Floyd Mayweather has finished his training for Saturday's fight against Ricky Hatton and insists that there is nothing wrong with his hands.
Rumours have been circulating here for two weeks suggesting Mayweather, who has fragile hands, had injured himself sparring and that the fight was in jeopardy. However, Mayweather and his main advisor, Leonard Ellerbee, have both claimed that the boxer's preparation was not affected by hand problems.
"I'm a professional fighter and like most professional fighters I have had difficulties with my hands in the past," said Mayweather, who will be defending his World Boxing Council welterweight title. "I have invested in the latest technology to help me prepare for fights and so far all is well. But, my body is most definitely sending me signals that time is running out.
"I've had boxing gloves on since before I could walk and been in gyms all of my life. The end is getting closer for Floyd Mayweather," he continued .
The first rumours about Mayweather's brittle hands were heard on 22 November, which was the day Hatton arrived in Las Vegas. There were stories that the boxer had missed sessions in the gym and that he had insisted on training away from the intrusive eye of all members of the media.
However, Ellerbee countered the rumours by insisting that Mayweather was simply varying his routine and working on specific tactics. "Floyd has been overwhelmed by the interest in this fight and he is a very private person and it's because of his privacy that the rumours started," said Ellerbee. "Sure Floyd likes to spar in private but then so many other great fighters have done the same. It's ridiculous to think that there is something wrong simply because the doors were closed on Floyd's private gym," Ellerbee added.
Even Hatton has hidden himself away in the long weeks of preparation and his trainer, Billy Graham, was forced for the first time in their 10-year relationship to close the doors at their gym in Denton, in Manchester. " There comes a time when the interest is just too much and that is why we had to limit the open-access days for the public to just once a week," said Graham. "Perhaps Floyd is experiencing the same thing."
The pair are due to come face to face tomorrow at the main press conference in what is being eagerly anticipated for a variety of reasons to be a very lively encounter. Mayweather dismally failed to upset Hatton when they went on a five-city tour to promote the fight in September.
"It's no secret that Floyd likes to get under the skin of the men he is fighting but he fell short when he started his trash-talking to me," said Hatton.
"I just hope there's nothing wrong with his hands because there's certainly nothing wrong with his mouth."