Mayweather vs. Hatton: It’s about speed!

03.08.07 - By Dave Domenico: I for one, am excited that Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Ricky Hatton will face off late this year in what could be the a ‘potential” fight of the year candidate. I have been interested in this fight ever since Hatton defeated Jose Luis Castillo in such a brutal manner. Now, to both men’s credit they are laying their undefeated records on the line along with their pound for pound status. To me, that is more important than belts at this point..

There has been much speculation about this fight already on this site, but I would like to focus on a factor that will be the deciding element when they face each other in the ring. This fight is about speed. Speed is what will make the difference. We all know that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has tremendous speed, and that is largely why he has been so dominant as a fighter. Hatton is also very fast, and if he can equal or be near as fast as Mayweather in this fight, that will be the main factor in this bout.

In Mayweather’s biggest fights, he won them because he was so much faster than his opponents were. When he fought Gatti, he was able to blind him with such speed that Gatti could only stand there and take shots. Baldomir, was tough and game, but did not have the speed to compete with Mayweather overall. Gatti and Baldomir were just too slow for Floyd. Now, if you look at his more competitive fights in Judah and De La Hoya, speed was a big factor. Judah, who was as fast or faster than Mayweather early on, was able to dominate in the first four or 6 rounds, due to his speed and applied pressure. Later in the fight, as Judah tired and slowed down, Mayweather was able to gain the upper hand. Against De La Hoya, he had genuine trouble. Personally, I do not think Floyd looked good in that fight, and it was a questionable decision. I watched the fight several times and I scored it a draw. Oscar was clearly dominating for the first half of the fight. He was fast enough to get to Floyd and apply the pressure needed to win rounds. However, Oscar began tiring and slowing down like Judah and after the 7th round, Mayweather was able to use the advantage in speed to take most of the later rounds to win a controversial (IMHO) spit decision.

With that said, if Hatton is a fast as Floyd and applies the pressure that De La Hoya and Judah did to Mayweather, we are in for an exciting fight. We all know Hatton is a pressure fighter, and if he has the speed to match Mayweather, this fight will be very interesting. Mayweather will probably use his proven “defensive”game plan in this fight, and if he is significantly faster than Hatton the fight will probably be one sided. If Hatton is truly fast enough, this fight will be very competitive and interesting with even a chance of an upset. We will not know until the bell rings, but either way it is a great match-up, and one that is good for boxing.

Article posted on 03.08.2007

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