Tszyu will be prepared for Hitman's early challenge

Last updated at 09:19 10 January 2005

Kostya Tszyu has warned Ricky Hatton he will have no problems coping with their eagerly-anticipated fight being staged in the early hours of the morning.

Undisputed 140lb kingpin Tszyu has finally confirmed he will make the next defence of his IBF light-welterweight title against Hatton in Manchester.

Promoter Frank Warren insists he has yet to make a final decision on the time the bout will be staged, but it could be as late as 4am on Sunday, June 5 to cater for American television.

That would equate to one o'clock in the afternoon Sydney-time and ultimate professional Tszyu will prepare accordingly.

"I am going to train at 1pm here and when I go there I will train at four o'clock in the morning, which means my time clock won't change," said Tszyu at his gym this morning.

"It is going to be difficult for all the reporters because I am going to sleep during the day time and I don't care what the media are going to say.

"If it is a four o'clock fight, I am going to agree with this and train at 4am and that will be my schedule and I will not change this. There will be no excuses."

Warren has revealed he will first liaise with British paymasters SKY before confirming any exact time, with an earlier slot sure to suit the latter.

And while the MEN Arena has played host to 11 of Hatton's last 14 fights, a summer date could still allow the possibility of an outdoor venue being used.

Tszyu re-asserted himself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world when returning from a 22-month injury lay-off to destroy Sharmba Mitchell inside three rounds in Phoenix in November.

He has a record of 31 wins against just one defeat, a 10th-round loss to Vince Phillips back in 1997, and insists his skills are in no way diminishing, even at the age of 35.

"The reason people who have got success start losing is because of a drop in their focus on training," added Tszyu.

"I have people behind me like my father who will make sure I will train very hard all the time and I am happy with this, I expect this.

"The last chapter in my book has not been written and I don't know what kind of chapter it is going to be, but I am excited.

"I will be hungry to train and hungry to fight and prove to all the Pommies I respect the guy a lot, but he is still a contender," quotes The Sydney Morning Herald's website.

Hatton has won all 38 of his pro bouts, with 28 of those victories coming inside the distance.

The 26-year-old has successfully defended his lightly-regarded WBU title 15 times but now gets the chance to prove himself a true world champion.

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