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In downtown Manchester at the Vermillion Restaurant on Wednesday, IBO 140 pound champion Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton (43-1, 31 KOs) discussed his upcoming fight with Juan Lazcano (37-4-1, 27 KOs) at the City of Manchester Stadium. The 29-year-old, two-weight world champion at 140 and 147 pounds promised an exciting "Boxing Event" on the 24th May for his army of UK boxing fans. This will be the first time he has fought in his home city of Manchester since June 2005 when he defeated Kostya Tszyu in eleven rounds at the MEN Arena. This fight was watched by 22,000 fans at 3am to suit the demands of US TV. He confirmed his plan for his "homecoming bout" and stated, "This is not about the win, this is about the performance, this is about Ricky Hatton giving something back to the fans. This will be a boxing event bigger than any other staged in this country. It will be an exciting night that everyone will remember. I have passed up many pounds to fight in the UK, rather than Vegas, and at prime time for fans and PPV on Sky Box Office. The main event will be at 10pm rather than the usual 2am slot to suit the demands of US TV. This is a sacrifice I want to make for my army of fans who have followed me so fantastically. This will be a major boxing event on May 24th – not just a fight."

Promoter Frank Maloney who sat alongside the IBO champion Hatton confirmed that ticket sales had topped the 54,000 mark with three weeks to go. He stated, "I have worked alongside Lennox Lewis and have an understanding of some major boxing events but to sell 54,000 tickets with three weeks to go is amazing. I don't think there is a sportsman in the UK today who has the fan base and pulling power of Ricky. My belief is that he will become the highest paid UK sports star in the next few years. Usually the undercard fighters need to contribute to sell some of the tickets for the event but in this case one man has done all that work for the promotion – this signifies his huge appeal to the UK boxing public."

Ricky faced many questions about the Floyd Mayweather defeat in December 2007, in Las Vegas but it was clear about where his future plans were in 2008. He said, "I lost to the best welterweight in the world and probably the best fighter on the planet. There is no disgrace in that. However, I fail to be convinced that I cannot win a re-match. Floyd capitalized on my failure to carry out the designed plan we had. When I came back to the corner in the sixth round word got to me I had only won one of the first six rounds and this got me thinking I need a knockout and came out with that objective in mind. I lost my composure, my cool and ultimately played into the strengths of Floyd. I do not agree with those who think I was outclassed by Mayweather but do agree he capitalized in an effective manner. I would hate to be 75 years of age and still whining about the referee and other aspects. I would like to get another chance to take him on but in 2008 my priority is to stay the best fighter at 140 pounds. Yes, Floyd is the best at 147 pounds but I am the best at light-welterweight. That is why when I beat Lazcano I will look to take on Pauli Malignaggi later in the year and win another title at 140 pounds – the IBF version. I always want a challenge and you saw that in my fights with KOstya Tszyu and challenging Floyd Mayweather. This is what Ricky Hatton is all about. 2008 is about 140 pounds and establishing my position as undisputed number one."

When asked about his motivation for this fight and did he consider retirement with several million pounds in the bank after the Mayweather fight he stated, "After losing to Mayweather my legacy would be worth nothing if I just took the money and hung up the gloves. My fans have supported me throughout my career and all over the world. This is why coming back for me is the test of my champion status and qualities. It is in times of challenge that you find out how strong you are and with 55,000 fans roaring me on that will be fantastic. This fight is all about showing the boxing world that Ricky Hatton is a champion and will show how good he is. It is not about the win, but the performance and the event. Nearly 35,000 fans followed me to Vegas in December and that showed what faith they had in me and I want to repay that with a special event. I have lots more to give and you will see that in Manchester when I take on the experienced Juan Lazcano."

Trainer Billy Graham gave an insight as to Hatton's motivation in the gym by stating, "I didn't have to go and find Ricky and drag him into the gym. He was knocking on my door and I can see in the gym he is highly focused, highly motivated and at 140 pounds he is fighting at his best weight. Lazcano is a difficult fighter but comes forward and it will be an exciting fight – I predict a war. He will show this year that he always was and is the best fighter on the planet at 140 pounds."

