Hatton diary: Only the best

Editor’s note: This is the first of four diary entries, exclusive to Yahoo! Sports, from Ricky Hatton, the No. 10 fighter in the Y! Sports pound-for-pound poll. Pacquiao fights No. 1 Manny Pacquiao at super lightweight on May 2 on HBO Pay Per View in the biggest fight so far in 2009.

It’s raining in England and my favorite football, sorry, soccer team, can’t stop losing. So, all things considered, Las Vegas isn’t a bad place to be.

Obviously, in the lead up to my fight with Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand I haven’t had the chance to sample the delights of Sin City as much as I would have liked. That will come after I have taken care of business.

For now, business means getting on with my physical and technical preparations for a contest I believe I have a great chance of winning.

Most people seem to consider me an underdog for my bout with Pacquiao and that suits me just fine. I have been an underdog all my life and all my career and I love nothing more than to prove people wrong.

I have already shown that I am more than just a boxer who can sell tickets. I took on the best in Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in 2007 and I am doing so again now. This time, the result will be different.

Pacquiao is No.1 in the pound-for-pound rankings for a reason; he is a fantastic fighter. But I do believe he has been given too much credit for his victory over Oscar De La Hoya in December.

I have been a big fan of Oscar’s for many years and anyone who knows boxing could see that was not the Oscar we have come to know and love. Pacquiao was just fighting a body that night.

I find it funny that everyone is talking about Manny’s power. Sure, he has a lot of power at 130lbs and it looked like he had a lot of power when Oscar was a sorry shadow of his real self.

Photo I’m not afraid to fight the best. I fought Floyd Mayweather and I’ll fight Manny Pacquiao.

But this is at super lightweight, 140lbs, and this is where I rule. I honestly believe that I cannot be beaten at this weight and that I will have a huge advantage in terms of size and power.

Pacquiao has fought virtually all his fights in the lower weight classes and he will notice the difference against me. In between the weigh-in and fight night I will probably put on around 14lbs and expect to step into the ring significantly heavier than him.

Of course, he has a lot going for him with his speed and footwork but my skills in those areas are strong as well and I am feeling good.

My trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., has been putting me through tough sparring workout on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with Tuesdays and Thursdays more focused on technical aspects.

I can’t over-emphasize how strong I am feeling at this point. I am calm, relaxed, happy, and I can’t wait for it all to begin.

This is the best fight that can be made in boxing and it is going to be a terrific occasion. A lot has been made of how civil things have been between Pacquiao and myself but that isn’t going to make any difference on May 2.

I respect him and I think he is a decent bloke, but we’re not friends or anything like that.

With every passing day as we get closer to the fight the excitement level goes up a couple of notches, but I’m not going to change too much.

I have been down to the Crown and Anchor Pub just off The Strip a few times to watch my team Manchester City, but they’ve lost three games since I’ve been here so perhaps watching in the pub is a bit of a curse.

Every so often I will nip into one of the casinos for a coffee or a quick gamble, then it is back to base to relax and get ready for training. May 2 can be the biggest night of my career, and I’m going to be primed for war.

I will keep you posted with how things are going again next week and will be back with three more diaries entries ahead of the fight.

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Updated Thursday, Apr 16, 2009