Hatton is ready for Vegas. Is Vegas ready for Hatton?
The Hitman Ricky Hatton, 28, moves back down in weight and makes his Las Vegas debut at the Paris on January 20 when he challenges Colombia’s Juan Urango for his old IBF light welterweight belt, the strap Ricky won from Kostya Tszyu.
Urango is 17-0-1 and won the vacant IBF title from Naoufel Ben Rabah in June.
“It was always one of my goals to top the bill in Las Vegas,” Hatton told the BBC. “The era of Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran was what got me into boxing and all their fights were there. The fact I am going to be fighting in the same city and topping the bill in a world title fight with my name up in lights on the Las Vegas Strip is the stuff that dreams are made of.
“A lot of people say I cannot look past this fight but of course I can, because I do not want my dream fight to come unstuck so it can give me extra motivation. I don’t just want to fight in Las Vegas once. I want to fight there two, three or four times, and Urango is in the way of me doing that. I am living the dream and I don’t want it to stop.
Vegas has not always been the luckiest of lucky charms for fighters from across the pond fighting on these shores.
Frank Bruno was beat down by Mike Tyson in 1989 and 1996, while Hatton compatriots Naseem Hamed, Lloyd Honeyghan and Barry McGuigan also lost their crowns on the Vegas Strip.