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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 07:10 GMT
Media build-up 'exhausts' Hatton
By Ben Dirs
BBC Sport in Las Vegas

Ricky Hatton
Hatton meets reporters including BBC Sport's Ben Dirs (second left)

Hatton v Mayweather
Date: Sunday, 9 December
Starts from: 0100 GMT
Location: Las Vegas
Watch: Sky pay-per-view
Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live and online (UK only)
Updates: BBC Sport website and mobile

Ricky Hatton's trainer Billy Graham has admitted his charge is "exhausted" by his media commitments ahead of the super-fight against Floyd Mayweather.

But Graham said Hatton would be fully focused come the bout at Las Vegas's MGM Grand at around 0400 GMT on Sunday.

"It's always a pleasure to talk to the media, but, wow, it's tiring. I'm sure Ricky's exhausted," he told BBC Sport.

"But he won't be on fight-night this Saturday. After the weigh-in he will recharge his batteries."

Ricky Hatton was born to fight, he's a prodigy himself

Billy Graham

Camera crews from American network HBO have trailed both Hatton and Mayweather for the last four weeks, while media interest for the clash has been at fever pitch. The weigh-in takes place at 2200 GMT on Friday.

"There have been times when I've wanted to be left alone, especially now to be honest," said Graham, who has been with Hatton, now 29, since he was 17.

"We've been on the big stage plenty of times, and that's been the only difference, the media attention. But just because Mayweather's done it before doesn't mean it's any less tiring for him."

Graham believes the only way Mayweather can beat Hatton is on cuts, with Mayweather's right hand, delivered in a slashing fashion, a real concern.

"Every time Ricky Hatton fights I think about cuts, I'm a realist, but we've got a great cuts man in Mick Williamson and I've got faith in him," said Graham.

Ricky Hatton (R) and Billy Graham
Graham has guided Hatton for the last 12 years

"Ricky's calm when he gets cut, let's just hope the referee is as calm as we are in the corner.

"Obviously if the cut is so bad that it might do permanent damage, I'd want the fight stopped, but this is a fight between the two best fighters on the planet and you need to let them get on with it."

Graham thinks Hatton will not only defeat Mayweather, but could finish it early if he lands with enough body-shots and remembers to use his jab.

"It's a question of styles, Ricky's got the artillery to break him down. Floyd's great, but so is Ricky. And if Ricky finds Floyd's ribcage with any regularity at all he'll definitely stop him," added Graham.

"I wish Ricky would use the jab more, because he's got a wicked jab. But he'll be using the jab on Saturday, otherwise he'll get a talking to from me.

"I'm not underestimating Floyd's punching power. He's a great fighter and he deserves everything all the people say about him.

BBC Sport's Ben Dirs

"He'll go down as an all-time great, but when Ricky beats Floyd, Ricky will go down as an all-time great.

"He's already the best British fighter of all-time, and that's not taking anything away from anyone who's come before.

"The media always seem to talk about the past, but Ricky's better than any of them, and most of them will tell you that themselves.

"I keep telling everybody, Ricky Hatton was born to fight, he's a prodigy himself. He was born to fight more than anyone I've ever met."

Meanwhile, Graham said he has been shocked by the feedback from American fans since he has been in Vegas, with many rooting for his man rather than the hometown fighter.

Hatton's girl quits to see fight
07 Dec 07 |  Manchester
Hopkins tips Hatton for victory
06 Dec 07 |  Boxing
Weigh-in frenzy
06 Dec 07 |  Boxing
Hatton scuffles with Mayweather
06 Dec 07 |  Boxing

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