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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 14:17 GMT
Hatton must box smart - Honeyghan
Ricky Hatton (left) and Floyd Mayweather
Hatton (left) and Mayweather will meet in Las Vegas on 8 December

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

British boxing legend Lloyd Honeyghan says Ricky Hatton must follow his lead if he wants to defeat Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas next weekend.

Honeyghan pulled off one of the sport's biggest-ever upsets when he beat American Don Curry for the undisputed welterweight crown in 1987.

"Ricky will find the blueprint in the way I beat Curry," said Honeyghan.

"I didn't just go in and chuck punches. It's got to be educated pressure, with lots of lateral movement."

Honeyghan, now 47, was given little chance against Curry, who, like five-weight world champion Mayweather, was considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world at the time.

Honeyghan added: "Nobody gave me a chance going into my fight against Curry. They gave me even less chance than they are giving Ricky.

I think Ricky fights a little too much with his face and I worry whether his corner knows enough to help him adapt to Mayweather's style

Lloyd Honeyghan

"They said Curry's slick skills would be too much for me to cope with. But I always knew it was never just going to be all about strength.

"If Ricky watches my fight against Curry, he'll see me constantly going forward but moving, moving, moving. I've seen Ricky fight like that before.

"That's what he needs to do again. There's no question that Ricky's strong enough to chase Mayweather down and close him down all night.

"Ricky might like a few more drinks out of training than I ever did, but we were both obsessed with fitness when we were getting ready for our fights. "Everything I did from the age of 11 was geared towards one day becoming champion of the world.

"I see the same in Ricky. He had a great amateur career and he always knew he'd make it, and so did everybody else.

"For Ricky, too, it's not about the money and the fame. It's all about loving his sport and wanting to be the best"


Hatton revealed he has taken inspiration from Honeyghan's famous victory, which ranks alongside Randolph Turpin's victory over Sugar Ray Robinson in 1951 in terms of boxing upsets.

"Nobody gave Lloyd a chance just like nobody is giving me a chance," said Hatton, who will be challenging for Mayweather's WBC welterweight belt.

"But Lloyd's best attribute was his fearlessness. He got into the ring that night and looked at Donald Curry and said: 'I don't care who you've beaten or what titles you've won'.

"He didn't look at the statistics, he just looked at the man. He went out and jumped on Curry straight away, put on controlled pressure, totally threw him out of his stride and beat him up in the end."

Honeyghan added that he did not expect Hatton, 29, to be fazed by Mayweather's verbal sparring in the lead-up to the fight, which takes place at the MGM Grand in the early hours of Sunday morning UK time.

Don Curry (left) and Lloyd Honeyghan
Honeyghan (right)

"Ricky won't be put off by all the stuff Mayweather says," said Honeyghan, who forced Curry, then 25, to retire in the sixth round.

"Mayweather can shout all he wants about being the best fighter in history, but it's not going to get under Ricky's skin.

"They tried the same with me. Curry's people kept talking about beating me and getting $10m for fighting Marvin Hagler.

"Then the fight happened, just like I said it would happen. Everyone was going crazy because Curry had been beaten but it wasn't a shock to me.

"And Mayweather's definitely beatable. I'd have been too smart for him. You can't just get in and throw punches. You've got to have a boxing brain.

"Put on the pressure, land your punches and make him miss. It's a great fight, the classical fighter against the classical boxer.

"Both unbeaten fighters, just like me and Curry were on the night, which is why I say it's almost a replica, the similarities are uncanny.

"It's hard to say who's going to win. I love Ricky Hatton. But I think he fights a little too much with his face and I worry about whether his corner knows enough to help him adapt to Mayweather's style of fighting.

"Ricky's on the big playing field now. He's fighting the man, and I don't think Ricky's corner is as experienced as Mayweather's uncle Roger.

"Roger will have the fight all worked out and he will programme Floyd's brain with it. Floyd will just turn up on the night and off he'll go."

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29 Nov 07 |  Boxing
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