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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 23:46 GMT
Mayweather rejects injury concern
By Ben Dirs in Las Vegas

Floyd Mayweather
Mayweather does not mind being billed as the villain

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 dismissed rumours that his fragile hands will cause the postponement of this weekend's super-fight against Ricky Hatton.

Mayweather, 30, cancelled a training session on Monday, leading to reports that Sunday's fight in Las Vegas might be called off.

But Mayweather told BBC Sport: "The fight's not in jeopardy at all.

"My hands are great and there will be no excuses. I feel tremendous and training camp went well for me."

The American added: "He'll (Hatton) fight his heart out, but he's got a weakness and on fight night I'll show you what it is. It won't go the distance."

Mayweather, who was booed at a photo opportunity at the MGM Grand on Tuesday, said he was not fazed at being given such a hostile reception in his hometown.

"I'm always being put in that position," said the five-weight world champion, who will be putting his WBC welterweight belt on the line against Hatton.

"It was the same when I fought Arturo Gatti (Mayweather won by stoppage last June) and the same when I fought Oscar de la Hoya (Mayweather won by split decision in May of this year).

606: DEBATE
TM5

"You've got to have a villain and they'll always make me a villain. I'm used to it - it makes me work harder and it makes me fight harder.

"Ricky Hatton never had this many fans here before - it's all part of the Mayweather experience. I'm putting him in a position to buy a lot of Guinness."

Mayweather, who is unbeaten in 38 professional encounters, added that he believes Hatton is rattled and will be made to pay for any anger in the ring.

"Have you known Ricky Hatton to be a trash-talker before?" added Mayweather.

"No? Exactly. He'll fight hard because he's mad and upset. If you fight angry, you make a lot of mistakes, and when you fight a sharp, witty fighter like me, you can't make mistakes.

"He's been down, he cuts easily, he swells and he's fighting the best in the sport. Everyone talks about Hatton's pressure - pressure, pressure, pressure, it's been the same game-plan against me since 1987."

Mayweather was also confident experienced referee Joe Cortez would not put up with any roughhouse tactics from 29-year-old Hatton, who is unbeaten in 43 bouts.

"You can't use roughhouse tactics in Las Vegas," he said.

"Over here, we have the Nevada Commission and we have a tremendous referee in Joe Cortez, and they're fair and firm.

"Boxing is an art, a science. This is smart, intelligent boxing over here in the States."



SEE ALSO
Welcome to Vegas
04 Dec 07 |  Boxing
Hatton banking on crowd support
03 Dec 07 |  Boxing
Hatton must win in four - Lewis
02 Dec 07 |  Boxing
Shortlist revealed for BBC award
30 Nov 07 |  Sports Personality
Mayweather cools 'bad guy' role
30 Nov 07 |  Boxing
Mayweather overcomes De la Hoya
06 May 07 |  Boxing


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