagaev in sight

Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ by Ron Lewis

Matt Skelton, the former kickboxer who took up boxing only in his mid-30s, is on the verge of getting a dream shot at the world heavyweight title. Negotiations are close to completion for the Commonwealth champion to face Ruslan Chagaev, of Uzbekistan, who won the WBA title from Nikolay Valuev. The bout will probably take place in Germany, where Chagaev is based, with February or March the likely date.

It will be a big turnaround for Skelton, who will be 41 in January, because he has boxed only once in the past 16 months. That bout was a drab points win over Michael Sprott, of England, at the O2 Arena in July, a contest that, despite his win, seemed to wreck the hopes of Skelton, a former British champion, getting a world-title shot.

He had been nominated to challenge Alexander Dimitrenko, a 6ft 7in Ukrainian, for the vacant European title and had been due to have an eight-round contest on the undercard of Joe Calzaghe’s bout with Mikkel Kessler in Cardiff three weeks ago. But when the chance of facing Chagaev appeared he was withdrawn from the Cardiff bout to avoid risk of injury.

Chagaev, 29, has been inactive since beating Valuev, the 7ft Russian, on a majority points decision in Stuttgart in April. He had been due to face Sultan Ibragimov, the WBO champion, of Russia, in a title unification bout in Moscow last month but withdrew when it was discovered that he was suffering from hepatitis B, a condition from which he has recovered.

In the present generation of giant heavyweights, Chagaev, at 6ft 1in, seems a midget. When training for his bout with Valuev, his trainer, Michael Timm, would stand on a box to simulate punching upwards. But his lack of stature also makes Chagaev potentially vulnerable to the often ugly, brawling style of the 6ft 3in Skelton.

The unbeaten Chagaev does have an excellent grounding, though. He won the world amateur title at super-heavyweight in 2001 and beat Félix Savón, the great Cuban triple Olympic champion, in the heavyweight final in 1997, although he was stripped of the gold medal and banned for a year when it was discovered that he had boxed in two bouts as a professional in the United States.

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25.11.07 Froch v Inkin live soon !

Denis Inkin

Top rated super middleweight Denis Inkin (32-0, 24 KOs) continued towards the fight with Carl 'the Cobra' Froch with a twelve round unanimous decision over Martin Abel Bruer (19-2, 12 KOs) in the featured undercard bout on Saturday's "Universum Champions Night" card in Dresden.

Scores were 117-110, 117-111, 117-110.

Inkin was put down in the second round by the tough opponent but found his stride mid-way and took the decision on all the scorecards.

Carl Froch with last opponent Robin Reid

Froch and Inkin fought as amateurs with Inkin winning on points, but being dropped heavily at the final bell.

Many feel that the fight between Froch and Inkin will pan out in either of those 2 ways - Froch knocking out Inkin or the Russian winning on points.

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25.11.07 Virgil Hill retired now ?

Firat Arslan claimed the WBA cruiserweight title with a unanimous points decision over Virgil Hill.

The German fighter was ending Hill's reign as a world champion which had spanned two decades and began in 1987 when he won the WBA light-heavyweight crown.

The 43-year-old has now lost three of his last four fights and is considering retirement.

"We're going to look at that. I trained so hard for this fight. I think I need a vacation," he said.

Arslan rocked Hill in the ninth and tenth rounds en-route to a 118-110, 116-113 and 117-111 verdict.

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25.11.07 Ricky touches down in Vegas !

Source:http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/sport/

Ricky Hatton pushed his own trolley past the slot machines that wait to ambush impatient gamblers at McCarran International Airport, cleared customs and walked almost unnoticed into the United States.

In the arrivals hall, just two television crews had come to meet Hatton and his small entourage. Both had travelled from London. The only American to recognise Hatton, half hidden under a blue, floppy beach hat, was a friend.
Keeping it under his hat: Ricky Hatton makes an understated arrival in Las Vegas
"Roberto, mi amigo," he said, warmly embracing his now-regular driver on both sides of the Atlantic.
After a mountainous collection of luggage had been packed into a white, eight-seat van, Hatton hopped into the front. "I'm sure they told me I was getting a limo!" he said, chuckling.
Twenty minutes later, Hatton was at his rented house, a short drive from the neon-lit boulevard of casinos.

