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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oscar De La Hoya could be next for Ricky Hatton

One of the options that could soon be on the table for Ricky Hatton, after his win over Paulie Malignaggi, is a bout against Oscar De La Hoya, the only six-weight world champion in history.

Should that happen, Floyd Mayweather Sr will be able to pass on some inside knowledge. He has worked with De La Hoya and took the job with Hatton rather than train the American for his bout with Manny Pacquiao a week on Saturday.

“Oscar is not as fast a learner as Ricky Hatton,” Mayweather, Hatton's trainer, said. “It has taken years for Oscar to get where he is but Ricky catches on real fast. Ricky is a better fighter than Oscar but there is the issue of who is the bigger man in the ring. Ricky has learnt a lot already but there is still so much more he can learn because he is willing to learn.

“Pacquiao is a perfect match for Ricky. I would love to see that fight, that's the fight I want but I don't see Pacquiao beating Oscar.”

Mayweather said that he was impressed by what he saw from his new pupil. He took charge of Hatton's training seven weeks ago but the improvements were clear.

“I would give Ricky seven out of ten,” Mayweather said. “I'd give him that mark, because we are only at the beginner's stage, it has only been seven weeks. Everyone has seen a different side to Ricky against a fighter who was difficult to hit. I thought Ricky could stop him and he did.”

If nothing else, Mayweather is an optimist but then he has worked hard to get himself where he is. He knows that the biggest task he will face is trying to control Hatton's love of a drink.

After the bout, Malignaggi presented Hatton with four bottles of Blue Moon beer. Mayweather, though, has told Hatton to stop his drinking. “He should pour it down the drain,” Mayweather said. “I know it was a gift and maybe it's not the nice thing to do but it would be the right thing to do.”


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