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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2007, 07:49 GMT
Hatton aims to top greatest year
Ricky Hatton
Hatton is already down to the 147lb welterweight limit
Ricky Hatton says victory over Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on 8 December would cap one of the greatest years in the history of British boxing.

Hatton would become Britain's seventh current world champion if he takes the WBC welterweight crown in the clash.

Hatton told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I don't remember British boxing having a better year, it's mind-blowing.

"And I'm going for the unthinkable against Mayweather, trying to prove I'm the best fighter at all the weights."

London's David Haye became Britain's latest world champion on Saturday when he claimed the WBA and WBC cruiserweight belts from France's Jean-Marc Mormeck in Paris.

The previous week Joe Calzaghe claimed the undisputed super-middleweight crown with a win over Mikkel Kessler in Cardiff.

Enzo Maccarinelli (WBO cruiserweight), Clinton Woods (IBF light-heavyweight), Junior Witter (WBC light-welterweight) and Gavin Rees (WBA light-welterweight) are Britain's other world champions.

To become the best in my weight division was something else, to become the best in all weight divisions doesn't bear thinking about

Ricky Hatton

Hatton, 29, added that a win over Mayweather would be the ultimate vindication of his decision to seek fame and fortune across the Atlantic.

"When I beat Kostya Tszyu [in June 2005], I was the number one in the [light-welterweight] division and I could have let everyone come to me in Manchester and defended my title in my home town," said Hatton, who flies to Las Vegas on 22 November.

"But I wanted to go to America because I wanted to be a British fighter who's not just known in his own country, I wanted to be one of the few British fighters to be a success over there.

"This will be a third fight this year in Vegas. I took the [IBF] world title from Juan Urango, beat one of the world's best pound-for-pound fighters in Jose Luis Castillo and I'm now fighting the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and that was all my choice.

"To become the best in my weight division was something else, to become the best in all weight divisions doesn't bear thinking about.

Floyd Mayweather
Mayweather has won world titles at five different weights

"A few years ago people were saying, 'Ricky doesn't want to fight this guy, he doesn't want to fight that guy', but all I've done lately is fight world champions and the best fighters in the world and I've put those doubts to rest.

"People will make their own minds up how good they think Ricky Hatton is in terms of great British fighters.

"But if you cast your mind back, people said it would be one of the greatest wins by a British fighter if I beat Kostya Tszyu.

"This fight would even topple that one, though, especially travelling half way across the States to fight a five-weight world champion in Mayweather."

However, Hatton, undefeated in 43 professional encounters, admits he is only just coming to terms with his own fame.

He revealed he has struck up a friendship with England footballer David Beckham, adding: "You always exchange numbers but the last thing I expected was to get texts from David Beckham saying 'How's your training going champ?'

"I'm like, 'Dad, look who's texting me - it's David Beckham'. I have to pinch myself and I can't believe it's really him.

606: DEBATE

"People say 'Well, if you beat Floyd Mayweather and become the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, he might be saying the same about you'. I can't get my head round that."

But he denied that Beckham would be carrying his belts into the ring at the MGM Grand.

"Wayne Rooney carrying my belts at the Jose Luis Castillo fight was a one-off because he's a friend of mine," said Hatton, who is already down to the 147lb welterweight limit.

"But if you let anyone who's anyone carry your belts, it looks like you're doing it for attention and I'm not an attention-seeker.

"I'm not carrying any of my belts to the ring this time because I want to feel like the challenger. I want to look across the ring, see his belts and feel hungry to take them off him."



SEE ALSO
Haye set for heavyweight switch
11 Nov 07 |  Boxing


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