CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Richard Schaefer: Welcome everyone to today’s conference call. We are only 10 days to fight night, which is certainly the most anticipated showdown of the year.
You have two very aggressive fighters, two guys who just know how to go forward. It’s going to be a total battle in the ring and it’s really shaping up based on the early indications to be one of the biggest boxing events we have seen in many, many years. I have some breaking news as well. Tickets are officially sold out. As all tickets are sold out we have opened up almost 20,000 closed circuit locations now in Las Vegas as the Mirage, the Treasure Island, Monte Carlo, Circus Circus, Luxor, New York, New York, and of course at the MGM as well and the Mandalay Bay Event Center. We’ll most likely sell out with close circuit as well. Those tickets are priced at an affordable $50. As I said, this is an amazing showdown. These are two very skilled fighters. Both of them are top 10 ranked, the best pound per pound fighter and Ricky not far behind. Ricky wants to claim that title. He is undefeated at the 140 weight class. That’s the weight of course this fight will be taking place at, the junior welterweight championship, the belt currently held by Ricky Hatton who is the undisputed junior welterweight champion of the world. It is a pleasure now for me to introduce to you the Hitman from Manchester, Ricky Hatton.
Ricky Hatton: Hello everyone. Thanks for joining us. I think where I’m at now with my training camp is the ideal place that I would like to be 10 days out from the fight. I’ve got one last sparring session to do tomorrow afternoon and then it will be just a case of basically tapering down my training and easing back. As you can appreciate this is – come fight night it would have been 12 weeks of training time. We’ve been working so hard for 11 of them I think you need that work to get it all back if you like and so and then – so just occasionally only one more hard sparring session on Wednesday and sharpening up my tools and I couldn’t get them any sharper than where they are at the minute.
I think all the sparring partners have been absolutely exceptional. And they’re the best sparring partners I’ve had I think, really. They have been nearly clones of the style of Manny Pacquiao. And you know my timing, my sharpness, my weight – as I said earlier I’m in a perfect place for the position I want to be at as far as the training camp goes 10 days away from the fight. And practically I think I know what Manny is – what Manny will be up to.
I do really believe he’s very effective at what he does, but I think he fights the same way all the time. He throws the same punches all the time. He throws a right jab, a one-two. He shuffles in and out with his feet, which obviously if you don’t get to – if you don’t get adjusted to the style of his feet obviously it could cause you problems. But I think you get adjusted to this style – I don’t see a versatile fight in Manny Pacquiao. So I think I will have more game plans in my favor. Especially the way I’m fighting now really. I mean if you’d watched tapes maybe – I don’t know three, four, five fights ago, you could just – I could have been easy to read. But I feel I’m a lot more difficult to read now and I hope to show that. I think size will be a big factor. And I don’t – I think when I look at Manny’s recent opponents, Oscar de la Hoya, who is – obviously who his weight problem couldn’t pull the trigger and couldn’t let punches go and you know what very, very slow compared to the Oscar we used to see. He, I think was a nice opponent for Manny. He had a comfortable win.
I think Marquez is a very patient, a safety first fighter. I think Marco Antonio Barrera is a boxer who tried to box on the move. I don’t think – what I’m basically getting at is I don’t think Manny is fought anybody as fiery, as ferocious, as rough and certainly not as big and as strong as Ricky Hatton. There’s one thing that comes to mind is Ricky Hatton is a handful, he’s all over you. He’s an absolute handful. And I’m using a left jab hand move and hand speed as well now. So, the only – there’s no doubt in my mind who’s going to win this fight. I’ve never been more certain, I’ve never been more confident. I’ve got an opponent who I feel that I’m stronger than. And I feel that very rarely have I got an opponent that if you know I have a high advantage of over Manny and it won’t be a massive high end advantage. It will certainly be a massive strength from power advantage and I think if I get my tactics right and my timing right I’ll hold onto my belts and I hope to claim the number one spot. I hope I claim the number one pound per pound spot because Juan Manual Marquez is number two. I feel you know Manny Pacquiao beat the number two fight twice. He had his best win in his last fight against Oscar. If anything he’s doing it different ways. I think he probably beat Juan Manuel Marquez, if I beat Manny Pacquiao I believe I should go to the best pound for pound fights in the world. And I believe that just as long as Ricky Hatton does what Ricky Hatton does best I believe I’m going to be too much in all areas for Manny and I’m not just selling that for you to sharpen your pencils. I’m saying that because it’s what I believe. And he’s a great man and a great fighter. I thank him for the opportunity. The fans are going to be in for a fantastic night and where I’m at at the minute, I couldn’t be any more positive about the outcome of this fight. Thank you.
