I was dropped in sparring as Floyd Mayweather Sr trained me into the ground for Manny Pacquiao fight, says Ricky Hatton | The Sun

RICKY HATTON has opened up on the nightmare training camp in the run up to his brutal knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao.

The year was 2009 and Manchester's beloved Hitman was almost 18 months removed from his crushing first ever loss to Floyd Mayweather.

And after a financial dispute forced Hatton to part with his long-time coach and mentor Billy Graham, he actually hired Mayweather's dad.

Together they beat Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi but the acid test would come against Pacquiao.

But Hatton revealed the fight was already lost in the gym and his mind, which was laid bare when he was floored just weeks before the bout.

He told SunSport: “I think Floyd Mayweather Sr trained me into the ground. 


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“When I was like eight weeks out from the fight I felt fantastic but he drilled me and drilled me, round after round after round. 

“Then two or three weeks before the fight my sparring partner, one of them knocked me on my a***.  I thought, ‘This ain’t right.’"

Hatton's alarm bells were ringing when he arrived in Las Vegas and was told by Mayweather that he could not hold pads in the southpaw stance.

Weeks of gruelling training also drained the former world champion to the point that his dad Ray wanted to pull his son out of the fight.

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But having never got over his loss to Mayweather Jr and the subsequent falling out with coach Graham, Hatton knew the writing was on the wall.

He said: "Bearing in mind the Floyd Mayweather fight I was devastated, so mentally I was bad. 

“I then fell out with Billy Graham so mentally I was down and I fought Malignaggi and I was back up, then I fought Pacquiao and I was back down again. 

“So even though Floyd Mayweather Sr trained me into the ground a little bit – and he couldn’t do southpaw pads – my mind wasn’t in a good place anyway. 

“I was never gonna pull out of the fight because the tickets had been sold and I’m a proud man but if I had, I’d have ended up in the same place anyway. 

“My head wasn’t right because since the Mayweather fight my mind was never right. Even if the training hadn’t gone bad, my head wasn’t right. 

“If I had pulled out, that might have done more damage. So it’s a hard one to say.” 

Hatton took three years out of the sport after being knocked out cold by Pacquiao in just two rounds, sparking a spiral in his personal life.

He returned in 2012 but lost in round nine to Vyacheslav Senchenko, which signalled the end of his boxing career.

Two or three weeks before the fight my sparring partner, one of them knocked me on my a***.  I thought, ‘This ain’t right.’

In retirement, Hatton has turned to coaching and is now a team captain for a new boxing concept called The Box Off which kicks off next Saturday.

The tournament will see four city-based teams compete in a knockout competition.

Each team has five fighters, one from each weight class, and will box over four rounds with winners progressing into the final.

Finalists also earn four points for their team, with championship winners gaining a further six meaning the team with he most are crowned victors.

Hatton is leading the charge for Manchester as he looks to find boxing's next top star.

He said: "It’s going to give a chance to someone that might not normally get one. 

“People coming out the GB squad or Olympians, you know they’re going to get a contract with Sky Sports, or BT, Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren. 

“I’m pretty sure there’s some talent out there sat on the settee thinking, ‘You know what? I can beat them.’ 

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“It’s going to give fighters the opportunity from small hall shows an opportunity that they might not have got. I think it’s good all round.” 

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