Ricky Hatton Floyd Mayweather 2007.

Ricky Hatton reflects on his fight with Floyd Mayweather 10 years ago

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Ten years on from his heroic defeat to Floyd 'Money' Mayweather in Las Vegas, Ricky Hatton is still fuming about the controversial performance of the referee that fateful night. 

A 10th round knockout ended his bid to dethrone Mayweather, but it was the third man in the ring that most upset the Mancunian hero.

Hatton had a plan to come forward against the man regarded as the greatest defensive boxer in the world, to put him under pressure and outwork him on the inside, however, these plans were quickly ruined by the legendary American referee Joe Cortez.

Speaking to the Mail Online, and still visibly frustrated by events that night, Hatton remembers it all too clearly.

"I knew it was going to be the toughest fight of my life," he said.

"I still to this day think I had a chance of beating him, but I think they pulled the rug out from under me, I really do."

He goes on to recall how exactly the referee wrecked his game plan.

"From as early as the first two rounds, I thought 'something isn't right here'," he recalls.

The plan was to get on Mayweather's chest, rough him up and outwork him on the inside.

British Ricky Hatton (R) fights with US

Unfortunately, Cortez refused to let him.

"Up close, when I was able to punch, it was working. And that's the thing that will always upset me.

"I'm not saying I would have won anyway. But I think if I did have that half chance of beating him, the referee put a stop to that."

Hatton, being one of the most popular boxers ever to emerge from the British Isles, brought an army of an estimated 30,000 fans over to Vegas that weekend, and the atmosphere in the MGM Arena was electric, as the fighters made their way to the ring.

British Ricky Hatton (R) fights with US

Ironically, Hatton believes his fanatical fanbase may have worked against him, as their booing of the American national anthem may, he believes, have angered the officials.

"You have to imagine if an American fighter came over to Great Britain and (his fans) took over our weigh-in, were in our bars, drinking our beers, singing Star Spangled Banner, and then booing our national anthem on fight night.

"I can't help but think if I was a British referee I'd think: 'Who the f*** do these lot think they are?'"

The pain of the that defeat still stings the Hitman, and on its anniversary, he can merely sadly reflect on what might have been.

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