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De La Hoya Picks Hatton Over Mayweather

29.11.07 - Matthew Hurley: As the World Boxing Council welterweight showdown between Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather fast approaches an interested observer, Oscar De La Hoya, has been whispering in the challenger’s ear. De La Hoya, whose Golden Boy Promotions is promoting the bout, has picked Hatton to beat Mayweather. This, of course, must be taken with a grain of salt considering that Oscar is still looking for a marquee opponent to take on in 2008 and a fight with Hatton would be a mega event..

“Oscar has shared a ring with him (Mayweather),” Hatton told reporter David Anderson. “He has given me some little bits of advice on what works and what doesn’t.”

De La Hoya had contacted Hatton immediately after the “Hitman” had defeated Jose Luis Castillo in June and there were indications that the “Golden Boy” was already considering the possibility of facing the junior welterweight champion. But Hatton, brimming with confidence after wiping out Castillo with a wicked body shot in the fourth round, called out Mayweather saying, “I think you saw more action in four rounds here than in Floyd’s whole career.”

Mayweather, incensed, called his confidant Leonard Ellerbee and told him to make the fight. Before the ink on the contracts had dried HBO jumped into the mix with its 24/7 documentary series, which had debuted with the De La Hoya – Mayweather fight. Hatton found himself playing Oscar’s role of the good guy versus bad guy Mayweather.

Now De La Hoya, his promotional instincts sensing a Hatton victory would certainly benefit his career, is pulling for the underdog.

“A lot of people are backing Floyd,” he says, “and a lot of people are going to lose a lot of money in Vegas. I’ve been in there with Floyd. He doesn’t rely on power, he relies on speed. Hatton relies on both speed and power and that is the difference between him and any other fighter Floyd has fought.”

Hatton, now in Vegas, is winding down his preparations for the December 8th fight. Trainer Billy Graham believes he is peaking at just the right time.

“I see Floyd completely on top of his game,” he told Sporting Life. “He’s just moved up to light-middleweight and beaten Oscar De La Hoya. He’s at his absolute peak but so is Ricky and that’s what makes this fight so appealing. I don’t think Floyd has faced a more skilled pressure fighter than Ricky. I know he hasn’t because there isn’t another more skilled pressure fighter on the planet. Ricky will beat him.”

The betting odds on the fight are now at, Floyd Mayweather –240 and Ricky Hatton at +190.

Article posted on 29.11.2007



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