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Amir Khan urges Ricky Hatton to retire from boxing

Retirement best for Hatton - Khan

Britain's Amir Khan has urged former champion Ricky Hatton not to continue his boxing career.

"I think he should retire," said Khan, who is preparing for his American debut with a WBA light-welterweight defence against Paulie Malignaggi on 15 May.

"He's beaten some great fighters and the only two he has lost to have been pound-for-pound best in the world.

"He has the respect of the British fans and boxers and I think he should hang his gloves up and relax now."

Hatton first retired after losing to Floyd Mayweather in 2007 but returned to the ring a year later.

He has not fought since being knocked out in the second round in Las Vegas by Filipino Manny Pacquiao last May, but announced plans for a return in 2010 last December.

Malignaggi was one of Hatton's victims but has warned Khan he has raised his game since that defeat in 2008.

Malignaggi offers to fight Hatton

The American, stopped by Hatton in the 11th round, won a rematch with Juan Diaz in December to re-establish his credentials as a world title contender.

"I am a much better fighter today than when I fought Ricky Hatton," he said.

The 29-year-old New Yorker added: "I have been inconsistent a lot, but there have been shining moments where I have looked tremendously good, and I feel I am getting back to that point now."

Khan, 23, beat Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera last March, before stepping up a weight and defeating Andreas Kotelnik to claim the WBA title.

He hammered Dmitriy Salita in 76 seconds and had been expected to face Juan Manuel Marquez before the fight fell through.

The Malignaggi fight, confirmed on Tuesday, is Khan's first since joining Golden Boy promotions and will take place at Madison Square Garden.

Hatton still has the 'X factor' - De La Hoya

Khan, who will start training with Freddie Roach next week, said: "We have watched a lot of tapes of Paulie, and we really think it is a style we can beat.

"With my style and his style, it is going to be electric. We both have heart and just don't quit."

Khan added: "I respect Paulie, he has had some great fights in the past and has a great record, beaten only by great fighters like Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto - but now there is another fighter coming out who is going to beat him.

"I am confident, so is my trainer, and I just want to put on a great fight for the American fans and for the British fans who will be travelling out to the US with me."

606: DEBATE

Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya, who won 10 world titles in six different weight classes, is billing the bout as the "fight of the year".

"We are witnessing history in the making," he said. "We strongly feel Amir Khan can be the next great fighter to come out of England.

"He has a tough challenge in front of him, but we want to prove to the world he can become what we think he can become - that is a great champion."



see also
Hatton to return to ring in 2010
10 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Khan confirmed to face Malignaggi
09 Mar 10 |  Boxing
Khan hopes for Malignaggi clash
11 Feb 10 |  Boxing
Warren 'gutted' at Khan departure
25 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Khan set to make US fight debut
20 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Khan signs deal with Golden Boy
17 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Confident Khan targets US success
06 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Ruthless Khan demolishes Salita
05 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Slick Hatton defeats Malignaggi
23 Nov 08 |  Boxing


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