icon Updated at 11:01 AM EDT, Thu Sep 29, 2011

Hatton Backs Khan: Amir Capable of Mayweather Upset

Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton has backed Amir Khan to succeed where he failed and get the better of Floyd 'Money' Mayweather.

Hatton, a champion at welterweight and light-welterweight during his glittering career, suffered his maiden defeat when he was stopped by the American in Las Vegas in December 2007.

Although the Mancunian recovered to win two more fights, he was never the same again and was pummelled by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 - a defeat that would eventually signal the end of his career.

Mayweather is still going strong, though, and recently extended his unbeaten career to 42 fights when he knocked out Victor Ortiz in four roundsĀ on September 17.

However, a bout to decide the world's best fighter between him and Pacquiao remains a distant prospect, and Hatton's fellow Lancastrian Khan has emerged as a strong contender to face the 34-year-old.

Having recovered from his defeat to Breidis Prescott to post wins against quality opponents such as Marco Antonio Barrera and Zab Judah, there is a growing train of thought that Khan could be the man to trouble Mayweather.

Hatton agrees, and told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Amir is looking sensational and has never looked back from that first-round knockout defeat.

"He's won two world titles now at the light welterweight division. Timothy Bradley would argue about who is in the number one spot (to face Mayweather), but there's no doubt in my mind that it's Amir Khan.

"He's proved that and it's only a matter of time before Amir will do what all fighters want to do. Once you've proved yourself in a division, you want to move up a division and win a world title in another division.

"I was fortunate enough to do that, and I think Amir is well on course to do that. A few years ago, you'd have said 'no, Floyd Mayweather is a step too far', but the way he (Khan) is performing now, it certainly isn't."

Although Hatton went down fighting to Mayweather - showcasing his famous all-action style - the Michigan man was too clever for Hatton and eventually picked him off.

But Hatton, who is now building a successful career as a promoter, believes Khan's approach could be more suited to fighting Mayweather than his way.

"It would suit Amir's style," he said.

"Moving up a weight division was difficult for me because I was short. It's easier when you have height and that's what Amir will do. He's maturing and looking bigger with each fight.

"My style was always 100mph and in your face, where as that was probably tailor-made for Floyd a little bit. But Amir has a good reach, good hand speed and is always on the move.

"Mayweather likes people coming towards him, and it might be a bit difficult fighting someone like Amir who backs off from Floyd."