Despite being warned they can’t watch the fight live, two of Liverpool’s players sent messages of good luck to Ricky Hatton ahead of his showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jnr this weekend. The Manchester City supporter will be in Las Vegas fighting for the WBC welterweight title. Unfortunately for the Reds players who want to see the fight, Saturday-night prime-time for US viewers is around 4am Sunday-morning for UK viewers, and manager Rafa Benitez doesn’t want them staying up to watch it with the all-important Champions League clash with Marseilles looming on Tuesday.
Captain Stephen Gerrard said: “Best of luck mate. I hope you get what you want out of the fight. Everyone at Liverpool is rooting for you. Unfortunately we have a massive game on Tuesday so I won’t be able to watch it live – I will be recording it though.”
And John Arne Riise was also wishing Hatton the best: “All the best Ricky. I’ve been watching the build-up and it’s been really annoying me, so you really have to take him down. I know you’re a Man City fan but you’ve got our support.”
Liverpool play Reading tonight in an early-evening kick-off, before jetting to Marseilles on Monday morning for the Champions League tie. Rafa said the players have to put their own physical condition first: “It’s really important that the players rest properly, especially in this situation where we are playing late away on Saturday night and then away again so soon after. We try to control these things and have a specific plan. After the game the players will have dinner and we take care of these things. Some players need more time than others to recover and we have to monitor this. I don’t think the players will be staying up to watch the fight, anyway they have DVDs to tape it and watch later.”