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Page last updated at 10:28 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Hatton vows to continue lifestyle

Ricky Hatton
Hatton answered his critics by wearing a fat suit as he entered the ring

Ricky Hatton says he will not give up drinking between fights even though his new trainer Floyd Mayweather Snr warns he needs to do so to extend his career.

After Hatton's easy win over Paulie Malignaggi on Saturday Mayweather said: "Alcohol and eating bad, he's got to leave that stuff alone."

But Hatton told BBC Sport: "I am what I am. I'm a jack-the-lad. I like a drink.

"Floyd wants me to stop drinking completely but I don't think I need to go that strenuous."

Hatton entered the ring for his IBO light-welterweight defence against Malignaggi in Las Vegas on Saturday night wearing a fat suit, in response to growing criticism about his ballooning weight between fights and his drinking lifestyle.

The less he gets into (drinking alcohol) the longer his career is going to last

Floyd Mayweather Snr
Following his impressive victory over Malignaggi, Hatton has set his sights on fighting the winner of the bout between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao on 6 December, and even a possible rematch with his trainer's son Floyd Jnr, who handed Hatton his first professional defeat in 2007.

But Mayweather Snr has warned the Manchester fighter he needs to cut out the drink and fast food if he is to fight at the highest level.

"I told him 'you want to beat these guys, man, you want to continue to beat these guys like Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr?'" he said.

"'You can forget about whupping those kind of guys if you're going to continue that kind of life, drinking and Ricky Fatton and all that'. It's something I'm very concerned about.

"It's very simple. He needs to do this to save his career, however much time he has left - it might be two or three years, but the less he gets into (drinking alcohol) the longer his career is going to last."

Hatton, who began working with Mayweather Sr in September, is not planning to give up the drink completely but says he can strike a compromise.

"I am willing to meet him half way," Hatton added.

BBC Sport's Ben Dirs
"I live with my girlfriend now so I'm settled down, with home cooking so I am going in the right direction.

"Everyone keeps going on about my weight and my drinking, but 46 fights under my belt, in 12 years - I'm not performing too badly."

Despite their differing views on his lifestyle out of the ring, Hatton believes he has benefited from his decision to switch coaches.

Billy Graham, Hatton's trainer for 11 years, retired on 1 August and claimed to have been sacked - and Hatton says maybe he should have switched to Mayweather Snr's camp sooner.

"My performances were very crash, bang, wallop - there was not much method to my madness," commented Hatton.

"Slowly but surely I seemed to be losing my edge and I ended up getting beaten - so maybe I should have done it earlier.

"But I don't think people knew how close me and Billy Graham were; it was probably the hardest decision I've had to make in my boxing career."

"[With Floyd] I've had a very hands-on training camp, I've had really special treatment and I think it showed in my performance."

Hatton will turn his attention to his next possible match-up after watching De la Hoya and Pacquiao's bout in Las Vegas.

"After that fight, whether it's Pacquiao or de la Hoya - everything will fall into place," he added.

"I think Ricky Hatton has a lot of pulling power now really and the big names are on my agenda again."

see also
Hatton thrives on normality
24 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Slick Hatton defeats Malignaggi
23 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Hatton v Malignaggi photos
23 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Mayweather Sr will train Hatton
03 Sep 08 |  Boxing

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