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Page last updated at 22:05 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 23:05 UK

Hatton undaunted by underdog tag

Venue: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, USA
Date: Sunday 3 May
Start: Approx 0400 BST Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, reports and photos on BBC Sport website, TV coverage on Sky Sports (pay-per-view)

Hatton vows to 'shock the world'

Ricky Hatton admits he is the underdog for Saturday's light-welterweight super-fight against Manny Pacquiao, but insists he can still cause an upset.

Hatton is still unbeaten in the 10-stone class, with his only loss against Floyd Mayweather Jr at a higher weight.

"I can understand I am the underdog but it doesn't scare me," he said. "He is the best pound for pound fighter but this is my weight division.

"This fat, beer-drinking Englishman is going to shock the world again."

Hatton believes trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr has turned him into a more technically proficient fighter.

"This is the best Ricky Hatton's ever been," said the Manchester boxer.

"I haven't lost too many rounds at junior welterweight, never mind fights, because I've been too strong."

Bookmakers have made Hatton a clear second favourite at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, with Pacquiao, 30, considered to be the best all-round boxer in the world, predicted to win.

"I've been reading all the websites, magazines and papers and everybody seems to have made their mind up about this fight already," Hatton said.

"I was written off at the start when I first won this title from Kostya Tszyu, which seems a lifetime ago now. I think I was the 5-1 underdog then so I'm used to being in this position again."

The Briton believes his superior strength and new-found technical skills will prove too much for his Filipino opponent in the early hours of Sunday morning, UK time.

I don't think I've changed a great deal, I'm just more polished in certain areas

Ricky Hatton

"It's not just about 'the strongest man wins' in a boxing match," he stated. "Other elements come into it, technical things, the game plan, things like that.

"Technically I was back to my best in my last fight [an 11th-round knockout against Paulie Malignaggi in November 2008] and that was after only seven weeks with my new team.

"I think the difference between my last training camp and this one is night and day, technically."

Hatton revealed his defeat by Mayweather, the only loss in his 43-fight career, made him reconsider his approach to boxing.

"In years gone by I'd always shown in glimpses I had a good jab and boxing ability but in too many fights I hadn't been showing it," he conceded.

"In all my fights I thought I was just going to roll over every one.

"Obviously when I fought Floyd Jr he humbled me and showed me that I'd better go back to basics, even though that fight was at 147 pounds. It showed me that you can't steamroll everyone."

Mayweather's father took charge of Hatton's win over Malignaggi, introducing more technical elements to his style.

Although Hatton said his new trainer has helped turn him into a more rounded boxer, he insisted he still has the instincts that earned him 32 knockout victories.

He said: "I am a pressure fighter. You couldn't say for the Malignaggi fight that I resorted back to the old Ricky Hatton.


"Everybody thinks because of my new trainer that I've turned into this twinkled-toed jab-and-move boxer. I haven't.

"I'm still aggressive, I'm still a body puncher, still as ferocious as ever; technically, I've just peaked it here and there, jabbing more, moving more, setting my attacks up.

"Everybody is saying I'll resort back but resort back to what? I don't think I've changed a great deal, I'm just more polished in certain areas."

see also
Hatton v Pacquiao photos
29 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Hatton-Pacquiao predictions
28 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Beasts from the East
24 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Hatton slams Pacquiao credentials
21 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Mayweather Sr to stay with Hatton
27 Mar 09 |  Boxing
Hatton relishes Pacquiao showdown
29 Jan 09 |  Boxing
Hatton's Pacquiao fight confirmed
26 Jan 09 |  Boxing
Pacquiao stops 'empty' De la Hoya
07 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Slick Hatton defeats Malignaggi
23 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Pacquiao claims lightweight title
29 Jun 08 |  Boxing

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