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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2007, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
Hatton gets new nickname

Ricky Hatton and sombrero
Hatton gets his hat on

Ricky Hatton has revealed he is changing his nickname to "The Manchester Mexican" ahead of his fight with Jose Luis Castillo.

The boxer formerly known as "Hitman" plans to enter the ring dressed in a poncho and sombrero when he comes up against the Mexican in Las Vegas later this month.

Hatton, who is fighting Castillo for the IBO light welterweight belt, insists the stunt is not designed to wind his opponent up.

He told Nuts magazine: "I've got a lot of fans in Mexico and I've got a good friendship with their former world champion Marco Antonio Barrera.

"So, the idea is just to broaden that Mexican fanbase by coming into the ring dressed as 'The Manchester Mexican', with the sombrero and poncho.

"Whenever I go to see Marco fight, his fans come up to me for pictures and say: 'Hey, Ricky, you're the white Mexican!'

George Best wearing a sombrero
Hatton's in good company

"I'm only 5ft 6ins myself, but you feel like Gulliver when you go to Mexico! They're all hard people. They come from hard backgrounds and that's why they can all fight like crazy."

Hatton, 28, is renowned for being a bit of a joker and recently revealed to the BBC's Inside Sport programme that he likes nothing better than going for a spin in his Del-Boy inspired three-wheeler.

The Manchester City fan has asked Wayne Rooney, who plays for arch-rivals United, to carry his belt into the ring in Vegas on 23 June as City anthem Blue Moon plays in the background.

And he insists the striker will have to take part in his traditional post-fight bad shirt party, where Hatton usually becomes reacquainted with "two old friends of mine - Mr Guinness and Mr Dom Perignon".

Whatever happens in his fight with Castillo, the "Manchester Mexican" moniker is going to be retired straight afterwards, with Hatton declaring: "Hitman's my name and has been from day one. It's worked for me so far."



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