Q: Ricky, you said a lot just now and I guess you answered actually a couple of my questions I had. But one thing that hooked my interest was with all the advantages you just talked about, the size, the physical ness the aggressiveness. And Manny being right in front of those – known to be right in front of a fight and willing to exchange. Is this a fight you can see ending early?
Ricky Hatton: Well, I don’t see it being a distance fight. One, because Manny doesn’t fight you know like he claims to go the distance. In fairness Manny goes for the knockout, I go for the knockout, but and I’m sure Manny will probably say the same thing about me. But I think Manny is not the most elusive. You know I think he’s there, and sometimes he’s a southpaw and when he comes – very square on, he puts himself in the pocket so he’s there if there’s a hit, it comes square on. He likes to engage you know in a fight, which obviously anyone who engages in a fight there’s obviously dangers for me and I am aware of that. But if he engages and wants to have a fight with me, I do strongly believe he will come second best you know it’s very rare for me to have a height advantage or reach advantage. I’m normally reaching for the shots because I’m so much shorter than the opponents. But I guess along the other things that I’m working on in my game. Everybody seems to think because I’ve been working with Floyd Mayweather, Sr. that I’m all of the sudden going to turn into a master boxer. And I don’t think that’s what I’m getting at. I think the old Ricky has to be ultimately the one that is going to win this fight but he’s a lot more polished in other areas now. And becomes Manny comes square on, he can be easy to hit. He puts himself in a position where you know because he tries to get good solid punches off himself. And I think because he puts so much into that left hand, he sometimes when he misses he falls off balance and he leaves himself open to the hit with counter. If he does get hit he’s going to be hit by the biggest man he’s ever faced, I believe. So I’m very confident but so obviously you’ve got to get your tactics right, get off to a good start. You know especially now I think I know what he’s up to and I think once I’ve sorted him out I think – I expect it be a very explosive fight rather than a long, drawn out affair. I think Manny will probably say the same.
Q: One more question for you. Even in Oscar fight, Oscar was considered the naturally bigger guy, but over-trained and came actually smaller. There’s no chance that you’ve over-trained or will over-train?
Ricky Hatton: No, not at all. Not at all. I’ve been in shape for several weeks now and because of what Oscar did in his fight, that has been there as a constant reminder – a constant reminder not to make the same mistakes if you like whether you leave it on the scales or whether you leave it on the gym. As long as you don’t leave it behind that is the main thing you know so.
As I said I’ve got one more soft training session tomorrow. I’m going to – my last sparring session will be tomorrow and then we’re going to taper down and I think that’s like a whole nine – that’s like a whole nine to ten days of tapering down. And needless to say when you’ve 10 days winding down there’s absolutely no chance of overdoing it.
You can overdo it if you train too hard right up to the fight, but I mean I’m exactly – that’s why – I mean normally I would do my hard – less hard session on a Friday. We’re making it on a Wednesday this time because I’ve just been basically I’m there really now. I don’t want to overdo it like you just said.
Q: Ricky, one thing about this fight is you know you and Manny have both always conducted yourself with a lot of respect toward your opponents. You know you don’t hear – you say you’re confident in winning the fight and you say why. He does the same thing but there’s not a lot of trash talk between you two and no reason for you guys to get into it with each other. But the same can’t be said for the trainers. And I’m wondering what your take is on the just seemingly never ending battle of words and the quotes that come out and all the things that your trainers says about his trainer and his opponent – and your opponent as well as you know the sort of stuff that Freddie says related to you and also to your trainer.
Are you amused by it? Do you not pay attention? Or just – what’s your take on the sort of back-and-forth between Floyd and Freddie?
Ricky Hatton: Well, I don’t pay too much attention to it and I’m not really bothered. But little things I do pay attention to. I mean Floyd needless to say is a talker and Freddie Roach is a – somewhat a talker. But it seems like Freddie has been more talkative in this fight than he’s done in any fights really. Which when you start acting a little bit out of character, maybe you know, maybe he’s not quite as confident as he says. I mean he says that Manny will win in three rounds and stuff like this. I don’t know – maybe he’s taken the bait as they say from Floyd. I mean I don’t know, I can’t answer that. But the only thing to me, I don’t doubt for a minute that Floyd – I mean I’m sure Floyd respects Freddie. I mean it is Floyd being Floyd, basically, and I don’t think Freddie is taking it to heart a bit or what Freddie seems to have reacted to it.
