Boxing

Can the “Hit Man” Hatton Leave Mayweather sleeping with the fishes?

ricky hatton20.10.07 - By Mike Cassell: It is very easy not to like Welterweight phenomenon Floyd Mayweather Jr. 38 – 0, 24 KO’s. He plays a spectacular bad guy, even when he is, dancing with the stars. He can be unapologetic, brazen, cocky, but more importantly, he can outbox pretty much any fighter on the planet, which makes all that other stuff mute.

There has always been plenty of fighters who loved to talk, but very few that could walk the walk. Floyd Mayweather Jr. can make a full grown professional fighter, look like a mere child in the ring. His hand speed is unmatched, his ring portability is amazing, and oh yeah, he has real punching power.

Great fighters with speed always have two things that eventually catch up to them. Time and pressure. As a great ring tactician gets older, his speed and reaction time slows, and a fighter that can provide pressure, will eventually beat the more talented boxer. Unfortunately for Ricky Hatton, Mayweather is a young 30 in the ring, who has denied every brawler he has faced, any real shot of laying leather on that pretty face.

Let’s first examine Mayweather’s past “real” competition. Mayweather easily defeated Oscar De La hoya in his last bout. Oscar is a tough guy, who is not easy to beat. So age aside, we have to say that the De La Hoya victory, although boring and uneventful, was Mayweather’s most significant victory. The Pretty boy, however has not had a knockout since 2005 when he faced Shambra Mitchell, who was a shell of his former self, so if you want to look at real competition, you have to go back five years to Jose Luis Castillio. Castillio was done by the time he met Mayweather, but he had a great stalking, or “pressure” style, that really gave the “pretty boy” fits. Some experts believe Castillio won in their first meeting. Castillio brilliantly smothered the speed of Mayweather, and forced him into a fight. Mayweather had never been hit so cleanly, and so often. The judges had their second meeting closer, but I think all would agree that Castillio showed fighters how to defeat Mayweather. The question that has to be asked is, was anybody paying attention?

Although he and Mayweather are about the same age, British boxing icon Ricky Hatton 43 – 0, 34 KO’s wears his battles on his rugged face. It makes him look older, tougher, and a little more worn. Hatton has faced Castillo, Mayweather’s toughest foe, and knocked him out in four rounds. But besides Kostya Tszyu, and Castillo, Hatton has not faced the same competition as Mayweather. Hatton does however deserve more credit than his European counterparts Mikkell Kessler and Joe Calzaghe, who have never faced any real American competition, but there have been questions about Hatton’s power at welterweight. A few pounds in the lower weight classes are huge to a brawler like Hatton. His best defense is his offense, and if he can not hurt Mayweather, it could be a punishing “Carlos Baldomir” type of night for Hatton. If Mayweather has any weaknesses, it is that his hands have given him trouble in the past, but he has beaten professional fighters, with only one hand at times. Mayweather has tremendous skill, but if pushed to the limit, does he have the heart to match?

Hatton has said recently that he will be relentless with Mayweather, and he will force a fight. Mayweather has contended that there isn’t anybody talented enough to make that happen, but we all know that there is no measurement that can be put on a mans heart. This is Hatton’s “dare to be great” situation, and I think he understands that he will never win a decision against the tremendous skill of Mayweather. He is going into this fight looking for knockout, or get knocked out trying. That’s old school, and you have to respect that. The X factor in this battle is, Hatton has much more skills than guys like Gatti and Baldomir, and that should make all the difference. Maybe Hatton knows that Mayweather isn’t willing to leave everything in the ring. He is extremely calm before the storm, and it has to be a bit unsettling to Mayweather. The Philadelphia Boxing Report is calling this potentially “fight of the year” right now, and any true boxing fan can not miss this fight. It will be well worth the money. Hatton has waited a long Time for this. Sometimes all that is needed is, a little time, and a lot of pressure.

"UNDEFEATED" — World welterweight champion " Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather will meet British icon and world junior welterweight champion Ricky "The Hit man" Hatton for the world welterweight championship Saturday, Dec. 8 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, and sponsored by Rock Star Energy Drink, Tecate Beer and Southwest Airlines, the fight will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View. For more information on Mayweather vs. Hatton, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com.

Article posted on 21.10.2007



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