Ricky Hatton: Amir Khan deserves his chance against Mayweather
Amir Khan deserves his big chance against Floyd Mayweather Jr in the ring, according to Ricky Hatton - even if he'll probably lose.
Speaking at Canary Wharf on Tuesday, former world champion Hatton believes since Manny Pacquiao has come unstuck with two straight defeats, the Bolton-born boxer has the best chance of challenging Mayweather.
"I'll be made up if Amir fights Mayweather," said Hatton, who was at Jubilee Place mall signing copies of his autobiography for fans.
"Mayweather is running out of opponents he's been that good and if anyone deserves a shot it's Amir Khan. There's very few fighters who can match him in speed.
"Normally people fly at Floyd but If Amir can jab, move and keep out the way and, if Floyd has to be the attacker, it could be different.
"I don't think he'll beat him and I don't think Amir will mind me saying that - I think most would class him as an underdog - but it will certainly be interesting if Amir swallows his pride for one fight and doesn't go to war. If he keeps his head and boxes you never know."
The fight between Khan and Mayweather has yet to be confirmed but looks increasingly likely to go ahead next year.
Less likely is Pacquiao and Mayweather - both victors against Hatton.
"I don't think that fight will happen now, unless Pacqiao comes back with a real storming performance," said Hatton. "He struggled against (Timothy) Bradley and got beat by (Juan Manuel) Marquez as well. That fight lost him his shine a bit."
But if it does go ahead, then Hatton will be wanting his former arch-rival Mayweather to win, despite their being no love lost between the two before their fight in 2008.
Because 35-year-old Hatton said the success of the man nicknamed Pretty Boy - unbeaten in 45 fights - makes his performance against him in Las Vegas stand out.
"With every fight Floyd faces my performance is looking better and better," said Hatton. "For the first five or six rounds I had him under the cosh. I've seen Floyd mention a few times that I was the only one from start to finish who tried to beat him.
"A lot of people think 'I'm not going to beat him' and coast a little but I didn't."
Regarding the talent coming through on these shores, Hatton believes a host of British boxers will be competing for top prizes, starting with middleweight Billy Joe Saunders, who won the British Boxing Writers' Best Young Boxer award for 2013 this week.
As well as Saunders, Hatton said he has his eye on the Olympic 2012 successes such as Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell.
"Billy Joe Saunders won the award and the majority of those who win it become world champion," said Hatton. "Hopefully he will. He is very talented and has a great chance.
"As do all the Olympians who had a great Games last year and are now turning professional. It will be great to see how they progress. Boxing is in a really healthy state."
Hatton was at Canary Wharf publicising his autobiography War and Peace at an event organised by Waterstones.
It's a tale of glorious success, followed by bitter defeat, shocking falling-outs, drink binges, drugs and a depression which nearly cost him his life.
Now back on his feet, Hatton said there was never any doubt it would be a brutally honest book.
"That's what people liked about my fighting style - there were no airs and graces," said Hatton, who retired last year following a defeat in his comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko - his third in 48 professional fights. "What you see is what you get and that's because I'm honest.
"When I got beat by Floyd Mayweather Jr I had no excuses and when I got beat by Manny Pacquiao it was the same. And also when I lost my last fight. I try to be honest."
But he told The Wharf at the Waterstones organised book signing that opening up about the depression was very difficult.
"I'm still hugely embarrassed about my problems," he said. "I was a very, very poorly person as people will find out. There were lots of things.
"Everyone thinks it was the Mayweather defeat, the Pacquiao defeat, but it was more. I fell out with my family and I fell out with my trainer, Billy Graham, then there were the defeats and all of it together was why.
"I still don't speak to my parents and I don't speak to my brother (fellow boxer Matthew), I got destroyed in two rounds and was not going to be boxing anymore. I didn't care whether I lived or died.
"But now I've got two lovely little girls, Campbell's now 12, I have a wonderful girlfriend, I'm promoting fighters, I've got my health and fitness club which is doing really well. It couldn't be better."
War and Peace is priced £20 and available at both of the Waterstones stores in Canary Wharf.