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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 07:42 GMT
Mayweather cools 'bad guy' role
Floyd Mayweather
Mayweather said recently he was better than Muhammad Ali

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

Floyd Mayweather has sought to repair his public image ahead of his Las Vegas fight with Ricky Hatton on 8 December.

The WBC welterweight king has alienated many fans with his constant trash talk, while support for down-to-earth British challenger Hatton has been growing.

Mayweather said: "Each fight has to have a good guy and a bad guy, but I'm just saying I believe in my skills.

"Everybody's entitled to judge a person how they want to do, but I've got a good heart."

The American added: "I never did anything illegal, and all I did was go out there to dedicate myself to the craft of boxing.

"I conduct myself like a gentleman. I'm not out there pushing Ricky Hatton off the stage or shoving him.

606: DEBATE
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"When I fought Oscar de la Hoya I was the bad guy, but when I fought Zab Judah I was the good guy because he was even worse than I was.

"Ricky Hatton is not a trash talker, Floyd Mayweather has been a trash talker for over a decade. I've been in 18 or 19 championship fights and I know what it takes.

"That's the hand you're dealt and you have to deal with it. Everything is a struggle, but you don't let anything break your confidence."

I've got to be careful I don't put in too many punches the first six rounds

Ricky Hatton

Mayweather, 30, seen as the world's current best pound-for-pound fighter, denied his brash confidence meant he was underestimating Hatton.

"I don't overlook any of my opponents," he claimed. "I always approach every fight in a great manner and I am always pushing myself to the limit and trying to get the best out of myself.

"I'll continue to do that. I always train hard and I dedicate myself so that in 20 years' time when my grandkids read stories about me they'll know that I was one hell of a good fighter."

Hatton preferred to stay focused on the fight and insists he is well prepared for what Mayweather might throw at him.

"The tactics are going to be clear; I'll be on the front foot and Floydy will be on the back foot," he said.

"We might stand toe-to-toe for a bit - he likes to stand in there and make opponents miss and soak up shots - but I've got to be careful I don't put in too many punches the first six rounds and leave a bit of energy for the final six.

"But, tactically, I think I know what he's up to and I believe I'm going to do it."

SEE ALSO
Hatton-Mayweather in pictures
29 Nov 07 |  Boxing
Hatton trainer dismisses taunts
20 Nov 07 |  Boxing
Hatton in 'best ever condition'
20 Nov 07 |  Boxing


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