Ricky Hatton has criticised the arrangement of a bout between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, despite being an admirer of both fighters.
It was announced earlier in the week that 40-year-old former multi-weight world champion Mayweather would come out of retirement to put his 49-0 record on the line against mixed martial arts champion McGregor in Las Vegas this summer.
The Irishman has never boxed and critics have questioned the integrity of a contest against one of the sport’s all-time greats.
Hatton, who was stopped by Mayweather in the 10th round when the pair met in 2007, predicts the American could win every round, although accepts there could be plenty of entertainment.
“I cant say I’m a fan of it,” Hatton told BBC Radio 5 live.
Hatton places no blame on the fighters for accepting what is likely to be a nine-figure purse, but believes McGregor will struggle to make an impact once the bell sounds.
“When I look at some of the people Mayweather has beaten like Saul Alvarez – he’s not going to be as big a puncher as Alvarez, and he couldn’t lay a glove on him.
“I feel embarrassed to say this but I’d be very surprised if (McGregor) wins a round.
“I hope he does well, I hope he wins; there’s no doubt whose corner I’m in, but if you’re asking me to be brutally honest I can’t see anything other than a shut-out for Mayweather. I think it could be a 12-round onslaught, to be honest with you.
“Boxing and UFC have to take the blame for it – I don’t think you can blame the fighters because it’s going to be a stack of money.
“Good luck to the boys. Who’s going to turn their back on that? I just can’t say I’m a fan of this.
“I’m fans of both sports but they’re their own individual sports and they should stick to their own.”
Nine-figure purses and pay-per-view revenues to match have already been projected for Floyd Mayweather's fight with mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor in Las Vegas in August.
Here, Press Association Sport picks out five more seminal moments in boxing's financial history:
1. JACK JOHNSON v JIM JEFFERIES, 1910
Jefferies came out of retirement to challenge Johnson in the so-called 'Fight of the Century' as white America sought desperately to find a way to dethrone the controversial champion. Johnson was tempted by a purse in excess of USD100,000 - two thirds of which was promised to the winner. In front of 20,000 people in Reno, Johnson duly took the spoils.
2. GENE TUNNEY v JACK DEMPSEY, 1927
Tunney all but earned boxing's first million-dollar purse for his world heavyweight title rematch with Dempsey in 1927. Tunney's actual purse was USD990,445, but he paid promoter Tex Rickard the difference in order to receive a cheque for USD1million. Tunney won the much-hyped contest which will go down in history as 'The Batlte of the Long Count' after Tunney survived an extended seventh round knockdown.
3. MUHAMMAD ALI v GEORGE FOREMAN, 1974
Ali and Foreman split a total purse of USD10million for what is arguably the most famous boxing match of all time - a relative pittance by today's astronomical standards. Promoter Don King made the promise to bring the pair together, then was forced to head to the heart of Africa to discover a regime obsessive and dictatorial enough to stump up the cash. The Rumble in the Jungle was born.
4. SUGAR RAY LEONARD v THOMAS HEARNS, 1981
Leonard was no stranger to multi-million dollar purses after two epic battles with Roberto Duran. But the USD10million he was to be paid for his world welterweight title scrap with Thomas Hearns set a new record for dollars earned in a single sporting event. Hearns also earned over USD5million for a contest which shattered the notion that only the sport's heavyweight division could command such fees.
5. FLOYD MAYWEATHER v MANNY PACQUIAO, 2015
Mayweather and Pacquiao both grossed nine-figure purses for the first time despite their anti-climactic meeting in Las Vegas in 2015. The richest bout in boxing history earned a total of around USD600million in total revenue, almost two thirds of which was made up by record pay-per-view buys. The new mark shattered the estimated USD150million generated by Mayweather's previous fight against Saul Alvarez.
UFC President Dana White and CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe on Wednesday announced what could be the biggest fight in combat sports history, boxing legend Floyd Mayweather taking on Conor McGregor.
The super-fight is scheduled to take place on August 26, 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
While Mayweather will be aiming for a 50-0 milestone, Mcgregor will be walking into the ring as an underdog for his professional boxing bout.
Speaking while addressing the media, White said: “Floyd is the greatest of all time and Conor is the master of our sport,” MMA promoter Dana White said. “I thought it would be an impossible deal to do, but it was the right fight at the right time and we got it done.”
After months of speculation and hype, the announcement triggered both criticism and anticipation for what is set to be one of the richest fights in history.