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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Hatton given Mayweather incentive
Luis Collazo and Ricky Hatton
To prepare for Collazo, Hatton has been sparring with southpaws
Ricky Hatton's promoters insist he can close in on a clash with ring superstar Floyd Mayweather - if he wins the WBA welterweight title this month.

The "Hitman" is stepping up a division from light welterweight to challenge Luiz Collazo in Boston, USA, on 13 May.

And the carrot of meeting IBF champion Mayweather has been dangled in front of the Briton if he wins his 147lb debut.

Hatton's co-promoter Robert Waterman said: "Mayweather is the prime target and why Ricky is fighting at welter."

Hatton has given up his IBF light welterweight title to fight Collazo rather than mandatory challenger Naoufel Ben Rabah.

The 27-year-old Manchester fighter still holds the WBA light welterweight belt but is eager to cement his place as a modern great by becoming a two-weight champion.

That would thrust him further towards a future showdown with Mayweather, who Hatton himself admits is the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

There is no reason Ricky couldn't fight Mayweather around Christmas time
Promoter Dennis Hobson

Dennis Hobson, Hatton's Fight Academy co-promoter, added: "A good win against Collazo will be a tremendous achievement in itself.

"Ricky would become the first British fighter ever to beat three world champions in consecutive fights.

"But it would also set him up for the kind of fight which will transform him from one of the world's best active fighters into a legend.

"Mayweather has been talking about an Oscar de la Hoya fight in September but even if that happens there is no reason Ricky couldn't fight Mayweather around Christmas time."

Unbeaten Hatton will fly out to Boston on Saturday for a week's acclimatisation before meeting Collazo, 24, a week later.

The American southpaw, who has won 26 of 27 fights, earned his title last August with an eighth-round TKO of Mexican Miguel Angel Gonzalez in Chicago.


SEE ALSO
HBO targets US glory for Hatton
12 Apr 06 |  Boxing
Hatton gives back his IBF title
14 Apr 06 |  Boxing


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