|Ricky Hatton; “He can’t fool me when he says he doesn’t rate me”
INTERVIEW By Gabriel Montoya (Sept 27, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
For his upcoming showdown with welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., Ricky Hatton took part in a round table interview with various members of the West Coast Boxing media. He was gracious, hilarious, thoughtful and very candid with his responses. The following is an excerpt from that round table which our very own Gabriel Montoya took part in.
Gabriel Montoya: You have the bigger fan base. You’re the bigger draw. Why didn’t this fight happen in England in a larger venue and at a 140?
Ricky Hatton: Well, if you had the fight in England, the fight would have to take place at maybe two in the morning to coincide with American viewers. Obviously, this time of the year in England, it’s not as warm as here [a proposed English Venue was an outdoor soccer stadium]. So to have the fight back in England in December at 2 o’clock in the morning is not nearly as safe a bet. And the PPV at peak time in America is probably the most important thing as far as raising finances but Floyd wouldn’t have come to England anyway. Floyd talks about how he doesn’t rate but fact of the matter is three years ago on ESPN he called me out saying he was going to come to England and fight you in your backyard and I’ll knock you out. Then when I beat Kostya Tsyzu he suddenly changed his mind. He can’t fool me when he says he doesn’t rate me. If I wasn’t any good I wouldn’t be getting my shot.
GM: You said you didn’t quite feel your best in your debut at 147 against Collazo. What’s going to be different this time around for you?
RH: I learned a lot from my mistakes when I fought at welterweight. The fight got made five weeks before. I was supposed to fight Juan Lazcano at junior welterweight. He pulled out with like a hand injury I think. So I had like five weeks to grow into the weight. Before the fight, in the gym, I felt the best I had ever felt. I was even looking across at Billy Graham in the
gym and giving him a little smile like “I got this” to let him know I felt that great. But then, the mistake I made is that when I weigh 140 on the night I get in the ring round about 152-154. But because I was going up to welterweight I tried to make myself as big as him. I got in the ring at 11 stone 6 which is 6 or 8 pounds heavier than what I normally perform best at on the night, really. Consequently I looked sluggish. I looked slow. I didn’t have my speed, my head movement, footwork. Carrying that 6 or 8 pounds instead of coming in at the weight I fight best at, I come in 6 to 8 pounds heavier. And that’s what I am going to do. Come in at the weight I perform best at.
GM: Whom do you think Floyd is trying to convince with all this trash talk? You or him?
RH: He might be trying to build himself. I think he might be trying to get under my skin.
GM: Do you think the fight will be won as much mentally as it will physically?
RH: Well, I don’t know. He tried to get a reaction from me on the stage and then he walked away. I think he’ll come back and try again. He kept saying “make a move, make a move.” And I just stood there laughing at him, popping me gum.
GM: Castillo tried to bully him into the ropes. A lot of people thought he won their first fight. Oscar tried to box him. Both of those guys failed. How are you going to succeed where they failed?
RH: Jose put the pressure on him. Didn’t give him the space to use his speed and the wonderful talent that he’s got. And Oscar tried to outbox him. They both put the pressure on him but not like Ricky Hatton can put it on someone. So anyone that says I don’t have a chance, they don’t know what they are talking about. You can look at those two fights, people that have pushed him back and put the pressure on him. They very nearly beat him. A lot of people felt Castillo won the first fight.
e-mail Gabriel at: Coyotefeather@gmail.com
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