A Quick Last Thought Just Prior To The Ricky Hatton v Floyd Mayweather Jr. Match Up

07.12.07 - By Steve Hewitt: Some months ago I wrote an article (who didn’t, right?) giving Ricky a good chance of emerging victorious on December 8th. I based my heartfelt and, hopefully, balanced opinions upon solid historical reference points; Duran Leonard 1, Frazier Ali 1 and so on. Now I’m having second thoughts….

Mayweather’s prediction that once the big night is finally upon us his opponent will realize the enormity of the task put in front of him and slowly wither, has come true: for me at least.

Even months ago, when my confidence in a Hatton victory was still high, the relatively sluggish performance he put on against Collazo – his sole outing at 147 pounds prior to Saturday night – provided a niggling doubt. Thankfully though, as already discussed on these knowledgeable pages, Hatton has recently come out and explained all this away.

For those of you that may have missed this pertinent disclosure, allow me to truncate: he made the weight, piled on the usual amount of post weigh-in poundage and entered the ring a mammoth 160 pounds. Ricky now sees this as having been a huge preparation error and, this time out, plans on entering the ring at his usual 152 lbs. What Hatton fan could fail to feel relieved by this admission, right? Well, unfortunately, if we take a closer look at this timely insight into Ricky’s flawed preparation, the relief quickly fades.

Ask yourself this: how heavy will Floyd be on fight night? Logic would dictate around 160 pounds, and pretty comfortable with it. There’s a difference between ballooning in weight between fights and putting weight back on during the brief interim between weigh-in and fight night; this is normal practice. A fight at 147 pounds is actually nothing of the sort; if you’re entering the ring at 147 pounds then you should be fighting at 140 pounds: it’s not rocket science. Given these facts, Ricky’s belief in his own explanation would appear somewhat disingenuous and it is unlikely to be met with anything but derision from the ultra professional Mayweather camp.

We all know that Floyd already holds a seven inch reach advantage commensurate with his extra two inches in height. If we match the speed advantage of Mayweather to what we can reasonably assume will be a fair few extra pounds of fight night bodyweight, well, the fact that Hatton will be less sluggish looks somewhat irrelevant.

My heart is with Ricky 100% - and even part of my head still says that he has all the qualities to beat Floyd to a narrow 12 round points victory - but a good big one will always beat a good little one, and even Mayweathers’ strongest detractors would have to admit that he is a very good one. The only obvious flaw I saw in Mayweather’s last fight was his occasional befuddlement when faced with Oscar’s stiff jab, hardly the stuff of an all time great fighter by the way, and it comes as no surprise that Billy Graham wants Ricky to use his jab more in this fight. Certainly Duran could catch Leonard with his jab in their first match up, despite the height and reach disadvantage, can Ricky? Something tells me the answer to that is no.

For me, Saturday night is looking increasingly like a fight between a Junior Welterweight and a Welterweight whose few weaknesses his smaller opponent just isn’t physically equipped to exploit. I’m praying that Hatton’s foot speed and bullying will allow him to use his lack of height to his advantage; that Floyd will fail to keep Hatton off with straight rights and swift uppercuts and that - once inside - Ricky’s leverage and sideward movement will lead him straight into Floyd’s ribcage.

Does anyone truly believe that he’ll manage all of this?

Article posted on 07.12.2007

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