Yet the 'Hitman's' ambitions in this city built on greed are not those of a reckless gambler, drawn into town in spite of odds tilted in favour of the house. He has rehebottomd all his adult life for the rendezvous he has with Floyd Mayweather Junior, scheduled to last 12 rounds here in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in 13 days.

Has a British fighter ever been engaged in a bigger fight in modern times? Twenty-thousand fans are booked to fly here from Britain, with only a quarter of them likely to get tickets in the 16,000 auditorium, in what the promoters are calling 'the biggest British invasion since The Beatles landed in 1964'.

Hatton, humbled to be the catalyst of such an exodus, said: "Mayweather is the best fighter walking the face of the earth."

Yet, in Hatton's eyes, that is his only enviable quality. For weeks, Hatton has endured from Mayweather and his trainer uncle, Roger, a stream of vile abuse in language rooted in the ghetto.

Neither man is a stranger to the local sheriff's department in Clark County. Floyd Mayweather has convictions for assault and domestic violence, while Roger has served a six-month jail sentence for domestic assault, having been banned by boxing authorities from working his nephew's corner after starting a riot during one of his fights almost 18 months ago.

Outside of this unsweet family, Floyd Mayweather Senior is estranged from both his son and his brother in a feud of unending bitterness. Just six months ago, he offered to train Oscar de la Hoya for his fight against his own flesh and blood.

Mayweather Senior has also seen the inside of a prison cell.

After being imprisoned on drug-related offences, he has earnestly fought to rehabilitate himself as a trainer, even though his son has long-since dispensed with him.

In vivid contrast, 29-year-old Hatton eagerly anticipates the arrival of his own father, Ray, here next week.

"I just couldn't imagine being at war with my dad," he said. "If for some reason — Heaven forbid — I fell out with my dad or something happened to him, I'd hang up my gloves. I can't imagine boxing, or life, without him.

"I knew Floyd had differences with his dad and that things were frosty when he chose his uncle to train him for his fight with De La Hoya. Now it seems the relationship is over completely. To my mind, that's a crying shame and something that would be unbearable.

"Even after all the abuse, and the disrespect he has shown me, I can't help but feel sorry for Floyd. He never had a childhood, never had time to grow up as he was being taught to fight almost as soon as he could walk."

Hatton's sympathy, however, is reserved for the man, not the fighter who stands between him and the fulfilment of a dream.

"We couldn't be from more different walks of life," said Hatton. "I am probably up for this fight more than I have been for any fight before, for the obvious reasons. I have so much fire in my belly, I feel I might explode.

"Yet for all Mayweather has slagged me off, I learned long ago the need to work with tunnel vision. I just put my blinkers on — and do what I need to do to be at my best on the night."

He added: "I don't look at the man, or the belts he has got, or the fights he has won. I look at him as a fighter, I look at his style and assess whether I have what it takes to beat him. I believe I can not only beat Mayweather, but I can stop him."

Both men will bring unblemished records into the ring,with Mayweather 38 wins and Hatton 43, furthering the mystique and fury of their encounter that will, for a time, slacken business on the casino floors.

Hatton's rented accommodation has been turned into a home away from home, and it is familiar as he stayed here for his last fight in June against Jose Luis Castillo. Pictures of his family are spread around his bedroom.

His brother Matthew, who is on the undercard on December 8, is a housemate along with Matthew Macklin, another fighter from trainer Billy 'Preacher' Graham's Phoenix gym in Manchester.

Hatton said: "One of my greatest attributes is being able to switch off. It is important now for me to rest as much as possible. We can be at the shops or casinos within a 10-minute drive if we want a change of scenery."

The house has two treadmills, or Hatton can go to a neighbourhood baseball park that has a floodlit running track. He prefers to put in his mileage at about 7.30pm.

"A lot of boxers like to get their road work done in the early morning, but I think it's more important to be fresh for my gym sessions, so I run at night."

On his final, hard training days this week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday — he will run for up to 40 minutes over about five miles, mixing in some sprints.

