Mayweather v Hatton: Both Camps Confident Of Victory

20.11.07 - By Matthew Hurley: According to BBC Sport, Ricky Hatton’s fitness coach, Kerry Kayes, says that his fighter is in the best condition of his professional career and that the Hatton camp learned from the mistakes made in Hatton’s first and only other foray into the welterweight division. On that night in May of 2006 at the TD Banknorth in Boston, Massachusetts Hatton took on welterweight contender Luis Collazo for the World Boxing Association title in less than prime condition and was lucky to escape with a close unanimous decision..

“We’ve all learned the lessons from the Collazo fight,” Kayes said. “It is easy for people to say in a training camp that this is the best condition he’s ever been in. But let’s live in the real world, even if he wasn’t, some people would say it.”

Somewhat deflating his own argument Kayes then went on to add, “But it is truly the best he has ever been. He’s fighting a weight above normal weight but we’ve been given fourteen weeks notice, so Ricky’s on fire, I promise you.”

Kayes contends that ultimately taking the Collazo fight was Hatton’s mistake, insisting that Billy Graham, Hatton’s longtime trainer, didn’t want the fight.

“Billy said that it was a foolish fight to take on such short notice but Ricky overruled him. Ricky learned a lesson because he said he would never overrule Billy again. With Mayweather, who is a very small welterweight, we’ve had fourteen weeks to prepare against a traditional boxer who is very small so it will be a completely different fight (than with Collazo).”

In the meantime Mayweather’s advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, has said that he expects his fighter to knock Hatton out when the two meet on December 8th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“This fight won’t go twelve rounds,” Ellerbe said to reporter John Martinez. “Whatever Hatton attempts to do, it won’t be good enough. Floyd always has the same focus for his opponent no matter who it is and come December 8th he is going to show Ricky Hatton why there are different levels of boxing and why he is not on Floyd’s level.”

In the face of Mayweather’s public taunts, for all to see on the continuing 24/7 series on HBO, Hatton is holding his own in the verbal sparring matches. The British fighter still remains, however, a considerable underdog with the vast majority of writers and fans predicting a Mayweather victory. None of this deters the “Hitman”.

“No one gives me a chance,” he says with a shrug. “Well, no one gave me a chance against (Kostya) Tszyu either. He was a pound for pound fighter when I beat him. It brought out the best in me. Now, I’m ready to take the pound for pound title from Floyd in Las Vegas on December 8th.”

And the war of words continues.

Article posted on 20.11.2007

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