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Don't go to war with Collazo, Hatton warns Khan

ESPN staff
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Ricky Hatton has warned Amir Khan not to get involved in a battle with Luis Collazo when the pair fight in Las Vegas on Saturday, for fear it will scupper the Brit's chances of a lucrative showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Speaking to Telegraph Sport, Hatton insisted that, should Khan go looking for a war with Collazo, it could seriously damage his hopes of fighting the unbeaten American.

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"Amir can get a hands-down decision and look a million dollars against Collazo, who is made for him," said Hatton, who defeated Collazo eight years ago to claim the WBA welterweight crown.

"If Amir does what he does best - in, out, fast hands, footwork, movement - he could lead him a merry dance. But if he doesn't, the dream could be over and I'd hate to see that.

"What Amir needs to do is stick to what he does best and use his skill and speed. I think when he does that, he looks like a world-beater, but the only time he's in trouble is when he goes into a war. We saw that with Breidis Prescott and Danny García [Khan's two defeats]. He can't afford to do that seven pounds up."

Khan faces Collazo on the undercard of Mayweather's world title unification bout with Marcos Maidana. A fight between Khan and Mayweather has long been mooted, while the Bolton fighter recently improved his chances by signing with his rival's boxing advisor Al Haymon.

However, Khan was left frustrated when Mayweather opted to defend his world title against Maidana instead. The 27-year-old vowed to outshine Mayweather on his own card, but Hatton is concerned Khan could fight with his heart rather than his brain.

"Somewhere along the line Amir started to see himself as a scrapper," added Hatton. "I think he needs to go back to the old Amir. He's got a good trainer in Virgil Hunter, a very intelligent trainer. I think he's got to keep drilling it into Amir that the only chance this fella's got is if he stands still for a second.

"Amir fights with his heart, but my advice is, 'Don't listen to your heart, listen to your brain this time' and if he does that I think he wins a comfortable fight. If he doesn't, it could all go pear-shaped."

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