But no, I think that’s Floyd, and to be honest I let Floyd do the talking and I’ll just – I just know what I’m capable of doing. I mean I know how I perform and I know what I’m capable of doing. I’m a student of boxing. I know styles. I know games. And I just feel really, really confident in this fight. And even though there is trash talk with Floyd, a lot of people see it as trash talk what Floyd is saying. There’s one thing that Floyd has reassured me on is that Ricky, he said – I let my mouth go and I say this and I say that. He said you think I’m going to let my mouth run off and risk making a fool of myself for it to come back to me? So what I’m getting at basically, whatever he is saying he just generally believes is going to happen. You know so, a lot of it what we’ve seen is trash talk. So but I don’t think he’s going to publicly stick his neck on the line as much as he has been and to the extent that he has done if he didn’t believe that I could back it up, and we firmly do believe we can back it up. You know if the trainers want to have a little bit of it, because they’re both the best trainers in the world arguably. So whichever position you want to do. There’s obviously going to be a it of pride between the trainers, but fortunately the best man will win the fight and I obviously believe I’m the best man.
Q: Ricky one other thing about that, when you hear the things that he says and the rhymes and the you know you hear it on 24-7 and you read the quotes or you hear an interview with Floyd, does it make you crack up? Because Floyd says some funny stuff.
Ricky Hatton: He is hilarious and that’s what makes you know the training is very, very hard. But you know trainers have got to be fun and it’s a long time since I’ve enjoyed my training camps because obviously in years gone by (they’re not the same years, my former trainer at Billy Graham Training was becoming hard work due to Billy’s health and his injuries you know. Training becomes pretty difficult really because I was worried whether Billy was going to get through the training camps.
You know, well now we’re working hard, we’re training hard, we’re working on new things. It’s a lot for a minute. You know, sometimes, you know, you can go in the gym, you don’t even have to say anything. You just listen to Floyd for two hours and you lose two pounds fucking laughing. It’s a good training camp to be in.
But, you know, I’ve got training camp is only as good as you’re performing in it. And it’s the training camp at the minute couldn’t be better. But that’s Floyd’s makeup.
You know, he likes to excite people every second, you know, Floyd’s, I don’t, you know, a lot of the things I think he says will be a little bit tongue and cheek. I think its clear to me Freddie’s a good coach. I don’t think he truly means it. I think that is Floyd Mayweather.
Q: Hey, listen, a couple of questions. I know you fought I think four times in Vegas overall, but I think most of us would agree that this is your second really, you know, massive fight, the other one being against Mayweather, Jr.
With all of the fans that you have coming over, your fans travel better than any fans in the world, and, of course, I know how your parents were at your last to Mayweather based on what I saw in 24/7, their own quote.
How important is it in your heart of hearts that you have a much better showing in this massive fight than you did against Floyd Mayweather, Jr.?
Ricky Hatton: Well, it’s very important because if I perform like I did last time, I’ll get beat again. But, I mean, I was performing a lot – I’m performing a lot better now. then I was then. I mean, needless to say, you would say in the two major fights, Floyd and this one, because, again, I’m telling you for the best-for-pound fighter in the world, to be honest, it’s fairly obvious answers really that I’m giving you. And now from the question you’ve asked me, of course it – of course, I mean, you’d have to be stupid to say that it’s not the most important fight. Of course it is. It’s for the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world title. But since I’ve boxed in the States, I’ve won two world titles in two weight divisions and, you know, brought all these fans. And I’d like to think I’ve brought some of the best atmosphere fights that Vegas has seen in recent years. So, yeah, I’m boxing a lot, a lot better now. However, my last fight against Floyd was out of my weight division and my two fights at welterweight never really – didn’t look comfortable for me, did they, going up the extra 7 pounds, even winning the world title against Collazo, I didn’t – don’t think I looked particularly comfortable. But, you know, this is my weight division. This is the weight I feel more comfortable at. Even though he’s fought at – even though Manny has fought at 147, I don’t think he’s fought at this big a weight before. I mean, that – and what I mean by it is, I mean, you know, you can look absolutely fantastic.
