By Mark Vester
One of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the history of the sport, Sugar Ray Leonard, told BBC Sport that he feels IBF junior welterweight champ Ricky Hatton can beat Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
"The Ricky Hatton that beat Kostya Tszyu in 2005 can beat Floyd Mayweather. He was so focused and in such good physical shape that he would have given anybody at that level a tough time," Leonard said.
Mayweather has trashed Hatton all over the media in the last two weeks, taking shots at Hatton's popularity in America, his fighting style and even criticizing Hatton's physique. Leonard says the trash-talk of Floyd should not be taken to heart, and it actually makes the sport fun.
"I dealt with trash-talk in my career and did the same myself. I wasn't as abrasive as Floyd Mayweather, but it is fun and it adds to the sport," Leonard said.
Originally, Leonard felt that Mayweather was a sure thing to beat Oscar De La Hoya on May 5, but after taking a closer look at how the fighters match up, he began to lean in the other direction.
"Originally, I thought, hands down, Floyd Mayweather would be victorious," said Leonard. But I've changed my mind since then. I've been analytical, observed things from a fighter's stand-point and I think Oscar de la Hoya's stronger and he's bigger.
"I don't think he's faster because, without question, Floyd Mayweather is super-fast. But I think Oscar de la Hoya has enough of the proper physical attributes to take Mayweather to the limit."