Floyd resorts to fancy footwork


Floyd Mayweather Jr. won't be accompanied by the usual entourage when he enters the ring tonight to defend his WBC welterweight title against Ricky Hatton at the MGM Grand Garden.

Mayweather's ring walk will include Wayne Newton, Mark Cuban and Helio Castroneves -- all of whom competed against him in this year's "Dancing with the Stars" reality TV series.

"I'm bringing my own mates," Mayweather said. " 'Dancing with the Stars' was such a great experience for me this year, and to have Helio, Mark and Wayne be a part of my real world makes it that much more meaningful."

Castroneves, a world champion racer who won the Indianapolis 500 in 2001 and 2002, won the prime-time dance-off.

"We all knew Floyd could dance, but now we have a chance to watch him really do his thing in the ring," said Castroneves, who will be attending his first fight.

Castroneves and Newton were with Mayweather at Friday's weigh-in. Newton, who has been onstage thousands of times, said he was amazed at the spectacle of 6,000 fans singing and chanting for Hatton.

"I don't think we've seen anything like that since 1776," Newton said. "I went to a weigh-in of one of Sugar Ray Leonard's fights, and it was nothing compared to this."

Hatton has been known to have celebrities accompany him to the ring. In the past, British soccer stars Wayne Rooney and David Beckham have helped carry Hatton's title belts to the ring. Beckham reportedly will walk Hatton to the ring tonight.

LATEST ODDS -- By late Friday, Mayweather had dropped to a minus-200 favorite at MGM Mirage sports books, and Hatton fans drove down the British boxer's price to plus-170.

"We've had a tremendous number of five-figure bets, and a couple of six-figure bets, all for Hatton," said Robert Walker, director of race and sports for MGM Mirage. "I didn't anticipate this."

The book is not in danger of being overextended on the Hatton wagers, Walker said, but if the money keeps pouring in on the Brit, it will have to go below 2-1 on Mayweather.

"At some point before the fight, I think you'll see the Mayweather money come in," Walker said. "I think a lot of people are waiting to see how low the odds are before they bet Mayweather."

Walker said the early volume of wagering has been strong.

HATTON STAYS HOME -- Normally, a fighter visiting Las Vegas would stay at a hotel the night before a fight.

Not Hatton. He was so comfortable with his rented house in southwest Las Vegas that he decided not to check into the MGM Grand on Friday.

"Everything went perfect, so why change now?" Hatton said. "We'll stay at the house the rest of the week."

 

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