You know, Manny could’ve – he’s like – I don’t want to sound too disrespectful to my promoter, my friend Oscar de la Hoya, but he could’ve done the same thing hitting a punch bag that night, no disrespect to Oscar. That’s not the Oscar that we’ve come to love over the years. So this is a new weight division for him. He may’ve had one fight at 147, but trust me, this is a new weight division for him. And I feel very, very confident because I’ve never lost at this weight division. I’ve always proved too big and strong, then unlike the Mayweather fight, where there was really no real method to the madness and it made things quite easy for Floyd by going in carelessly. I’m not doing that now, I expect to perform a lot better, one, because, you know, I’ve got a new training camp and I’m working on different things, and two, it is in my weight division.
Q: Well, Ricky, also, is there a certain amount of pressure that you feel to come up with a much better performance than you did against Mayweather? I mean, is there a burden on your shoulders?
Ricky Hatton: Not at all everybody, you know, Mayweather’s beat everybody else. I don’t think I should feel ashamed to’ve – my performance against Mayweather. I’ve got one of the best records in boxing I think, 45 and 1, four world titles, two weight divisions. Yeah, granted, I got beat by Mayweather, but I get the impression, you know, there downing the important things. I think I’ve done very well in my career. I’ve beat some of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Kostya Tszyu was number two at the time in the pound-for-pound rankings when he was the undisputed title when I first took this title. I fought Mayweather out of my weight division. I’ve won world titles in two weight divisions. I’m quite content with my career. I don’t feel no pressure to perform. I think everybody knows Ricky – anybody who knows boxing knows I can fight.
Q: Hey, and you’re right about that, Ricky. And just one last quick thing if I may, I was thinking about that, your fight with Kostya Tszyu was a fight that I think most people thought — including myself — that Kostya Tszyu would win.
And think that it obviously is your most impressive victory to date. Can you compare what a victory against Manny Pacquiao would be versus the win over Kostya Tszyu, who was just an absolute animal at 140 pound?
Ricky Hatton: He was an animal, yes. And, I mean, he was a massive puncher. He was very physically strong. And nobody gave me a prayer of winning that fight. Similar is that nobody is giving me a prayer to win this fight. In fact, I think maybe I was slightly even bigger underdog and crushed his ribs, to be perfectly honest with you. But the fact, you know, how strong I am at 10 stone I think is going to be a big factor in the fight. But I believe I’m a lot better fighter now than I was when I took the title from Kostya Tszyu. But no, no, a lot of people aren’t really giving me much chance in this one I feel. But it’s easily as big a fight. I mean, Kostya Tszyu was ranked number two and I think at the time in the pound-for-pound rankings and beating Manny Pacquiao, I’d’ve gone one better and beaten the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. And, you know, I’d be able to, you know, it’s – a fighter can’t go any higher than beating, you know, everyone’s goal is to become the world champion the first day you lace a boxing glove on.
But beat the pound-for-pound number one, you’re beating the best fighter in all weight divisions. So I think a boxer can not go any higher than that. So it’s the biggest fight of my career. I challenged for this title once before against Floyd, but the – I think it was a massive fight then, but it was out of my weight division.
I feel a lot more, you know, comfortable this time because I’m in my weight division because when I moved up to 147, again, you know, I – even though I did win a world title at 147, it proved it wasn’t my weight division, but it still didn’t put me off. I still went and tried another goal. That’s what people like about me I think with Ricky Hatton he wears his heart on his sleeve and he goes for it you know. It doesn’t matter I’m not bothered about fighting the best in my weight division. I’m not – I want to fight the best pound-for-pound and that’s what I think I’ve done in recent fights.
Q: Bob Arum said that he doesn’t think that you’re any good fighting southpaws. I’d like your response on that. And if you could, please, touch on the occasions when you did fight a lefty and what you learned from those fights. Well, let me quickly — wait, sorry, Ricky, let me just quickly say something here. Well, I’m going to say, you know, after the fight, Bob Arum going to say that, you know, yesterday he was lying, but today he’s telling the truth that Ricky Hatton is the best fighter at 140 pounds.
Ricky Hatton: Well, a lot of people say I’ve struggled against southpaws. I mean, I am only putting that down to the fact that against Collazo, it was a very, very tough fight. But, again, as I keep stressing, that was up at 147.