Hatton was complementary about the 33-year-old Lazcano, known as the "Hispanic Causing Panic", from Mexico but now residing in California. He said, "This guy has been in the top ten for about five years. He has only two defeats in the last ten years and his only two defeats have been on points. He hasn't been knocked out in ten years and his defeats against Vivian Harris and Jose Luis Castillo were against excellent fighters. Indeed, in the Harris fight he was level going into the final round and only a point deduction for a low blow lost him the fight. He has been in and around the world level for many years but just not quite made it. He will think this is a great opportunity with me coming off my first defeat and this will motivate him."

Hatton also confirmed that he weighs in at 149 pounds with three weeks to go. He stated, " I check weighed myself yesterday and I was 149 pounds. People always make an issue about my weight but that is usually my weight in between fights. I have never had trouble making the weight and now I am living with my girlfriend, the take aways are out and the good home cooking is helping me keep the weight down. Even at my fights at welterweight I was coming in at 145 pounds and then would be straight back to fight at 140 pounds. I have no problem making the weight and accept that I am most effective at 140 pounds."

Overall, Hatton looked focused and determined with an expected 55,000 crowd expected to break UK box office records. His undoubted appeal is still in force with a dominance at 140 pounds his main priority for the rest of 2008.

 

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I wouldn't mind watching it late in the morning really. For some reason I just like it to be dark when I watch boxing. I know it may sound strange, but I usually turn fight nights into parties. I don't really like doing that during the hot ass day time.
 

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I wouldn't mind watching it late in the morning really. For some reason I just like it to be dark when I watch boxing. I know it may sound strange, but I usually turn fight nights into parties. I don't really like doing that during the hot ass day time.

Come to Violent's house. He'll start it up at 10 in the morning if he could. LOL
 
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I wouldn't mind watching it late in the morning really. For some reason I just like it to be dark when I watch boxing. I know it may sound strange, but I usually turn fight nights into parties. I don't really like doing that during the hot ass day time.
Yeah, I know what you mean man. It would feel weird watching it in daylight, I thought it said 4AM. I wasn't thinking straight. :rolleyes:
 

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He sounds confident. That's good. If he was speaking softly and having doubts I would be worried.
 

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I would love to watch a fight live at 4am one time. Staying awake has never been a problem.

It's usually decent if your coming in off your face after a night out but it gets a bit tedious when it's every single week.

Not being able to remember a thing about the fight the next day is another downside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's usually decent if your coming in off your face after a night out but it gets a bit tedious when it's every single week.

Not being able to remember a thing about the fight the next day is another downside.
True.

Its great when you get a few of the guys round for the big fights but none of my mates are interested in watching fights like a past his prime Oscar vs a pretender.
 

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True.

Its great when you get a few of the guys round for the big fights but none of my mates are interested in watching fights like a past his prime Oscar vs a pretender.
none of my close friends are boxing die hards either. one in particular doesn't care for sports whatsover, so we constantly question his manhood:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
none of my close friends are boxing die hards either. one in particular doesn't care for sports whatsover, so we constantly question his manhood:D
My granfather told me when i was a kid to never trust a guy who doesn't like sport. :laugh:
 

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I wouldn't mind watching it late in the morning really. For some reason I just like it to be dark when I watch boxing. I know it may sound strange, but I usually turn fight nights into parties. I don't really like doing that during the hot ass day time.
You sound like a rich man complaining to the poor that they do not have enough money:eek:

Fight fans in the UK and Europe have had to put up with virtually every single major fight being at an awkward time for the best part of 50 years!!!

You can't seriously complain about the odd fight where you are affected, given what us lot go through on a regular basis.:eek:

Also this is a UK fight.....I mean why should it be US time?

I thought it was mental when we had David Haye from London fighting in Londown against a Welshman in Macca and the fight was on to suit the US audience!! People going to the fight had to stay up into the middle of the night and get back to their houses at 3am, all so guys in the US could sit on their asses and watch the lot at a conveinient time:eek:

Seriously...the US is not the whole world and some people need to realise that:rolleyes:
 
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