Hatton dismisses critics
A relaxed and confident Ricky Hatton answered questions on a media conference call about his showdown with Manny Pacquiao on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
With the big fight only a week and half away, Hatton remained upbeat and positive about his chances of upsetting Pacquiao, who is about a 2-to-1 betting favorite and the overwhelming choice among the media to beat the junior welterweight champion.
When asked if he felt any pressure to better the performance he turned in against Floyd Mayweather Jr., which also took place at the MGM, Hatton said he’s entering his second shot at a pound-for-pound king with a clear conscience.
“I don’t feel any pressure going into this fight,” Hatton said. “The Mayweather fight was my only loss, and he’s beaten everyone else he’s fought so I’ve got nothing to be ashamed about. I don’t feel that I have anything to prove to anyone (going into the Pacquiao fight). I have one of the best records in boxing, 46 wins with only one loss. I’ve beat great fighters like Kostya Tszyu and Jose Luis Castillo. I’ve won four world titles in two weight classes.
“I’m quite content with my career.”
As well he should be. However, the image of Hatton struggling with not-so-great fighters like Luis Collazo, Juan Urango and Juan Lazcano is hard to dismiss when weighing his chances of beating Pacquiao.
Noting that both Collazo and Urango are left-handed fighters, Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has publicly stated that Hatton doesn’t know how to fight southpaws.
Hatton admits that he had a difficult time with both southpaws but maintained that their left-handed stances had nothing to do with his trouble.
“I struggled with Collazo because it was my first fight at welterweight, (because) he was bigger than me, not because he was left handed,” Hatton said. “If you stood Manny Pacquiao next to Luis Collazo, it would be like David and Goliath. I had a virus going into the Juan Urango fight. I thought I boxed well early on but then I lost all my energy.
“Just because Bob Arum says I can’t fight southpaws don’t expect me to s__t myself. Bob’s probably hoping I can’t fight southpaws.”
Despite their dismissive comments about his ability, Hatton believes that Arum and Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, aren't as confident in their fighter as they let on.
“Freddie says I won’t last three rounds with Manny but then he says that he doesn’t want a certain referee to work the fight,” Hatton said. “Well, if Freddie was so certain about beating me, he wouldn’t be so worried about who the referee is.”
Hatton didn’t sound insecure or aggravated as he defended his credentials during the call. He said he’s used to being doubted.
“I’ve spent my whole career with knockers [critics],” Hatton said. “They say I’m just a battling Brit who sells tickets. I was always an over-hyped, overrated, protected kid who didn’t want to leave Manchester.
“But I proved the critics wrong when I beat Kostya Tszyu. And then I proved them wrong by coming to the United Stated to fight. I proved to be one of the best. I’ve earned shots at two pound-for-pound No. 1 fighters, and this time I’m fighting at my weight (140 pounds).
“They still knock me for my lifestyle,” he continued. “They say I get too heavy between fights and that I drink too much beer. That’s why I started wearing a fat suit into the ring. That’s my way of sticking it to my critics.
“Everyone sees me as a little fat brawler, but if you look at my record, you should know that isn’t so.”