Ricky Hatton labels Floyd Mayweather Jr a 'genius' a decade after their fight

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A decade ago today, Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather Jr went toe-to-toe for three World Championship belts in a fight of the ages in Las Vegas.

The ‘Hitman’ had won his previous three world title fights all away from home, so travelling to the City of Lights wasn’t going to faze him, or his fans.

Neither was the constant chirping of his Michigan-born opponent in the build-up to the fight. Hatton, with a record of 43-0, would surely do the business when he had the opportunity to let his fists do the talking.

But it wasn’t to be. In one round of annihilation, ‘Money’ Mayweather stopped the man from Hyde.

Little did we know that this was the beginning of the end for the former three-belt world champion, he would go on to be pulverised by a two-round Manny Pacquiao blitz.

Ten years on, the 39-year-old still believes there wasn't much he could have done to change to overall outcome vs Mayweather.

"After every single fight I've had, it was the only fight where I've sat in the changing rooms, bit down and thought to myself 'wow, he was good, just his defence, his movement and just how clever he was," Hatton told ESPN.

"He knew when to put his foot on the gas a little bit, when to soak it up a little bit, let me blow myself out, let the storm blow itself out a bit and then put his foot on the gas. I would go as far and say a genius, absolutely great."

High praise indeed.

World Welterweight Championship - Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Ricky Hatton

In an age of sports-specific data and strict training regimes, it’s difficult to see there being another Hatton.

He was a once in a lifetime fighter who mixed brilliance in the ring with downright dignity outside it. Yet some argue Hatton’s lifestyle choices were detrimental to his career.

'The Hitman' added: "People say maybe I could have got better performances out of myself or I could have a got few more fights out of myself if I looked after my body a little bit more but at the end of the day it was because I was jack the lad.

British boxer Ricky Hatton pauses during

"I went to the darts, went to the football, had a little pint, no airs and graces. I think that's why I had the fan base I had. Would I change anything? I don't know, that's a double edge sword for me."

Lifestyle outside the ring aside, there simply isn’t any disgrace in losing to a man who kept every opponent firmly at an arm's-length throughout his glittering 50-fight career.

Hatton lost only three of his 48 professional bouts, and while the Mayweather duel didn’t have the ending we all dreamt of, it took little away from what was a spell-binding career.

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