Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton believes British compatriot Amir Khan could be the man to dethrone Floyd Mayweather as boxing’s pound-for-pound king.
Khan - who has repeatedly dodged Sheffield’s Kell Brook - has been seeking a showdown with Mayweather for nearly two years.
But, in turn, the American WBC and WBA welterweight champion has spurned the Bolton fighter’s advances.
That does not come as a surprise to Hatton, who believes Khan’s blurring punches and rapid movement could be the key to handing Mayweather his first professional defeat.
“I think Floyd would run a mile from Amir Khan, not because of a fear factor, but because styles make fights,” Hatton said.
“Amir is boxing with a lot more discipline lately, he’s in and out and he’s not getting involved. I think that type of style will cause Floyd massive problems.
“But, when you’re the best, pound-for-pound, like Floyd Mayweather - and Amir’s as big a name as is out there, he’s beaten pretty much everyone - he might be forced to fight Amir Khan.
“He might be running out of opponents. I say this all the time, and everybody laughs at me: I think he’s got a good chance of beating him.”
Mayweather will be hoping to extend his perfect record to 48 wins from 48 fights when he takes on Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao in one of the most anticipated bouts in boxing history on May 2.
Hatton knows Mayweather’s and Pacquiao’s styles intimately, having stepped into the ring - and been beaten - by them both.
The 36-year-old Mancunian thinks Mayweather will emerge victorious but has not completely written off eight-division world champion Pacquiao.
“Although I think Manny’s got the style to beat him, I’m still going to go with Mayweather,” Hatton added.
“He always finds a way to win. He’s a very, very clever fighter, Manny, but you’d have to say the cleverest fighter in boxing is Mayweather.”