Hatton: I don't need to go to war

Last updated at 09:26 02 June 2005

Ricky Hatton plans to resist Kostya Tszyu's offer of an all-out war to decide their IBF light-welterweight title showdown at Manchester's MEN Arena in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The champion has vowed to entertain the capacity 22,000 crowd by drawing the attacking Hatton into a wild affair in a contest tipped by many to go down as Britain's fight of the decade.

While Hatton has plenty of incentives for throwing caution to the wind, the 26-year-old may adopt a more subtle approach to combat the extra world-class experience and booming right hand of Tszyu.

Hatton said: "I cannot just steam in there at 100 miles an hour and expect to win - tactically I have got to be very good as well.

"I do not think most people know how clever I am in the ring. They just see the obvious - he comes forward, he attacks, he body-punches - but I have far more than that.

"If Kostya wants to have a toe-to-toe slugfest with me then obviously there is a risk involved in that but either way I have every confidence I can adapt my style."

Hatton will have taken great interest in the four professional knockdowns suffered by Tszyu against fighters with the same relentless, come-forward style as the challenger.

Indeed Tszyu's only professional defeat came to Vince Phillips, the American veteran and former Hatton victim who pressed forward from the opening bell of their bout.

So Hatton is well aware that Tszyu is also taking a risk when he talks of going forward in a fight in front of his opponent's raucous fans.

Hatton added: "I think ultimately my style is the style to give Kostya problems. The last time he fought Vince Phillips, Phillips set a hot pace, stood his ground more and had it out with Kostya.

"I know he trains meticulously and his training sessions are gruelling but I am confident I can match him with stamina.

"I am going to need a little bit more than just my body-punching and my strength to beat Kostya but I believe I have got that in my armoury."

Read what Tszyu had said

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