Hatton backs Cotto, picks Floyd

LAS VEGAS -- Like many boxing fans, former junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton is looking forward to Saturday night's Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Miguel Cotto fight. Hatton will be rooting for Cotto, but he believes Mayweather will win.

Hatton, of course, challenged Mayweather for the welterweight title in December 2007 and got knocked out in spectacular fashion in the 10th round in the same MGM Grand ring where Saturday's fight will take place.

Hatton figures Cotto will lose but that he will go down swinging.

"I would rather watch Cotto than Mayweather every day, but you have to give credit where it is due," said Hatton, who is retired and now a successful promoter in England. "Cotto is a wonderful fighter, but although I don't really see eye to eye with Mayweather, he is an absolute boxing genius. I do think fighters like myself and Cotto bring the best out of Mayweather, so people in Las Vegas and watching on [all-boxing subscription channel] BoxNation [in England] will see a good fight.

"I think it could have a similar pattern to my fight against Mayweather. It will be hairy-scary for a few rounds, but I think Mayweather will take the sting out of him and come through on a late stoppage or points.

"I hope Cotto wins," Hatton said, "but having shared a ring with Mayweather, I can tell you he is a different class, even to some of the very best."