Hatton energised by new training regime

RICKY HATTON has vowed to put on a “barnstorming” show when he locks horns with Paulie Malignaggi on Saturday.

Hatton meets Malignaggi to defend his Ring magazine light-welterweight title at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, the same venue where he suffered the first defeat of his professional career against Floyd Mayweather last December.

Hordes of Hatton fans have travelled to Vegas to lend their support, and the Manchester fighter has promised not to disappoint them.

“It will be just the usual Ricky Hatton barnstorming fight,” Hatton said.

“I’m going to be all over him like a rash. I won’t be taking any backward steps.

“The day Ricky Hatton fans leave a fight without being entertained is the day I hang up my gloves. That’s certainly not what is going to happen on Saturday.”

Hatton stepped back down a division after Mayweather stopped him in the 10th round of their WBC welterweight bout last year.

He admits it will be hard to put that defeat to the back of his mind on Saturday, but believes a strict new training regime has enabled him to get into perfect shape.

Hatton split from long-standing coach Billy Graham last year and replaced him with Mayweather’s father, Floyd Mayweather Snr, who has been putting him through his paces in Nevada ahead of the fight, in which he will also be aiming to win Malignaggi’s insignificant IBO title after the New Yorker had to relinquish his IBF belt.

“Whenever I walk through the MGM Grand the first thing that will go through my mind will be Floyd Mayweather knocking me out but there is no shame in that,” said Hatton.

“He was the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, possibly of all time.

“I can understand why people have maybe said Ricky Hatton is past his best but I think they might be writing a new script come Saturday.

He added: “I’m still going to be the same old aggressive Ricky Hatton but I have polished my performance a bit in some areas and I expect that to be the difference come Saturday.”

Hatton knows a re-match with Mayweather could be on the cards if he defeats Malignaggi in style.

“I wouldn’t mind another crack at Floyd,” he said.

“I don’t want to be an old man moaning in a few years’ time about that fight, I’d rather he knock me out another time.

“If I have another cracking performance on Saturday then I will put myself in the shop window for another fight with Floyd.

“I’d like to fight either him, Oscar de la Hoya, Manny Pacquiao or Juan Manuel Marquez. He (Marquez) is one of the best fighters in the world and he has said he would like to move up a weight.

“But I will only be in the firing line for these fights if I put in a big performance on Saturday.”

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