Why Mayweather has taken the lesser risk in Hatton

floyd mayweather jr01.08.07 - By Jameel ‘Sugar J’ Jassat: Well it looks like the Hatton camp was serious when they called out the Pretty Boy from retirement. The general murmur after the Castillo fight from ringside observers led some to believe that Hatton was only calling out Mayweather Jr to bolster his credentials for a potentially massive pay day. Thankfully, Ricky put his money where his mouth is and backed his talk in pursuing the fight.

So naturally, it is only right to give credit where it’s due and I take my hat off to Hatton. (No pun intended.) To take this fight only serves to emphasize his desire to take on the best there is in his radar. Make no mistake, Ricky Hatton knows the odds are against him and come fight night he will be standing opposite the number one pound for pound pugilist and master of the sweet science Floyd Mayweather Jr.

But what of Mayweather Jr? A lot of emphasis has fallen on Hatton and his challenge to add the Welterweight king to his growing hit-list. In my opinion, this is a low risk proposition for Mayweather Jr when you take a look at those who are already knocking at his door.

Personally, and I am confident when I say this, most fight fans would have relished the prospect of Shane Mosley or Miguel Cotto challenging Mayweather. Both fighters have scored impressive wins in the past few fights and have torn through their opposition for their bragging rights. Could Mayweather truly risk his legacy by pitting himself up against two of the hardest hitting Welterweights at present?

Coupled with Mosley’s speed and aggressiveness, it could develop into a nightmare for the Pretty Boy as Shane is not one to tire or fade down the stretch. Unlike Zab Judah, Mosley is a professional in his element. His mind will not wander off somewhere in the middle of the fight, especially when he is causing Floyd some problems. I watched and re watched the Judah-Mayweather Jr fight and saw how Floyd can be vulnerable when he is countered with speed and aggression.

As for Cotto, well you can’t expect to come out of a fight with him unscathed. Ask Malignaggi and Judah. Mayweather Jr hasn’t come across someone with the ferocity of Miguel Cotto. The pressure he will apply will dwarf the attempt that Oscar De La Hoya made when they last fought. However, Floyd has the skills to make this into a horrible night for Cotto if the Puerto Rican becomes complacent and sloppy. Nevertheless, it still would make for a mouth-watering clash.

By taking the Hatton fight, Floyd has silenced a lot of his critics in the way of choosing to fight a legitimate top ten pound for pound fighter. Should he defeat the Manchester born fighter convincingly, he will only do good to his already sparkling resume. However, I must stress that I am not writing Ricky Hatton off entirely, only I feel there are factors going into this match up that stack heavily against him. The height, the reach and that uncomfortable night against Luis Collazo when he last ventured up to 147, leaves a nagging reminder of how susceptible he can be against the bigger fighter. After the De La Hoya fight we can all safely say that Mayweather isn’t vulnerable to size differences in fights.

Therefore, as a boxing purist I sincerely hope that Hatton brings his A- game and gives Mayweather Jr the fight of his life.

Taking into consideration the options that are available to Floyd, I think this is a smart decision made by his team and in picking Hatton; they have taken the easier fight out there. Perhaps team Mayweather see the vulnerability of Hatton’s reach and height and feel that they could exploit them as weaknesses. The rest is speculation at this stage and who knows what the outcome will be. History should remind us well that we cant write a fighter off before the bell and so I hope the best both fighters will punctuate an already successful year of boxing with a night to remember.

Only one question remains of Floyd, if he prevails after this fight. Will he take the plunge and finally fight Mosley or Cotto and in doing so silence his critics once for all. For me his legacy is still unfinished and if he takes on these last few names, he will attain his title of an all time great.

Article posted on 02.08.2007

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