IT’S tough to take someone seriously when they walk to work wearing a plastic sumo suit and have their belts waved in the air by Liam and Noel Gallagher,  but the man known to Floyd Mayweather Jnr as Vicky Fatton wiped the smirk off Paulie Malignaggi’s unjustifiably smug face with a vintage display.

Ricky Hatton continued his unbeaten run at light-welterweight with an 11th round TKO of the New Yorker in Vegas.

Moreover, he broke free of his brawling and mauling style in his first fight under new trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr and looked a different class against the slick but weak Malignaggi.

The victory took Hatton’s professional record to 45-1 (32 KOs) in the same ring he had suffered his only defeat almost a year earlier, to his coach’s son.

It now sets up a possible superfight with the winner of the massive December 6 showdown between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao – possibly to be staged at Wembley.

Loyal Floyd has said that if Hatton does fight the Golden Boy, he would happily coach De la Hoya if he paid him more.

But the convincing nature of the win – he’d been given nine of the previous 10 rounds by all three judges – rubbished views he is past his sell-by date at 30.

Hatton said: “Let’s hope I fight the winner of Pacquiao-De La Hoya. In fact, winner or loser will be a good fight. Maybe I’ll get my wish and become the best pound-for-pound fighter. That’s what Ricky Hatton’s all about.”

Well done Ricky, but don’t speak about yourself in the third person. You sound like a knob.

 

WITH fine triumphs for Calzaghe, Haye and Hatton in recent weeks, British boxing looks in fine fettle – so it’s good news all round that Lennox Lewis rubbished rumours he was making a comeback which would make him look more of a laughing stock than the two men he secured his finest victories against – Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lewis, 43, told former punch bag Vitali Klitschko to stop dreaming about a re-match, and said he would only emerge from six years on the sidelines if he “received $100 million” or “saw Wladimir box his brother,” referring to Vitali’s younger brother, the IBO, IBF and WBO champ. “If they box each other then I’ll consider it,” he chortled.

As for his supposed return to training, Lewis said: “Me and my son are running in the morning but he’s four so I don’t have far to run.”

He added: “The heavyweight game is so boring now. All the characters are gone. They still consider me the best. I’m the last great heavyweight and they want me for their own selfish reasons.”

It’s good to see you are still as modest as ever, Lennox. 

 

FERNANDO Verdasco clinched Spain’s third Davis Cup triumph with a courageous five-set victory over Jose Acasuso in Mar del Plata then paid tribute to the absent world number one Rafael Nadal.

Nadal sat at home with a knee injury as Verdasco rallied from 2-1 down to give his nation an unassailable 3-1 lead, a day after another marathon effort to win the doubles rubber with Feliciano Lopez.

The world no16 was keen to note the impact of Nadal, who scored three singles victories, including two in the semi-final win over USA.

Sadly for Argentina, they failed to secure their first Davis Cup title in their third final. Maybe they should install Diego Maradona as coach.

 

• ASIAN Tour nobody Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei edged a thrilling play-off against Northern Irish 19-year-old Rory McIlroy to win the Hong Kong Open – his first European Tour triumph.

Lin failed to sink a birdie putt from six feet on the last but, after McIlroy sent his tee shot into a crowd of spectators on the second extra hole, Lin hit a superb second shot within a foot of the pin.

 

PHIL Taylor retained the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts title with an 18-9 win over Terry Jenkins in Wolverhampton.

Taylor was at his imperious best, hitting 12 maximums and recording an average of 106, in powering to the £100,000 title.

Taylor twice won six straight legs, before taking the 1,080,078th title of his career.

 

LEGENDS LIVE – Ben Cousins

 

WITH almost every news bulletin and paper featuring his name, we’re sure you want to know this – who the hell is Ben Cousins?

Well, Cousins is one of the most decorated Aussie Rules players of the past decade, winning a league title for the West Coast Eagles, a Brownlow Medal – the player of the season honour – as well as gaining seven selections in the AFL team of the year.

His skill and finesse made him a once-in-a-generation talent, but he will be forever remembered for his off-field antics.

This culminated in his contract being terminated and a 12-month suspension for bringing the game into disrepute.

Now the ban is up and he is allowed to re-commence his career – but would you give a job to a man who: broke his arm in a nightclub brawl with a team-mate; took phone calls from Perth underworld figures before and after a nightclub shooting, then refused to co-operate with police; avoided a booze bus by running from his car in the middle of a major highway, outrunning eight policemen and swimming across a river; was arrested for being in a disoriented and uncontrolled state at Melbourne’s Crown Casino; admitted a $3,000-a-week drug habit; was led away shirtless and spaced-out by cops after drugs were found in his car; and was hospitalised after skipping rehab to go on a five-day cocaine binge in LA.

No, we wouldn’t either. 

 

What’s on in Sydney