Unbeaten welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. has opted against retirement for the chance to make Ricky Hatton pay for his boastful comments.
Mayweather and Hatton agreed to terms Friday for a Dec. 8 welterweight fight in Las Vegas, less than three months after Mayweather had said he planned to retire following a victory over Oscar De La Hoya.
Hatton called out Mayweather both before and after his June 23 knockout of Jose Luis Castillo. On Friday, a deal was reached, though Mayweather said he is not certain if his WBC welterweight title will be at stake.
"He's definitely getting knocked out. I guarantee that," Mayweather said. "He's talked the talk. Let's see if he can walk the walk when he's in there against the best."
The fight will pit a pair of unbeatens in a duel for supremacy at 147 pounds. Mayweather, 30, is 38-0 with 24 knockouts. He has held world titles at super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight.
Hatton, 28, is 43-0 with 31 knockouts. He's held titles at super lightweight and welterweight, but would be moving up from 140 pounds to fight Mayweather.
It is a match reminiscent of the 1999 battle between De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad.
Trinidad won a controversial decision over De La Hoya in that Sept. 18, 1999 bout, which held the record for the most pay-per-view sales in a non-heavyweight fight until Mayweather's bout with De La Hoya in May. The Trinidad-De La Hoya bout sold 1.4 million on pay-per-view; De La Hoya and Mayweather combined to sell 2.15 million for their super welterweight bout.
Mayweather adviser Leonard Ellerbe credited Hatton and his father, Ray, for stepping up to get the deal done. However, Ellerbe said he expected Mayweather to prove his superiority in the bout.
Though Hatton is moving up in weight, Ellerbe said Mayweather is truly a lightweight.
"Floyd is going in there and beating these guys even though he's really a lightweight and is giving up something like 20 pounds," Ellerbe said. "What's that tell you about him? When he stepped into the ring against Oscar, he weighed 148 and Oscar weighed 168.
"This isn't like Floyd has some huge size advantage. Floyd is just on another level skill-wise."