And if you stand Luis Collazo next to Manny Pacquiao, the – you know, Manny – Collazo was a fast southpaw. And he was a, you know, big southpaw, hand speed, and, you know, to be honest, if you stuck Manny Pacquiao next to Collazo, you’ve got like David and Goliath, you know, to be honest with you. I mean, you know, so if that’s struggling, you know, I would still say more to the weight rather than the southpaw. Obviously against Juan Urango, one of the best performances. And if anybody remembers that fight, I’d come down with a virus for that fight where there, I was boxing the ears off him for about six or seven rounds and then, you know, I – due to the illness, I slowed down, but I just think that that Pacquiao has underestimated me full stop. They think I struggle with southpaws. If that’s their opinion, you know, don’t expect me to share their enthusiasm. But if they think I struggle with southpaws and they think, you know, Manny’s going to knock me out in three rounds and, you know, brilliant, you know, brilliant. Bring it on. I think I started off against Kostya Tszyu a 7-to-1 underdog. Just because Bob Arum says I struggle with southpaws, don’t expect me to shit myself. I know what I’m doing and I know what I’m capable of. And there’s no doubt in my mind what’s going to happen May 2. But saying is one thing. Doing is another. But me, Floyd, my camp, we’re very, very positive. I mean, it is a little bit clutching at straws. Bob’s probably hoping I struggle with southpaws rather than actually the true fact is I struggled with Collazo because he was a 147 fighter.
Q: Let me ask you a question. You talked a little bit about the Mayweather fight. How much have you improved as a fighter since the fight you had with Mayweather?
Ricky Hatton: Certainly much so, I think in the Mayweather fight was a fight which really changed my career in many ways. You know, there were too many fights that were getting so similar tactically and style-wise. I think if you look at the Collazo fight, it was like 100 mile an hour. I was trying to steamroll my opponent. I tried 100 mile an hour to steamroll Floyd. The Castillo fight my tactics would stay much the same, just get stuck in there, although that was one of my best wins. That Lazcano fight, after the Mayweather fight, – I was just trying to steamroll him as well. And I don’t think there’s any real thought into the way I was fighting. And it all accumulated with the defeat by Mayweather. That made me think to myself come on, Ricky, you’ve always been able to box. You’ve always had a good jab. You’ve always had good boxing ability. But, you know, you’re not using it any more. And that’s why I opted to go with Floyd Mayweather because I thought to myself well, I know I can fight. You know, what’s the areas I need to work on. And the areas were my defense, my left jab, my head movement, my footwork, my combinations, by speed. And I think you saw the difference in the Malignaggi fight. And I keep stressing about the Malignaggi fight, you know, that Malignaggi was supposed to out-speed me and outbox me. And in the end, I out-jabbed and out-speeded Paulie Malignaggi. And to be honest with you, that was just seven weeks with my new training camp. You know, there’s only so much you can do in seven weeks. And I think the way I performed after just seven weeks I think was a credit to me and my team and just shows you how much I’ve got left. To be honest, you need seven weeks to sometimes get used to a new trainer. To be perfectly honest with you, for the first two or three weeks of that seven weeks, I couldn’t understand a word Floyd was fucking saying. So you can imagine, you know, we have to sort of like, you know, get used to each other, get used to each other’s personality, each other’s training methods.
And when you saw the improvement in just seven weeks, we probably needed two or three just to even get used to each other, I think we just scraped the barrel on how much better I’m boxing now. And needless to say, you can imagine with another training – if that – if we did that in seven weeks with another training camp under our belt, I’m going to be even better. And I’m not just, a lot of people are saying, well, Ricky’s boxing a little bit more. I think the stuff of the old Ricky Hatton has got to do I think ultimately will win me the fight. But my strength, my body punching, my aggression, and I do think my size, I do think that is going to win the fight for me, but I’m doing it with a little bit more polish now. That’s the difference I think. Everybody’s expecting me now I’m with Floyd Mayweather to get up on me toes, start shuffling and jabbing. And that’s never been Ricky Hatton. And I didn’t do that in the Paulie Malignaggi fight. I didn’t revert back to the old Ricky Hatton in the Malignaggi fight, so I certainly won’t do it this time. I’m just my usual aggressive self, but just a lot more tidied up in certain areas I feel. And that’s what the Mayweather fight taught me more than anything I think. I needed to pull my socks up and stop thinking I could just run all over people.
Q: Do you think they’re expecting a one-dimensional fighter? They’re saying that, but, Freddie Roach has been saying that. But do you think they’re sort of just expecting you to just to come straight forward and with one speed?
