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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mayweather Sr trashes Malignaggi

Ricky Hatton's trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr has poured scorn on American Paulie Malignaggi ahead of Saturday's fight, saying he poses "no threat whatsoever".

Mayweather Sr added that the British public should expect to see a "new and improved" Hatton in Las Vegas.

"Malginaggi's in hot water," Mayweather told BBC Sport. "I can't say anything good about him.

"He can run, but even that I would call a weakness. It's not just a lack of power, it's a lack of everything."

Mayweather Sr, who replaced Billy Graham as Hatton's long-term trainer following the Manchester fighter's unimpressive victory over Juan Lazcano in May, added: "Malignaggi's punches are like wind flying across your face.

"You can walk through his jab and he's got nothing in his right hand. What's gonna happen if he hits Ricky? It's not like he's going to swell up.

"And quick is timing, that's all it is. Ricky can be slower than him, but he can time him every time he punches, and that's what will make him as quick as Malignaggi, in fact even quicker."

Hatton and Mayweather Sr, whose son Floyd Jr inflicted Hatton's only professional defeat last December, have been in camp together for six weeks.

And Mayweather Sr said he has been "amazed" with how fast Hatton has adopted his methods.

"I can train anybody, slugger or boxer, and Ricky is willing to learn what I'm teaching him," said Mayweather Sr.

"I'm teaching him still to be aggressive, but to be smart and not come in and take three punches for one.

"I said he was nothing but a punching bag against Floyd [Jr], and I don't take that back, you saw it with your own eyes.

"But now the man's moving his head and he's making the other guy miss while he's punching.

"I've been very surprised how quick Ricky's learnt. He amazed me, especially being the type of fighter he is. He's a slugger, but he started picking up the new stuff so quick, I couldn't believe it.

"He hadn't done any of the stuff in his life - jabbing to the body and jabbing to the head, feinting to the body and jabbing to the head, hooking off the jab. He's doing it now.

"You've got to keep working at the trade and keep getting better. When you stop trying, it stops right there."

However, Mayweather Sr also had a warning for Hatton regarding his lifestyle, which sees him balloon to well above his fighting weight between contests.

"What did for [Panamanian legend] Roberto Duran was his up and down, up and down between fights. And that can kill anybody - it will cut your career short."

Meanwhile, Hatton, who will be fighting at the MGM Grand for the first time since his defeat by Mayweather Jr, claims "the twinkle in his eye is back" and that rumours that he was struggling to make the 140lb light-welterweight limit were false.

"People think that because I'm not with [former fitness trainer] Kerry Kayes any more I'm going to be Ricky Fatton again," Hatton told BBC Sport.

"But I'm doing exactly what Kerry told me from a food and drink point of view and he's still on the end of a phone for advice and I'm the same weight as I always am at this stage, about four pounds over."

Hatton also admitted that he thought he "might be past it" following his fight against Lazcano, but that he is enjoying training again and thriving as a result.

Hatton said: "I had some wonderful times with Billy [Graham], but slowly but surely all the fighters left and in the end it was just me and Matthew [Ricky's younger brother, who fights Ben Tackie on the MGM Grand undercard].

"This time I've been training with a gym full of fighters and it's been more fun, learning new things and working on new things."

Graham, who has not spoken to Hatton since their split, is in Las Vegas, although he will not be attending the fight.

However, Hatton said his presence would not be a distraction, despite admitting he could not understand why Graham had come.

"He says he wants to come for the fight, but he's not actually coming to the fight," said Hatton. "He seems to have come over to come over. It is a strange one."

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