By Terence Dooley
Hatton camp insider, Mickey Cantwell, a former British flyweight champion, today told the Manchester Evening News that Ricky Hatton's pre-fight preparations for the Manny Pacquiao fight were thrown into chaos by Floyd Mayweather Senior’s tardiness.
Cantwell confirmed that Floyd would often turn up late for sessions, and that assistant trainer Lee Beard was left to take up the slack. This lead to Hatton taking part in two training sessions on the Monday prior to the fight, one with Beard, then another session with Floyd, who arrived late and decided to take Hatton on the pads and bag, after Ricky had already done his work for the day.
Cantwell told the MEN that, "On the Monday before the fight I went to the gym and Floyd was late, which is not unusual as we now know. Give Lee [Beard] his due, he took over the session and did some really good things with Ricky. Floyd walked in at the end of the [Monday] session and decided to take Ricky out of the ring and take him on the pads. Then he took him on the big bag. I turned to Ricky's dad [Ray] and said, 'He is going to kill him. What's going on here?'"
This shambolic preparation may have contributed to Hatton's terrible performance on the night; Ricky barely troubled Manny before being taken out by a huge left hand in round two. Floyd was ineffective in the corner on the night, and would often arrive late to the gym in the run up to the fight.
Despite this, the fight itself showed that the gulf in class was too wide for Ricky to handle; Manny was superior to his opponent in every department. The one-sided nature of the KO led many to assume that Hatton would retire.
Cantwell, though, believes that 'The Hitman' will be back, and will not want to retire on the back of that shocking loss. Hatton himself admitted to feeling inconsolable in the days following the defeat, but may use the lack of preparation as a means of convincing himself that he can still fight, and beat, the best men at 140lbs.
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