Ricky Hatton: Well, I’ve heard things from that camp and, you know, their sparring partners that they’ve got has been a little bit – well, have not been like me and been a little bit on the slow side. Freddie thinks it’s going to be an easy fight. He’s going to win in three rounds. I believe they were pushing for a certain referee. If Freddie was so certain, he wouldn’t be so worried about certain things I feel. And I and a lot of people have said well, Ricky will resort back to the old Ricky Hatton. I didn’t resort back to the old Ricky Hatton against Malignaggi. And to be perfectly honest with you, if I’m going to resort back to the old Ricky Hatton, Manny Pacquiao has got as much chance as me because he likes to fight just like me. So I think – I don’t see it being a tickling contest. I see it being an absolute war because we’re both fighters by nature, and all it is is I’m boxing a little bit more now. I out-boxed a boxer last time against Malignaggi. And I think although Manny surely could box in his last fight, he did it against not much I feel. And I say that with the greatest respect for my promoter and friend, Oscar.
Q: Can you speak to the idea, you were talking about your record and how accomplished you are in your career. Do you see yourself as a star? Because there’s a part to you that seems almost not much like the, you know, that you don’t have the kind of trappings of what most superstar fighters generally have with your kind of accomplishments. Can you kind of speak to, you know, how you are and how that translates into what you are as a fighter?
Ricky Hatton: No, I think to be perfectly honest with you, I’ve come up my whole career with people thinking well, I was just an exciting kid, I was just a brawler, I put too much weight on in between my fights, my lifestyle’s going to catch up with me, you know. And Kostya Tszyu is going to flatten me. I know my first two fights in America, against Collazo and Urango didn’t exactly set the world on fire. It seems like I spent my whole career with knockers and even with this fight nobody’s given me a prayer as well. And its those knockers that I want to knock them on their ass May 2. I just feel like, I’ve come from this over-hype, over-protective, a guy who wanted to stay in Manchester, who wanted to stay in England in his town and I feel like I’ve done the absolute opposite. When I beat Kostya Tszyu I became the number one undisputed champion and I would have been very easy to stay in the safety zone in my home town of Manchester, stay in Britain and be in the number one in the division. Everyone should really come to you then, but I didn’t. I wanted to prove to critics and people that I didn’t want to stay in England. I didn’t want to stay in Manchester. I didn’t want to stay in the comfort zone. I wanted to go out and be the best in the world, fight over world champions, move up and down in weight divisions, fight the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and that is what I’ve done. My whole career has been about great records. Forty-five and 1, I think, four world titles. Kostya Tszyu was number 2 pound-for-pound. I fought Mayweather. I fought welterweight for the pound-and-pound title. I’m fighting Manny Pacquiao again for the pound-for-pound title. I’ve been a world champion in two weight divisions and all I seem to do is get knocked and — but that’s my inspiration. You know, it’s not that I don’t look at myself and see myself as a star. I just feel like sometimes, everybody just seems me as a little fat brawler. And I know I’m better than that. May 2 you’ll be all taking your pens and writing something different.
Q: Hey, Ricky, when you said people knock you for your lifestyle, what particular were you referring to? Because I remember early in your career — you probably won’t remember this, we had some beers at the Betty Boop lounge in Mandalay Bay. Is that the type of thing that you’re referring to when people are knocking your lifestyle?
Ricky Hatton: Yeah, yeah. I mean, obviously, you know, I live like a fighter. I’m never short to enjoy myself. I mean, if you don’t catch me at the bar, you’ll catch me at the buffet with a chicken breast. I think that’s how I’ve always, always been and years gone by I used to be a lot worse. In years past I always put weight in between me fights, but recently I’ve not gotten as much on because I think I’m balancing a little bit more excited personal life. I’ve just gotten engaged. I live with my fiancé now, and I’m 30 years of age now and I think I have slowed myself down a little bit. I still have my little wild moments, you know, but not — you know, you can’t have everything. You know, that’s why the fans love me. I’m not exactly somebody that sends you to sleep in the ring and I like to think I’m not somebody that sends you to sleep out in the ring. I think I’ve got a good personality and I just stand for what — you know, I am what I am.
