LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. didn't need to dance to beat Ricky Hatton. His fists proved a lot more potent than his feet.
Mayweather remained unbeaten Saturday night and retained his claim to being the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world by stopping Hatton in the 10th round of a brawl that featured none of the fancy footwork the American has shown in the ring and on reality TV.
Hatton wouldn't let Mayweather move, but it didn't matter as Mayweather used precision punches to wear down the challenger for his 147-round crown. Hatton kept trying to get inside and score points, but Mayweather had an answer for everything he did.
The end came after Mayweather landed a crushing left hook that dropped Hatton on his back in Mayweather's corner. Hatton got up at the count of eight, but Mayweather almost immediately got him on the ropes and landed another flurry of punches to the head.
Hatton went down almost on a delayed reaction, while at the same time referee Joe Cortez moved in to stop the fight and Hatton's corner threw in the towel at 1:35 of the round.
It was the first loss for Hatton, a brawler from Manchester, England, who did his best to do what no other fighter had ever done and break down Mayweather's defenses. It was clear from the early rounds, though, that Hatton would have trouble doing that. Mayweather, fighting for the first time since beating Oscar De La Hoya in May, was able to pile up points and seemed to be cruising for an easy decision win when he shot out the left hook that was the beginning of the end for Hatton.
"I knew it was going to be tough," Mayweather said. "That's why I didn't do anything halfway. He was definitely the toughest competitor I've ever faced."
Mayweather (39-0) was ahead 89-81 on two ringside scorecards and 88-82 when he scored the thundering punches that both stopped Hatton and answered critics who said he was a boring fighter who fought defensively and rarely took any chances when it counted.
It was Mayweather's hometown, but Hatton's crowd at the MGM Grand hotel arena. A brass band played in the upper deck, among thousands of British fans who packed the arena and needed little urging to stand up with beers in hand to sing "There's only one Ricky Hatton" to the tune of "Winter Wonderland."
David Beckham sat ringside in the arena just down the street from where his wife was performing at the Mandalay Bay on the Spice Girls reunion tour. Those unlucky enough to not get tickets going for thousands of dollars watched it on closed circuit at several Strip hotels, while back home some 350,000 British homes were expected to spend about $30 for a pay-per-view broadcast that began about 5 a.m. in London.
Mayweather countered with a little star power himself. He was joined by fellow "Dancing With the Stars" competitors Mark Cuban, Wayne Newton and Helio Castroneves on his walk to the ring, an appearance that was roundly booed by most of the crowd, which also nearly drowned out with boos and whistles the pre-fight national anthem by Tyrese Gibson.
Unfortunately for Hatton, their vocal support wasn't much help in the ring. There, Mayweather held all the advantages, and he gave Hatton a beating from the eighth round on when he caught him with a huge right hand and followed it with a series of head punches.
"I wanted to punch with power," Mayweather said. "A couple of fights ago I gave my fans a dud, so I wanted to come back and give my fans a great fight."
Hatton was on his back in the neutral corner for about 15 seconds after being knocked out, but got up and even took a microphone to thank his fans for coming.
AP - Dec 9, 2:54 am EST
"I felt really big and really strong, but I left myself open," Hatton said. "He's better inside than what I thought with all the elbows, shoulders and forearms he used."
Hatton was cut over his right eye in the third round and though the cut didn't bleed much he said it affected him mentally and that he wasn't the same after that.
"I thought I was doing well in the fight until then," Hatton said. "I don't think he was the hardest puncher tonight, but he was more clever than I expected."
Mayweather's dominance was shown by ringside punching statistics that showed he landed 129 of 329 punches to 63 of 372 for Hatton. Even more telling was that Mayweather outlanded Hatton 78 to 26 over last five rounds, including a 32-6 margin in the eighth round.
Hatton was undefeated, just like Mayweather, but he had not fought the same caliber of fighters and many questioned how he would be able to get inside the vaunted defenses of a 30-year-old who has spent his entire life learning the fine art of boxing. Oddsmakers made him a decided underdog, though by fight time there was enough money on Hatton to bring Mayweather down to a 2-1 favorite.
The fight was lucrative for both. Mayweather was guaranteed $11 million plus a slice of any pay-per-view profits, while Hatton had a $6 million guarantee.
Hatton (43-1) was also moving up in weight, fighting at 147 pounds for only the second time, and fighting an opponent who was taller and had a reach advantage over him. If that wasn't enough, Mayweather was universally regarded as both the best defensive fighter in the world and the best pound-for-pound fighter.
Hatton's only real chance before the 16,700 who sang his praises from the opening bell, was to turn the fight into a nonstop brawl, and he did his best to do just that. He was always on the attack, trying to bully Mayweather into corners and against the ropes where he would have a better chance landing inside punches.
The fight was fought through a succession of clinches and emotions wore raw as the rounds added up. In the sixth round, Hatton threw Mayweather against the ropes and pushed his head between the second and third ropes, prompting Cortez to take a point away from the challenger.
Before the action resumed, Hatton showed his disgust by turning his back to Mayweather and sticking out his rear end.
Earlier, Cortez stopped the fight twice to lecture both boxers about using headlocks, elbows and punches behind the head in a mostly futile effort to turn the fight into some kind of a boxing contest.