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01 OCTOBER 2014

 

Hatton: "I told Floyd Mayweather to F*** off!"


Hatton (pictured) was in no mood to be messed about by Pretty Boy (pic Hogan Photos)
Hatton (pictured) was in no mood to be messed about by Pretty Boy (pic Hogan Photos)

By Ant Evans: Fans exiting the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 12, 2005, following Jermain Taylor's second points over Bernard Hopkins were unaware that they'd nearly witnessed an even bigger fight. Just minutes before Hopkins made his ring walk, a pair of pound-for-pound talents very nearly 'got into it' at ringside.

The fighters in question were Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather Junior.

By Ant Evans: Fans exiting the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 12, 2005, following Jermain Taylor's second points over Bernard Hopkins were unaware that they'd nearly witnessed an even bigger fight. Just minutes before Hopkins made his ring walk, a pair of pound-for-pound talents very nearly 'got into it' at ringside.

The fighters in question were Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather Junior.

Both junior welterweight king Hatton and pound-for-pound prince Mayweather were at ringside for the fight and, as Hatton told the British press recently, their meeting was an acerbic one.

"I only said two words to him, really," Hatton began."I was sitting at ringside on my own and I saw him walking down my row. I'd never met him in my life so I stood up thinking 'Well, this will be interesting'. I went to shake his hand and said "Nice to meet you Floyd" but instead of taking my hand he started pointing at me going 'I'm gonna get you! Outta my way!'

"I said, 'Get out of the way? Fuck off!'.

Hatton claims he then sat back down in his fourth row seat and put his feet up on the chair in front and folded his arms, blatantly blocking the pound-for-pounder's path. However, a HBO rep ushered Mayweather in the other direction before fans could be treated to a fight which would have made up for the average 12 rounds between Taylor and Hopkins.

Hatton continued: "As he walked away I thought 'It isn't just for the cameras, is it? You're a proper dick, aren't ya?' I mean, there was no-one around us at all so he didn't have to act tough at all but. I also heard he went up to Sugar Ray Leonard and told him that he would have knocked Sugar Ray out. The guy's got no class."

Personally, I've found Mayweather - certainly since he famously asked the media for a 'second chance' after hammering Arturo Gatti last summer - to be extremely polite and, to my great surprise, even somewhat modest.

Speaking several weeks ago Mayweather told SecondsOut: "Nothing personal between me and Ricky Hatton, but it is two champions in their prime who gotta meet. Let's get this done. Afterwards, we can be friends."

Hatton acknowledges that the Pretty Boy represents the defining fight of his entire career. He said: "I'm not saying Mayweather holds no fear for me, he'd be the challenge of my career, I know. But I know exactly what it takes to beat me and I'm not sure Floyd can do it. To keep me off you, to stop me coming and rolling right over you, you have to stop me in my tracks and having stood next to Mayweather I can't think how he's got the strength to stop ,me.

"If I stand back and let him go through his bag of tricks I know what he could do to me but I'm not stupid, there's no way I will do that .I know I can beat Mayweather and I want this fight later this year or early next year."

However, Hatton rejected any suggestion that he is looking ahead at Mayweather and forgetting he has a potentially dangerous assignment in Boston on May 13 against defending WBA welterweight champion Luis Collazo.

"It's my first fight at welterweight and that's a challenge in itself," Ricky stressed. "He's an attacking fighter, he's young and ambitious and he's a southpaw to boot and I think he's really going to try and make a name for himself. He's probably dreamed of fighting the likes of Mayweather just like I have so I know I'm in for another hard night."

But, with a wry grin, the body-snatching Hatton noted: "But he does have rather a long body on him, doesn't he?"

***
Tickets for Hatton v Collazo are available NOW. In the UK: telephone 01142 560 555 for details

In the US: Tickets are available at: The TD Banknorth Garden Box Office, located on the West Side of the North Station Platform, to the right of the Pro Shop.

Open Monday - Sunday: 11:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. (The TD Banknorth Garden Box Office does not accept any incoming phone calls); and all TicketMaster outlets, by phone at 617-931-2000, and online at TicketMaster.com.

Ticket prices: $50, $100, $150, $250, $400, $500.


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