Mayweather clash could tempt Hatton

RICKY HATTON has revealed his days as a two-weight world champion are numbered ahead of his quest to regain the IBF light-welterweight title from Juan Urango in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Hatton was stripped of the belt when he moved up to claim the WBA 147lb crown from Luis Collazo in Boston in May, but that close points win has convinced him the lighter category is for keeps.

There would only be one exception – an increasingly unlikely clash with mighty Floyd Mayweather, who is himself moving up to meet Oscar De La Hoya at light-middleweight in May.

Hatton said: “I don’t think I will ever fight at welterweight again – unless Mayweather decides to move back down a division once he has fought De La Hoya.

“I would not change things for the world because it was a great achievement for me to move up and win a version of the world title in my first fight at that weight.

“But even though I won, it showed that it was a light-welter fighting a welterweight world champion. It is clear to see that I am not a natural welterweight, and that is why I have moved back down.”

Hatton has evidently heeded the advice of his influential trainer Billy Graham, who had argued vociferously against the match against the under-rated southpaw Collazo in Boston.

“Billy said he strongly advised against it and I over-ruled him,” added Hatton.

“I said, ‘no’, I want to be a two-weight world champion – and I got away with it by the skin of my teeth.”

Instead he will seek to cement his legacy in a 140lb division which boasts many all-time great champions including Barney Ross, Aaron Pryor and Julio Cesar Chavez.

Fights against big stars like Jose Luis Castillo – already tentatively scheduled for later this year – and Diego Corrales will come above unification clashes for the Manchester ‘Hit Man’.

Hatton added: “I feel I am in my prime and have two or three more years before I retire so really it is a case of taking the most meaningful fights that are out there.

Hatton, whose well-documented excess weight fell off to such an extent that his training regime went ahead of schedule, has looked in sensational shape in Wayne McCullough’s Las Vegas gym this week.

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