You like it or you lump it, so I think that’s why the Ricky Fatton you know, thing — you know, as you mentioned I used to come out. The last couple of fights I’ve come out in a fat suit. I have poked at the critics that have always seemed to try to put me down. I think people have always viewed me as, you know, as a fatly Brit, articulate fellow who puts on loads of weight and drinks too much beer and Milly’s. I think they have got me as really over-hype and over-rated and I think if you look at my record it would be — who I fight and who I will continue to fight. I think it deserves a little bit more credit than sometimes I get, but I mean that’s just me feeling sorry for myself. I put it all right May 2. I think everyone will be writing a different script.
Q: Can I have one more question, Ricky? If you beat Pacquiao, where do you think that would put you in terms of British boxing history?
Ricky Hatton: Well, I think people will make their own mind how they good think —
Q: What do you think though? As something where do you think you would be?
Ricky Hatton: As long as I’m remembered as one of the best we’ve ever had. I think I would be quite content. Like I said, people make up their own mind at how to look at the single white boy. As long as I’m regarded as — to be mentioned in some of the same breath as some of Great Britain’s boxers heroes that would be spectacular, but I don’t think anybody has drawn an atmosphere and a fan base over to the United States. And it’s like I’ve — I mean, this is the second time I’ve challenged for the front pound-for-pound number one fighter, four world titles. There has been a few different ways. You know, I’d like to think I conduct myself out of the ring as, you know, like the way it should be. Know as in graces in this world of celebrity bollocks. You know, you always get a straight answer out of me, you know and I think they just see me as, you know, as excited in the ring. And just a good guy to boot and I think that’s how I’d like to be remembered and if I could be remembered as one of the best fighters that we’ve had, I’d be very, very consent with that. But we haven’t had too many British fighters that could say they were the number one pound-for-pound fighter at one time so I’ll leave it to people to make their own. As long as I get the respect I feel I deserve, I think I’ll be happy.
Q: Floyd Mayweather is a gregarious character. He gets a lot of the credit. He gets a lot of headlines as your trainer. But I know that you do together as a team with the behest of — of your great friend Lee Beard who is your assistant trainer. Lee kind of hugs the shadows. He doesn’t take much of the lime light, but behind the scenes I know that he’s a great boxing strategist. Can I ask you how crucial he is in your training camp and what he’s brought to the last two?
Ricky Hatton: He’s an exceptional trainer in his own right. He’s a great student of the game. He’s a great tactician of the game and on the 24/7 Floyd has been in his element. And rightly so. That’s what he is. Floyd’s very, very good. Sometimes it’s good to have two trainers, because obviously, one is still on the outside of the ropes. You can see things a lot more clearly than when you’re actually working in the heat of the action, you know, in there. So I’ve got the best of both worlds and to be honest I’ve been doing pads with Floyd Mayweather and combination punching and setting my opponent up for, you know, with combinations, to set him up for the big shots. And then also every day I’ve been doing south paw pads with Lee Beard. You won’t be seeing that one 24/7 because obviously we don’t want to show anything, that we are working on, style wise and tactic wise. But Lee’s an exceptional trainer and to be honest anybody working with Floyd Mayweather is going to be kept in the background. You know, if you can’t see him you can hear him. You know, but I’ve got two world-class coaches and you know, anybody who with seem like itself, to name just is who is Lee Beard in action when all that’s even just an important part of the team as anyone. I think Lee is a world-class coach in his own right. You know, Floyd is arguably the best coach in the world. I think Lee is the world-class coach already and certainly in the making. You know, he’s only young. And we’ve been working on tactics moves and all honesty Manny’s certain shots and weaknesses in certain areas and we have been working on certain moves and combinations, you know, from the south paw stand that nobody has seen on 24/7. We didn’t want to show everything. We don’t want to tip our hats too much, but, yeah, Lee has been a very important part to the camp.
Q: Lovely. Just going back to Kostya Tszyu, the tools that you possess as a fighter that you developed your game since then in your mind was Kostya Tszyu a harder proposition than Manny Pacquiao will be?
