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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 12:31 GMT
Hatton questions Mayweather heart
By Ben Dirs in Las Vegas

Ricky Hatton
Hatton says Mayweather is already making excuses

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

Ricky Hatton says his heart will be the difference between himself and Floyd Mayweather when they meet in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Hatton added Mayweather, who is defending his WBC welterweight crown, will also pay for underestimating him.

"I've never seen Floyd dig deep, grab the bull by the horns and pull a fight out of the bag," Hatton told BBC Sport.

"I'm sure he's in the best shape of his life, but he does not realise how good I am and that's going to be a shock."

The 29-year-old Hatton, unbeaten in 43 professional fights, added: "He's got to dig deep at the weekend to win.

"He thinks I'm going to be 100mph bull at a gate, but I've shown that I'm not just that and that's what's going to win it."

Hatton said a lot of boxing experts have said he is better than Jose Luis Castillo - who controversially lost to Mayweather in 2002.

"A lot of people thought Jose Luis Castillo beat Mayweather (in 2002), and Castillo in his prime wasn't as good as me," Hatton added.

"His footwork wasn't as good as mine, his footwork wasn't as quick as mine, he wasn't as physically strong as me or as explosive as me.

BBC Sport's Ben Dirs in Las Vegas

"Was Castillo as good a body puncher, as hard a hitter, did he have the variation of shots? I would have to say no to every one. I've got the skill, the pressure and the heart, and that's the difference.

"He's referred to me as over-hyped, fat, beer-drinking - how embarrassing for him to get beat by someone like that.

"Like Tuesday follows Monday, I swear, it all comes to an end for Floyd at the MGM Grand."

Hatton also suspects Mayweather is already putting excuses in place ahead of the fight, with the American repeatedly making references to the fragile state of his hands.

Hatton, a former undisputed light-welterweight champion, said: "When someone mentions Floyd's hands it goes over my head.

"I prepare for the best Floyd Mayweather. He's telling us he's the best, so we've got to expect the best.

"It's not just this fight, Floyd's hands have been the same for every fight.

"If you wanted to be a bitter cynic, first he was saying being on Dancing With The Stars would maybe affect the fight, now he's been talking about his hands and shoulder.

I've told Ricky never to forget about his jab, to keep using it

Oscar de la Hoya

"I hope to think that if he beats me, and it's a fair result, he says, like I would, that the better man won on the night."

Meanwhile, Hatton has been backed to beat Mayweather by Oscar de la Hoya, who could fight the Englishman at Wembley Stadium next year.

"Ricky Hatton against Floyd Mayweather is like Roberto Duran against Sugar Ray Leonard and it will be a really entertaining fight," six-weight world champion De la Hoya, who lost to Mayweather in May, told BBC Sport.

"I've told Ricky never to forget about his jab, to keep using it.

"When I fought Floyd, in the fifth, sixth, seventh rounds, when I was using my jab, I had an easy time.

"He's vulnerable against the jab, he's doesn't know how to block them.

"Ricky needs to start everything with the jab and use pressure in a smart way.

"But he knows what he's doing, he's been in with great fighters and I believe his training has been impeccable and he's ready."

Hatton could retire after turning 30 next year if he sticks to the apparent agreement he has made with his mother.

"It's the last lap of his career now. He's 30 next year and we all made a pact," Mrs Hatton told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Two or three more fights. Because, after 30, your reflexes slow down.

"You've got more chance of getting hurt. He doesn't need the money now.

"How many boxers do you know who come back for the money and unfortunately terrible things happen?

"You don't get paid overtime - not in boxing, do you?

"So, get your money, get in there, get it done as quick as you can and let's all go home and have a party."

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
Sports Personality contenders
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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