Boxing

Hatton-Mayweather - Can Ricky "Do A Lloyd Honeyghan?"

ricky hatton02.12.07 - by James Slater: When the experts discuss what the biggest and best boxing upset ever scored by a British boxer when fighting across the Atlantic is, almost to a man they recall the superb win Lloyd Honeyghan pulled off against the hitherto unbeatable looking Donald Curry, back in 1986. Now, with less than a week to go until his mega fight with Floyd Mayweather, Ricky Hatton will be looking to "do a Honeyghan" and crush "Pretty Boy" in the same way Honeyghan did "The Lone Star Cobra." It may not mean anything, but the fact that Lloyd turned pro on the exact same date the super fight being called "Undefeated" takes place - December 8th - may prove to be an omen. A bad one for Mayweather, that is.

For if Hatton is able to fight as well as the man who made his pro debut on December 8th, 1980, and then went on to become one of Britain's greatest-ever boxers, then "The Hitman" will certainly be in with a chance of victory this Saturday.. And, let's not forget, Hatton, like Honeyghan before him, is now fighting at welterweight - the weight class in which Honeyghan scored his famous victory. Maybe there's something in the stars, and Ricky is following a path that will see him duplicate the achievement of Britain's welterweight hero from the 1980's.

Like Curry before him, Mayweather is a special talent, that much is undeniable. But when he got in there with the rough-and-ready, extremely physical and somewhat unorthodox punching Honeyghan, Curry - who relied on controlling a fight at his own comfortable pace, while being allowed to box while very much in his groove - found out his game-plan was ruthlessly offset by his challenger's brutal and aggressive tactics. Could this very same thing happen to "Pretty Boy" when Hatton unloads all his physical strength and aggression on him? Floyd likes to control a fight under his own terms. With his speed and, it must be said, conservative punch output, the pound-for-pound king is used to emerging victorious without having gotten into anything approaching a war. But will Hatton allow Mayweather to have things the way in which he has grown accustomed?

There is little doubt, Honeyghan was no way near as fine a boxer as Curry. So too is this the case with Hatton and Mayweather. But Lloyd proved this didn't matter. Simply knocking the fight right out of Curry with nothing more than toughness, desire, aggression and plain old fashioned wanting it more, Honeyghan made the contest his very own. It has to be said, the parallels between Honeyghan-Curry and Hatton-Mayweather are many. Does Hatton simply want it more than Floyd? Will "The Hitman's" immense heart and hard-headed toughness - a toughness that has thus far allowed him to walk through every fighter he has faced - overwhelm Mayweather in a similar fashion to how those same attributes enabled Honeyghan to destroy Curry?

There are some fights fans/experts who feel it is possible Mayweather will quit once things get too hot for him on December 8th. Curry quit on his stool after six hellish rounds with Honeyghan. Back then, such a thing came as a massive shock, but if it's happened before it can happen again. Curry, like Mayweather, was considered a true boxing great, and his match with Britain's Honeyghan was seen as nothing more than an easy fight. Indeed, the odds makers had Honeyghan an even bigger betting underdog than they have Hatton in his bout with today's current pound-for-pound master. The question is, would it be more of a shock if Hatton makes Mayweather quit, and will a Hatton win over Floyd be as big an upset as Honeyghan's over Curry?

Maybe history is on its way to repeating itself. Donald Curry wound up quitting on his stool in pain when he made the mistake of severely underestimating a British challenger. Will Floyd Mayweather follow in his footsteps this coming Saturday night?

Article posted on 02.12.2007



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