• Welterweight

Khan deserves Mayweather Jr shot - Hatton

ESPN staff
October 16, 2013
Ricky Hatton believes Amir Khan's speed would be a test for Floyd Mayweather Jr © Getty Images

Ricky Hatton believes Amir Khan would prove a great challenge for Floyd Mayweather Jr, stating the Bolton fighter deserves his shot at welterweight's unbeaten king.

A bout between Khan and Mayweather Jr has long been touted, with the Brit recently becoming firm favourite to face the American in 2014. However, in response to reports that a fight between the pair was verging on confirmation, Khan's camp released a statement to deny that any negotiations had been finalised.

Hatton admitted that, while Khan would be labelled the underdog against Mayweather Jr, he would love to see the pair square up - much like Floyd Mayweather Sr.

"I'll be made up if Amir fights Mayweather Jr," Hatton told wharf.co.uk. "Mayweather is running out of opponents, he's been that good and if anyone deserves a shot it's Amir Khan. There are 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."

Hatton suffered a defeat to Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas in 2007, before being knocked out by former pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 - a rival to the undefeated American.

While a blockbuster bout between Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr has been a mouth-watering thought to many boxing fans, it has not come to fruition due to numerous breakdowns in negotiations between the two camps.

Pacquiao returns to the ring on November 23 to fight Brandon Rios in Macau, following successive defeats to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez - losses which Hatton believe have virtually closed the door on a potential fight with Mayweather Jr.

"I don't think that fight will happen now, unless Pacqiao comes back with a real storming performance," Hatton said. "He struggled against [Timothy] Bradley and got beat by [Juan Manuel] Marquez as well. That fight lost him his shine a bit.

"With every fight Floyd faces my performance is looking better and better. 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."

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