Manchester boxing legend Ricky Hatton claims Amir Khan has picked a ‘horrible fight’ against one of his former opponents, Luis Collazo.
Bolton boxer Khan will make his welterweight debut on the undercard for Floyd Mayweather’s bout against Marcos Maidana at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas on May 3.
Khan was hoping to the pound-for-pound superstar himself, but will instead fight the hard-hitting New Yorker Collazo, with the winner possibly set to face Mayweather in September.
Hatton believes Khan has the tools to win, but has warned the boxer that he needs to do just that, box, and not get drawn into a war.
“I just think it’s a horrible fight for Amir. There are easier fights he could have had, but that’s why we love him,” Hatton said.
“My advice to Amir is, if his team think he will go to war like he has done in the past, it’s going to be a very, very tough night for him.
“He’s going to have to be disciplined. If he uses his speed and boxing ability I think he will win.
“But if he goes to war, which is what he tends to do, he’s got a big heart and he likes to get stuck in, he could come a cropper.”
Hatton also claimed he sees no reason why Khan would be denied a shot at Mayweather if he defeats Collazo.
“He would have proven he deserves the shot then.
“100 per cent I give Amir credit for taking the fight. Collazo’s a southpaw, he’s big, he’s fast, he’s just beaten Victor Ortiz in two rounds – a great win – and I’m a bit shell-shocked.
“I’m sure there are other welterweights he could have gone in with who are world class but not big punchers.
Khan (28-3, 19 KO) is moving up to 147 pounds for the first time, and hopes that winning the fight will finally get him the big money bout against the unbeaten Mayweather (45-0, 26 KO).
The Olympic silver medallist has not fought since an unconvincing point’s victory over Julio Diaz in Sheffield last April.
The 27-year-old must now continue to wait for the chance to face Mayweather, but in the meantime is eager getting back between the ropes against notoriously awkward Collazo.
Hatton gave a few tips to his fellow countryman on how to beat Collozo, as the ‘Hitman’ was able to beat the American in a bruising encounter in Boston in 2006.
“When I fought Luis Collazo, back when I was young and fresh, my chin was as solid as a rock,” Hatton said.
“Only a few fights before I’d fought Kostya Tzsyu and I’d walked through everything he threw at me. I was always a very physically strong light-welterweight and I had a good chin.”
Hatton, known for his brutal body power shots, says he immediately noticed the difference when he moved up the weight divisions, and thinks this could be a huge factor if Khan gets drawn into a brawl.
“Collazo’s an all-rounder. As a light-welterweight, I was able to throw people around a little bit at 10 stone – even Kostya Tszyu at the time,” Hatton said.
“But when I went up seven pounds, the first time I went in with Collazo at close quarters and I just tried to nudge him, he didn’t move.”
“And I thought, ‘Jeez,’ this is different. You’d like to think Amir will beat him if he sticks to his boxing, but if he goes to war it would be the worst thing he could do.”
Image courtesy of NowyouknowManny, via YouTube, with thanks.