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Friday, May 1, 2009

Ricky a Brit of alright

Ricky Hatton has told Manny Pacquiao he is better a fighter than he thinks - with added bite.

The Hitman has warned his opponent to expect more than a brawl when they meet for the pound-for-pound title at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, live on Sky Box Office.

And as his army of fans began to fill the casinos and bars in Vegas, Hatton says his defeat by Floyd Mayweather left him with no choice but to change - for the better.

"If anything, Floyd Mayweather knocking me on my backside has taught me that I've got to go back to basics," he said. "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's battle-cry is sure to fire up the thousands of Brits heading for the Nevada desert this weekend.

His sole defeat at the hands of Mayweather Jr attracted an estimated 35,000 travelling fans to the fight capital of the world.

That number is expected to drop due to the financial climate, but the MGM Grand Garden Arena is still a sell-out, with as many as 20,000 making the trip this time.


And the Hitman believes he can live up to his fanatical following and like them, become the best in the world.

"They pay their money time after time," he said. "Against (Paulie) Malignaggi, I think there was 8,000 who still came and that was just before Christmas. It's incredible.

"It's unbelievable. The sports fans in Britain do follow their football teams and boxers fantastically well. Whenever there's been a top boxer, a Lennox Lewis or Naseem Hamed, they've always come out in their droves.

"But I feel proud to say, and I've still got to prove I'm the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but the support that the Brits have when they go fighting abroad, they are head and shoulders the best fans in boxing."

Source: skysports.com

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