'My heart is going to destroy Mayweather' says Hatton

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The Independent Online

Ricky Hatton has denied the rumours of impending retirement and insists Floyd Mayweather will have to "kill" him if the American is to hang on to his WBC world welterweight crown.

The two undefeated fighters meet in Las Vegas next weekend for the biggest fight of the Manchester Hitman's career. But there has already been speculation that Hatton, 29, may consider quitting if he wins.

But speaking from Las Vegas on BBC's Sportsweek programme yesterday, Hatton said: "You cannot go higher than beating the best there is. But I would be a fool talking about next fights before this one has happened. I'd be a fool to contemplate retiring after this one you don't know how you will feel. There are a lot of big fights out there. I am still only 29. And when you start talking about retirement you already have one foot out of the door. I am not about to make a decision before the biggest fight of my life."

He added: "My blinkers are on, I have my eyes on the prize and there is no one else on my mind except Floyd Mayweather. I am 200 per cent certain I am going to win, I will put every penny I have in the bank on me winning this fight, I really do think he will have to kill me to make me leave him alone for a split second. I will show controlled aggression and my heart is just going to destroy him."

Hatton has been unmoved by the seemingly non-stop verbal assaults that have come from Mayweather, 30, in the build-up.

"From what I have seen, you can't really like him," Hatton says. "I don't know how serious he is or how much he means the things he says. With Floyd you have to take everything he says with a pinch of salt.

"That is his way, he loves controversy. But I couldn't care less, to be honest. And he knows that. He came to Manchester for the promotional tour and with my usual witty, sarcastic self I pulled him to bits. He knows when he looks into my eyes that he has a fighter who believes he can win.

"He sees a fighter that doesn't fear him. When I look at Floyd I don't think of the bad-mouthing he has given me or what he has been saying. I just see the title of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world dangling round his neck, and I want to rip it from his neck."