Billy Graham still backing his former star pupil

Billy Graham predicts a big win for his ex-fighter against Manny Pacquiao on Saturday. (Photo by Reuters)

Richard Fletcher at HBO.com talked with Ricky Hatton's old trainer Billy Graham about his feelings on the fight. Hatton and Graham's split last year was highly publicized and seemed quite emotional on Graham's side particularly, but the 53-year old sees a big win for his ex-star pupil against Manny Pacquiao this Saturday:

"There's not really many comparisons with the Mayweather fight, to be honest with you," Graham told me. "It's a totally different fight. That was at welterweight, this is at 140.

This is at Ricky's natural weight. I see Ricky winning big, pretty spectacularly."

Graham never says anything he doesn't mean. He knows what Pacquiao has achieved and only sees one winner, even as a neutral observer, "I think Pacquiao's a great fighter," Graham emphasised. "I think he's got a great coach in Freddie Roach as well. I'm surprised Freddie took the fight, to be honest with you, but I don't think it was his call.

"Ricky's got all the tools to beat Pacquiao. He's a got a wicked straight right hand, if he gets it at the right distance and doesn't overreach himself. He's got a pulverizing right cross. He's a got a massive left hook to the head, and obviously to the body, and with Pacquiao being a southpaw he's closer to Ricky's left hook. I see it being a great fight for Ricky."

The British boxing celebrities seem to really, truly believe in Hatton's chances to score the upset. Or maybe it's just hope. Either way, you can't knock their great support for arguably the biggest global star that British boxing has ever produced.

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