Castillo poised for an upset over Hatton

peter manfredo23.06.07 - By Richard Rodriguez: Tonight at the Thomas and Mack Arena, we'll be seeing history made when Jose Luis Castillo (55-7-1, 47 KO's) makes what will likely be one of the best comeback fights in recent memory when he destroys Britain' Ricky Hatton (42-0, 30 KO's).

For much of the past two weeks, a lot of the focus has been on Castillo, 33, of whom many fans believe isn't the same fighter he once was following his two brutal fights with Diego Corrales. Indeed, there may be some truth to this belief; however, if Castillo, a two-time light weight champion, has lost anything it's only a marginal amount of his extraordinary talent, which I believe is more than enough to beat the limited Hatton.

If there was ever a case of a wrong opponent for Ricky Hatton, 28, it would have to be Castillo, who though not looking particularly sharp in his last bout with Herman Ngoujo in 2007, he still showed that he had more than enough left to be a big problem for Hatton. Castillo has always been an incredible inside fighter, like most Mexican fighters often are, with the ability to chop down his opponents with a sustained body attack. Hatton, although considered a good inside fighter himself, is more of a wrestler, often exhausting his opposition with this tactic along with his occasional fouls, which are largely ignored by the permissive British referees. Castillo, however, brings without the need to wrestle or foul, and displays pure boxing brilliance with his inside fighting style.

In fact, the one with a real problem is Hatton himself, a fighter that has been essentially a one-hit wonder with his stoppage of a weight drained and older version of Kostya Tszyu in June 2005. Since then, Hatton has looked average in wins over Luis Collazo and Juan Urango, both of whom gave Hatton fits with their speed and rough fighting tactics. In the case of Collazo, many people felt that he did more than enough to get the win over Hatton, and was given a raw deal. I personally scored the fight a draw, but it highlighted Hattonís weakness with fighting opponents with skill, speed and ring smarts, all of which Castillo has in abundance.

Look for Castillo to outwork Hatton and generally beat him at his own game, the inside fighting, where Castillo will give him a boxing lesson in how itís supposed to be done. By 6th round, I see Hatton badly behind in the fight and resorting to wrestling and fouls to try and get the upper hand on Castillo. However, it wonít work, as Castillo will keep his composure and continue to dominate into the second have of the fight.

Prediction: Castillo by 12-round decision.

Article posted on 23.06.2007

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