Becks to meet Hatton in LA
Ricky Hatton will be met at Los Angeles Airport by David Beckham today at the start of a five-city tour to promote his showdown with Floyd Mayweather on December 8 in Las Vegas.
Becks made contact personally with Hatton and asked to be his tour guide in LA before Hatton and Mayweather come face-to-face for the first time at Universal Studios in Hollywood tomorrow.
Hatton said: "I was shocked when David invited me because I have a lot of respect for him and I know how busy he is. Obviously I'm a City fan, but I recognise a great sportsman when I see one and David is one of the best.
"It's going to be a big week for me and it will be tremendous to have a friendly face at the start of it all."
When Hatton shocked the world by knocking out Mexico's Jose Luis Castillo in June, the Manchester idol was led to the ring by Wayne Rooney.
Hatton added: "I'm a football fan like most people, but it still shocked me and made me laugh when I kept turning around and seeing Wayne in my changing room.
"To be honest, on the night Wayne was bottling it and he got plenty of stick for that from the boys."
The tour to promote the multimillion pound WBC welterweight title fight at the MGM Casino starts in LA and on Tuesday Hatton travels in a private jet to Mayweather's home town of Grand Rapids in Michigan for day two.
He said: "Thankfully we are travelling in separate jets but it will still be very lively and I'm actually going to his high school.
"I'm not bothered one bit by the tour and I'm looking forward to meeting him. I know that he is a wind-up merchant, but I've got a few quality tricks up my sleeve."
On Wednesday3 the tour lands in New York and on Thursday the road show switches to the fabulous O2 Arena, formerly known as the Millennium Dome, in east London.
However, it's the last day of the tour when the hype and publicity machine arrives in Manchester, that local idol Hatton is looking forward to.
He said: "Hopefully there will be big screens all over the city and fans will get the chance to let Mayweather know what Manchester thinks of him. I know he hangs out with rapper 50 Cent, but perhaps I'll invite Sean Ryder and Bez to give him a special welcome."
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