It is the most anticipated fight in Britain since Lennox Lewis took on Evander Holyfield and he most anticipated fight in the boxing world since Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya squared off in 1999. The bout billed as "Undefeated", Floyd Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton, had its first British press conference Thursday at the O2 Arena in London.
In a media only gathering, of which some of the luckier public were eventually allowed into, Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather again traded insults, this time in the O2 Arena's Vue Cinema.
The conference started out with a fight promotion video displayed on the cinema screen, showing clips of both fighters and emphasizing that both fighters had never left the ring as anything other than the winner.
Once this had finished, the show was introduced by the Director of HBO and Oscar De La Hoya himself. Then it was left to the fighters to introduce themselves and their team.
Hatton made the first crack after Mayweather brought out his WBC title belts onto the stage, Hatton responded cleverly with "I wish you hadn't brought out all those belts Floyd, I've just shit myself", gaining applause and laughter from the crowd. After both fighters had their say it was time for the questions.
First was from Inside Sports' Steve Bunce, asking Mayweather Floyd, at the start of June this fight wasn't going to happen, at end of June it was almost signed and sealed, what's made the difference?'
Mayweather: "A good team, getting a good team in place, Team Mayweather, Mayweather promotion, the fight is made, I can't wait"
The rest followedâ€¦
Press: "Floyd after you beat De La Hoya, you retired and said Ricky wasn’t a challenge, what's changed"
Floyd: "It's Country vs. country man, for the boxing fans, love the sport of boxing. I've been chasing Ricky Hatton for 2-3 years, I wanted to come over here and fight him."
Press: "Ricky, you're moving up a weight division, how is preparation different?"
Ricky: 'The training will be the same, its going to be a long training camp, i started training a couple of weeks earlier, as I knew I would get much done with the press tours last week and this week, it will be a long hard slog, the training is obviously geared around the style of your opponent, I Trust it, got me to 43-0 unbeaten
'My first fight at welter, was well, not a disaster, but I made mistakes which made it a long hard fight, I normally come in at 152 but this time Ricky Fatton comes in too heavy at 11 stone 8 (162). I will learn from my mistakes, and won't eat too much (to the laughter of the crowd)
I'm not worried bout fighting at welter anymore.'
Press: What have both of you done for this fight that's special compared to other fights?
Floyd: 'I'm gonna push myself too the limit, he's younger and extremely hungry, when it's like that, you have to go out there and put it all on the line, stick to my game plan, I'm gonna go Las Vegas, talk to Uncle Roger and find out what the game plan is. I don't watch tapes of any of my opponents, I'll fight every fight as though its my last fight and keep my composure."
Ricky: 'Obviously, Floyd's a good counter puncher, he knows every trick in the book. I’ve got to be clever, all my opponents are surprised how clever I am, there is a method to me madness. I've got to give 100 percent. That's one of my best qualities and with the stakes so high, laying it on the line will be an understatement.
'If Floyd wants to win, he will have to stick me to canvas. It's a wonderful clash of styles, I've got to use the right tactics and go about it the right way, unlike Floyd, I do watch tapes of my opponents. It's the perfect fight.
Press: 'Floyd or Ricky, what advantage will you have to help you win this fight?'
Floyd: 'You must understand, Floyd Mayweather over the years has shown versatility, shown he can box, counterpunch, brawl and go toe to toe, and move, Hatton is one dimensional and to face or beat me, you must be versatile.
Ricky: 'Tactics are obvious, I go straight foreword, he goes straight back (laughter), but there must be a method to me madness. I've got to be clever, he's been on top so long so I've had time to study him, style wise, and Billy and I have been watching him for a good few years now, I believe I'm gonna do it, I cant talk to much don't want to give tactics away.'
Press: Floyd, will being in Dancing with the Stars affect you if you make it to the final?
Floyd: "It's about pushing yourself to the limit, it's actually good because we bringing in non boxing fans. I'm not sure if you know this, but Dancing with the Stars started in London, non boxing fans watching Dancing with the Stars and hopefully, some will become boxing fans. I love trying to make the impossible possible; Its gonna be great.'
The conference then proceeded to pose the fighters for pictures, of which Mayweather continuously insulted Hatton, who accused him to trying to kiss him and having an obsession with his ass as Floyd had spoken about whipping it so many times.
Floyd as usual was the much more charismatic, however Hatton proved to be as popular as ever with quick, clever comebacks to Floyd's plain disrespecting style.