Boxing


Ricky Hatton Set For Grand Stage In Vegas – Lacy Set For Return To Ring

20.11.07 - Matthew Hurley: Ricky Hatton is wrapping up training camp in Manchester, England and preparing to fly to Las Vegas on Thursday to finish preparations for his December 8th welterweight title fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Hatton and his team will use a local gym, as of yet undetermined, to put the finish touches on what has already been a grueling eight week camp. Hatton, whose desire to fight in Las Vegas was finally fulfilled in his last two bouts against Juan Urango at the Paris and Jose Luis Castillo at the Thomas & Mack Center will take on Mayweather at the MGM Grand. Since winning his first major title from Kostya Tszyu in 2005 Hatton has desperately wanted to establish himself on boxing’s main stage. In the past 30 years that stage has generally been Las Vegas..

“I’ve always dreamed of fighting in Vegas,” he says energetically. “That’s where I watched all the great fights and fighters on television like Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran and I’ve always wanted to be a part of that. It’s an honor to fight there and to fight in a big match up means you’ve arrived.”

For his fight against Mayweather the “Hitman” will be not only be fighting on boxing’s biggest stage but he will have the added benefit of the significant exposure of HBO’s documentary series 24/7 which has introduced him to many American fans who are unfamiliar with the character from Manchester.

“I can’t wait to get to Vegas to finish training for my fight with Mayweather,” he says. “I hope American sports fans who saw me on the first episode of HBO’s 24/7 got a chance to see that I’m a regular bloke and a peoples’ champion who will become theirs and the world’s champion when I beat Mayweather on December 8th.”

The card which is being billed as “Undefeated” also features an intriguing undercard which includes the return of Jeff Lacy against Peter Manfredo in a super middleweight fight. Lacy is returning to the ring after undergoing surgery on his arm and is still caught up in the wake of the beating he took at the hands of Joe Calzaghe in 2006. The fighter, reinvigorated, is determined to get his career back on track.

“I’ve been training for the last five months and with rehabilitation on my shoulder I’ve made it to the point where I feel comfortable throwing it,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to getting back into the ring.”

Manfredo, who also lost to Calzaghe, should be a good test to see not only where Lacy is physically, but mentally as well. Lacy’s last fight was a disputed decision victory over Vitali Tsypko. Despite the injury to his shoulder in the bout Lacy seemed to exhibit a somewhat shaky resolve. Manfredo, a good speedy boxer but with limited power, is also coming off surgery – for bone spurs in his left elbow. But his determination will be the perfect litmus test for Jeff Lacy’s future.

Also on the undercard is Daniel Ponce De Leon against Eduardo Escobedo and Wes Ferguson versus Edner Cherry. The event will be broadcast on HBO pay per view.

Article posted on 21.11.2007



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