His countdown to defying the bookmakers that have made Mayweather as an odds-on favourite begins tomorrow when he will spar with boxers handpicked by De La Hoya, whose Golden Boy company is promoting the fight under a one-word banner 'Undefeated'.

De La Hoya, who lost on points to Mayweather in May in a fight that generated £60 million, is unashamedly in Hatton's corner.

Perhaps most of America is, because Mayweather's five world titles at five different weights have failed to endear him to his countrymen.

De La Hoya, known as Golden Boy, has said with rancour: "Mayweather Junior needs a humbling experience, he's a brat."

Hatton said: "Oscar has probably more contacts than anyone in boxing, and he recommended me to use the sparring partners he had when he boxed Mayweather.

"They've been brilliant. I sparred with them for three weeks in England and now they're here with me this week. I know Oscar is behind me. Mayweather disrespected him before their fight, but then he disrespects everyone. After you've shared a ring with someone,respect is usually mutual and maybe that will be the case after I fight Mayweather. But I don't know . . ."

He is not holding his breath. His final set-piece training is reserved for Friday, when he will step into the ring with Graham, who will be wearing heavily-padded mits and a body belt, and box for 15 orthodox three-minute rounds.

"I'm putting in three extra rounds as insurance. It will be gruelling," he said.

Hatton's demeanour is almost ridiculously relaxed. He is revelling in the role of underdog, just as he had on the night Australia's muchacclaimed Kostya Tszyu came to Manchester in 2005 with all but Hatton's closest family and friends fearing an evening of endless punishment lay in prospect for him.

Hatton's remorseless assault broke Tszyu — and he surrendered on his stool.

"It's not me that says it, but there are those who say my fight with Mayweather is the biggest in British boxing history," said Spears, P Diddy, Mayweather Hatton. "But I like the fact that I will come into the ring without a belt, as the challenger. No, I'm not arguing with the odds. Mayweather has won five world titles at five weights and you have to give credit where credit's due.

"Yes, I love being the underdog — and I don't want anyone to predict in the papers that I am going to win. I want to shock the world, just as I did when I beat Tszyu."

Hatton does not for a moment suspect that Mayweather will have taken any short cuts in his own gym, buried in the middle of Chinatown in a nondescript row of storage warehouses within a 10- minute drive of the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

"You only get to the top of the tree by dedicating yourself, and Mayweather's done that," said Hatton. Yet Hatton senses Mayweather could have fallen into a trap when analysing the British fighter.

"I don't think Mayweather realises I'm as good as I am," said Hatton. "He just sees the obvious: strong kid with a big heart who keeps coming forward. But there's a lot more to me than that, as he will find out."

David Beckham will be among those at ringside cheering for Hatton. "I've exchanged texts with Becks since England were knocked out of the European Championship on Wednesday," said Hatton. "He was obviously devastated and I was gutted. But life goes on, and he will be here for the fight."

Hatton, a lifelong supporter of Manchester City, has the rare gift of being able to bridge the traditional prejudices that divide the fans of Manchester's two Premier League clubs.

At his last fight, his friend Wayne Rooney carried his belt into the ring. United fans probably also warm to the self-deprecating humour that Hatton sprinkles his repertoire on the after-dinner speaking circuit. Take this example: Sven Goran Eriksson says this year we'll make it into Europe . . . and he doesn't care if he has to sing the ****ing song himself.

"I think people see me as just one of the lads," said Hatton. "Financially, I've done fantastically well. I have a nice home, a place in Tenerife, two good cars and I can go on holiday whenever I want. But I don't flash my money, unlike Mayweather. I think to do that belittles people. Perhaps that's a reason why a lot of the American public want me to win this fight."

Mayweather often wears jewellery alone that is worth a million dollars, he is 'Mr Bling' personified.

To Hatton, none of this has any importance. He just wants to be responsible for his downfall as a fighter, to leave him as one more busted games player looking at the stars from the gutter.

"Getting to Las Vegas has put an extra spring in my step," said Hatton. "It would be massive to be the best. I can't find the words to express what that would mean to me."

Should he beat the house odds, place a small wager that Ricky Hatton,man of the people, will find an appropriate speech here in 13 days' time.

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