Ricky Hatton: Both are difficult propositions but for different matters. Manny is not as big as Kostya Tszyu. He’s not as big of a puncher as Kostya Tszyu. He’s not as physically strong as Kostya Tszyu but Manny will have a speed advantage. I do think his last 2 opponents have been a little bit on the slow side for obvious reasons so maybe that speed has flattened him.But when you think of Paul Malignaggi was supposed to out speed me from my last fight and I out speeded him after just seven weeks.I don’t just think it’s the size and power factor that Manny and Freddie should be worried about. There’s a lot other aspects that we need to be worried about so it’s both — the dangers are different reasons. Manny shifts in and out and pulls out the range a lot, lot quicker but ultimately, you know, he likes to move Manny. He likes to spin off and he likes to shift in and out with his footwork. But to be honest when he does let his hands go, he comes right in the firing line. And sometimes when he does miss, he puts so much into his punches, sometimes when he does miss, he leaves himself wide open and that’s what we’ve been working on with Floyd and Lee Beard. So the dangers just like the Kostya Tszyu fight, you know, every fighter’s strengths and weaknesses, but this is equally as big a fight for different — practically for different reasons I feel, but ultimately I think if you look at Manny’s last opponent Oscar — he could barely throw a punch. It’s no disrespect to him. You know, he couldn’t pull the trigger anymore. It was slow and ponderous. I think Diaz was you know, is a world champion. Credit where credit is due, but I mean probably not the best lightweight that was out there at the time. Marquez was a very safety first opponent. Marco Antonio Barrera tried to box Manny Pacquiao and, you know, I don’t think — if you look at recent opponents, he hasn’t fought Ricky Hatton and he’s going be 100 miles an hour all over you, body punches, very, very aggressive and big, strong, fast powerful and also boxes a little bit as well. I don’t think he’s ever faced the Ricky Hatton and I think if Freddie and Manny have a quiet moment, I think they’ll know that as well.
Q: Coming out of the open workouts, I think a lot of people were very impressed with Manny’s hand speed and at the same time a lot of people are coming from your camp were talking about how strong you are. My question is 2-fold. You think you’re going to be able to match Manny’s hand speed? Do you think people underestimate you there? And then are you taking Manny’s strength for granted? Do you think that he’s stronger than people are giving him credit for?
Ricky Hatton: Well, most people are looking at the fight as really power and strength versus, speed. I don’t see it as that way. I mean, I am the stronger man. I am the bigger man. I am the harder hitter, but ultimately, you know, that’s not just that — that’s not to be disrespectful of Manny’s punching power. You know, Manny, you know, really loads — you know, puts all of his weight behind his punches and Manny can knock anybody out. You know, but I would have to say I would have the advantage in that. But also I think my speed is underestimated. I think probably a lot of people thought — rather thinking Manny is going to out speed me and a lot of people thought Paul Malignaggi was going to out speed me and it proved the opposite, and I had a much longer training camp, but this is my second training camp with my new team. I believe I’m even faster and to be honest you can have the fastest hands in the world, but if you don’t throw them at the right time, then you’re not going to — you’re not going to get the right desired effect I think with them.I think it’s all about timing and making your opponent miss, but ultimately I think one thing that I’ve always been is very fast, very explosive, very quick to move in on my opponents. I mean Kostya Tszyu tried to keep the fight at a distance and obviously I appreciate Manny is a lot quicker fighter than Kostya Tszyu and he couldn’t hold me off. I’m very quick on moving in on my opponent. You know, as fast as Manny moves back up, I believe I’ll be able to move in quick, just as quick. I’ve got fast stand myself, now along with the power and the pressure. There is just no reason why I shouldn’t be confident of winning this fight, but I am aware of the dangers. If Manny wins this fight, believe you me, you know, Ricky Hatton will be the first to talk over and shake his hand, but I just think I’ve got too much in my armory now.
Ricky Hatton: Yeah, just that way I think you’ve got the gist of how I feel. I would like to think my confidence, comes out in the way I speak. I believe Manny has not fought anybody that’s going to put as much pressure on him with as much force and strength and power and along with hand speed and showing now as well. I’d like to think I’ll be too much for him, but I think it’s going to a wonderful fight and like anything Manny is a good guy. I’m a good guy. We’ll be friends after the fight. I think the fans will be in for an absolute treat of a fight. I think I’ve done more talking for this fight than I’ve ever done. I think you’ve got the tactics right. I think you have got the style to beat him and no doubt in my mind, no doubt in my mind. That’s all I can say on the matter.
Ten stones my division and I believe it still will be after May 2.
Richard Schaefer: Amen to that and thank you so much, Ricky. Thank you so much to the media.
We’ll see you next week, fight week in Las Vegas. Make sure you tune in this well this Saturday to see the great 24/7, the third episode and then the last one, the Friday at night before fight night so great job from HBO as well and I’ll see you all next week.
END OF CALL
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