Hatton vs. Mayweather: How To Beat Floyd In One Easy Lesson

floyd mayweather jr24.08.07 - By Sean Mcdaniel: Leading up to to the huge showdown between undefeated boxing greats Ricky Hatton (43-0, 31 KOs) and Floyd Mayweather (38-0, 24 KOs), very few people are giving Hatton much of a chance in the bout, aside from his fellow British compatriots. I have to agree with most of the crowd, Hatton doesnít have a very good chance at beating Mayweather, 30, in the bout and nothing short of a lucky punch will help him. Having said that, let me lay out the secrets to beating Mayweather.

First of all, many of these are weapons that Hatton, now 28, already has in his vast armory of boxing weaponry, so there's very little learning curve that needs to take place for him to utilize the skills.

Being a person who believes in sportsmanship, I would never recommend Hatton use these tools to win, but given the predicament heís in considering his lack of size, speed and boxing ability in comparison to Mayweather, I believe it to be his only chance at victory. Unfortunately for Hatton, without these more crude tools of the boxing trade, weíll likely see him get stomped to pieces by Mayweather in short order.

The weapons are as follows: strategic wrestling & clinching, cutting off the ring, staying close to Mayweather (that is, staying close to him the entire fight and forcing him to battle on the inside), the use tactical fouls, such as elbows, head butts, low blows, and rabbit punches. I freely admit, most of these things don't seem particularly sporting, but since when has boxing, or any sport for that matter, ever been truly fair? There's always someone trying to get an extra edge, whether that be the use of drugs or low blows it's done all the time.

In the end, it matters little what Hatton does to win, just as long as he gets the "w," that's all that counts and what will be remembered in most of the fan's minds. Like in hockey, where the team with the best skaters and scorers often get beat by the roughhouse tactics (including numerous fouls) of more physical teams, the same goes with boxing. A tough fighter like Hatton, if he uses every mauling tactic in his toolkit, he can go along way to evening the odds of the fight and possibly come out the winner in the end. Going one step further, I believe that if Hatton uses all of these tactics, heíll be impossible to beat, no matter who he fights. Up to this point in his career, Mayweather has been incredibly lucky to have not mixed it up with a fighter of Hatton's class, and has thus far been sheltered from the roughhouse tactics that the British destroyer typically brings into the ring for all of his fights.

Roughhouse tactics (Wrestling, clinching, headbutts, elbows, rabbit punches and low blows): These more than anything, are probably Hattonís biggest chance at success against Mayweather. In most of his bouts, Mayweather has seldom been pressured by a fighter that used more than one of these tactics in a bout, which has allowed him to take advantage of his speed advantage. However, Hatton often Ė whether intentional or not Ė uses many of these tactics in every bout, a fact that makes him so dangerous as a fighter.

As most people already know, Hattonís a near-tireless wrestler and has the ability to wrestle all fight long, slowly draining away the energy of his opponent. His occasional low blows (of course, accidental) are even more damaging because many of his opponents are often jumped on immediately by Hatton after the bout is continued following a brief timeout. Expect more of the same against Mayweather, should one of Hattonís punches stray a tad bit low. The head butts are often a byproduct of Hattonís lunging forward with his head while attempting to get inside on his opponents. This is a likely scenario against Mayweather, who will no doubt be using the same rope a dope style he used effectively against Oscar De la Hoya. The difference here, of course, being that Hatton is a far more effective inside fighter than De La Hoya.

Hattonís use of elbows and rabbit punches are often due to the many hooks that he throws on the inside. When heís that close to his opponents, itís impossible to avoid hitting them with rabbit punches and elbows considering the amount of hooks that heís throwing. Again, I donít think he does this intentional; itís just the way he fights.

Cutting off the ring: This is something that Hatton has always been verily good at doing, perhaps because heís had to deal with taller fighters his entire career. Whatever the case, heís going to have this in mind, as Mayweather will no doubt be utilizing his feet to keep Hatton at a distance so that he can punish him with his lightning fast hand. Hatton must at all times be concentrating on intercepting Mayweather and forcing him to fight against the ropes, a place where he becomes much more easier to deal with than in the open ring.

Staying in close: Hatton must stick to Mayweather like glue, making him trade with him on the inside where Mayweather is at a clear disadvantage. Being a slippery fighter, Mayweather will obviously be able to free himself from Hatton at times, but the key is to engage him immediately, regardless of the counter punches Mayweather lands as Hatton gets in close again. Believe me, itís better to absorb a few shots coming inside rather than a large amount by staying on the side where Floyd can get leverage on his punches.

For all Mayweather Jr's advantages he has coming into his bout with Hatton, each one is for all practical purposes nullified by Hatton's ability to grapple and fight in a rough style. It's not just enough to say that because Mayweather is faster and the better boxer, he'll win, because most of his advantages are dependent on him being able to stay in the middle of the ring, where he's accustomed to dictating the action of the fight. That works against the passive fighters, but against a fighter with all out seek and destroy aggression like Hatton, it's not nearly enough.

Article posted on 25.08.2007

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