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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

VIDEO Hatton benefits from quiet strategy behind the scenes with assistant trainer Lee Beard

Click here for an exclusive Ricky Hatton video interview

No doubting that Floyd Mayweather Snr is an amusing, gregarious character, who gets a lot of the credit, and many of the headlines as Hatton's trainer, but the pair were brought together as a team at the behest of Lee Beard, a Manchester lad, who is developing as reputation, in the role of Hatton's assistant trainer, as a serious strategist. Beard has been working with Hatton since the days of Billy Graham. He rarely pushes himself into the limelight, but is an integral part of the corner staff, who has great strategies on the sport.

Hatton insists that while Mayweather's jocularity and sledging of opponents grans the headlines, Beard, too, is crucial in his preparation.

As part of his training (to be a trainer), Beard went on a sojourn of American gyms, learning from different stylists. It was while working for a period under Mayweather in Las Vegas that he began to feel that the American would gel with the Mancunian. It was Beard who brought them together.

"Lee is a great student of the game, a great tactician," explained Hatton. "Floyd is in his element when the lights are on, and we are in the ring, but it is good to have two trainers because you can see things from both sides of the ropes."

"I work with both Floyd and Lee on the pads, working on combinations and setting my opponents up. I do a period every day with Lee working south paw on the pads. You will not have seen those moves on HBO's 24/7, because much of what I do with Lee, I do behind closed doors. We've been working on tactics, certain moves in certain areas where Manny Pacquiao has weaknesses."

Hatton explained: "Lee's an exceptional trainer. Anyone working with Floyd knows he is there. If you can't see him, you can still hear him. But if you were to see Lee Beard in action, he is just as important a part of the team as anyone. Floyd is arguably the best trainer in the world; Lee is a world class coach in the making."

That aspect is mirrored in the Pacquiao camp at the Wild Card Gym, where Michael Moorer, the former two-time world heavyweight champion, is developing into what Freddie Roach regards as "his best pupil". Moorer spents upwards of 12 hours a day at the Hollywood gym. He also does a decent trade in fining anyone $1 if they put their elbows on the reception counter. It is clearly signed. No-one is immune. I racked up $15 dollars in fines during my three day trip there a few weeks ago. And when Moorer the enforcer wants the fine paid, there's no backing out. Funny, that.


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