Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

This bulldog has bite: Hatton

Ricky Hatton is planning to disprove Manny Pacquiao's theory the bigger you are the slower you become.

The two men will square up at the MGM Grand Garden Arena tomorrow morning in their light-welterweight clash for Hatton's IBO and Ring Magazine titles.

For Hatton, the 140-pound division is his natural domain, the only defeat in his 46-fight career coming at 147 pounds when he was stopped by Floyd Mayweather Jr in a welterweight title fight in December 2007.

Pacquiao (48-3-2, 35 KOs), meanwhile, will be fighting for only the third time above 130 pounds and the Philippines superstar has declared his speed will be too much for the bigger, slower Hatton.

The Englishman, however, claims recent boxing history and his new, improved style under trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr, glimpses of which were first seen last November in his victory over Paulie Malignaggi, mean Pacquiao is in for a surprise.

"Well, Kelly Pavlik said the same about (Bernard) Hopkins," Hatton said. "Manny's going to say he's smaller than me but got the speed and I'm going to say I'm bigger and I've got the power. But anyone, certainly in my last performance, anyone who looks at Ricky Hatton and that I just go in there and steam in and just throw body punches is going to be mistaken."

Hatton revealed defeat by his trainer's estranged son in Las Vegas 16 months ago had forced a change in styles.

"If anything, Floyd Mayweather knocking me on my backside has taught me that I've got to go back to basics," he continued. "I had to start jabbing and moving my head.

"Everyone expected Malignaggi to outbox me and outspeed me and make me look silly and I beat him at his own game.

"Mayweather, (Juan) Lazcano, even (Jose Luis) Castillo, which was one of my best performances, the tactics were just the same," he said. "But I'm not fighting like that now. Three or four years ago Manny would have won... but he's not just fighting the British bulldog now.

"That British bulldog's still there but he's been improved on."

Hatton, meanwhile, has been marvelling at the dedication of his fans.

"I think we're expecting nearly 20,000, here and, when you think how bad it is financially back home, to get support like that is unbelievable," Hatton said.

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