Boxing

Hopkins Likes Hatton By Decision

06.12.07 - by Matthew Hurley: With only one more day before the final weigh in and two days before the opening bell for their WBC welterweight showdown on Saturday another member and current fighter in the Golden Boy Promotional (GDP) ranks weighed in with his thoughts on who will win between Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather. It came as little shock that light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins, like his partner in GDP Oscar De La Hoya, is predicting a Hatton upset..

Always granting a sound bite to an ever expectant media throng Hopkins went on record as saying that Hatton will outwork Mayweather to win a unanimous decision. He also offered his twist on Marvin Hagler’s old axiom regarding once hungry fighters who become comfortable in their wealth and leisure. “It’s ain’t easy to get up early and do roadwork when you sleep in silk pajamas,” the Marvelous one said many years ago.

Hopkins was quick to reiterate that point. “It is a fight for Ricky to win and Floyd to lose,” he said. “Everybody knows Floyd can win the fight, but how do you still fight like a hungry man when your refrigerator is full?”

Hopkins, who is in the process of talking up a bout with Hatton countryman Joe Calzaghe, went on to add, “Ricky Hatton is like the Energizer Bunny. I have never seen the man get tired. I am looking for some blood from Ricky early on but the end of the day he out hustles Mayweather for a unanimous decision. You must remember, Ricky Hatton is not just a slugger. There’s a difference between a guy who is going to put pressure on you and is willing to take four or five punches to give one or two. That’s not Ricky Hatton. Ricky is willing to be that slugger but he is also willing to throw punches in bunches and that is rare in boxing today. Henry Armstrong fought that way. That is a dangerous guy because you can’t keep him off you.”

Mayweather has waved off the sudden vocal support Hatton has been getting from such fighters as De La Hoya, Lennox Lewis, Jose Luis Castillo and now Hopkins but the recent shift in support for a fighter who was seen as a huge underdog when the fight was announced will also affect the betting line in Las Vegas come the opening bell. It is estimated that by fight night over 30,000 rabid Ricky Hatton fans will have made the trek to Las Vegas from England, all soused up and ready to wager on their man. They have even received something of an omen with the weather changing from clear blue skies to overcast and damp.

“It makes it feel just like home,” Hatton was quoted by reporter Martin Rogers as saying. “But this isn’t about luck or omens. It is about the educated pressure I will put on Floyd that will make the difference.”

Hatton went on to add, regarding his multi-talented opponent, that, “Everyone around him says they’re the greatest. He’s got his uncle who says he’s the greatest trainer the world’s ever seen and then he (Floyd) says he’s the greatest fighter the world’s ever seen. So when you get in there and suddenly your backs against the wall, it becomes a shock to the system when you prey so much on confidence.”

The loquacious Hopkins was finally able to sum up not only the fight but all major summit meetings between two champions in the ring. “(It’s about) who will be able to suck it up and forget about the belts and the zeros in your loss column. Who will cross that line and knock on the door of greatness?”

We’ll find out Saturday night.

Article posted on 06.12.2007



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