Mayweather KO’s Hatton In Tenth

ricky hatton09.12.07 - Bill Calogero, TheDailysports .com: Floyd Mayweather Jr. kept his perfect record in tact Saturday night by stopping Ricky Hatton in the tenth round of their scheduled twelve round Welterweight Championship fight. The contest was the Main Event of “Undefeated”, which was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and broadcast live from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas by HBO PPV.

Ricky Hatton pressed the fight. He was the aggressor for most of the contest. Floyd Mayweather was forced to fight Hatton’s fight and turned out to be the victor.

With the MGM Grand Arena, packed with singing British fans, both fighters began the fight by going right after each other. It was obvious from the start that Mayweather had the hand and foot speed, but Ricky was a lot quicker than Floyd may have thought. The first round found both fighters landing punches, mostly to the head of each other. Hatton landed a very solid left to the jaw of Mayweather that clearly stunned him. It was a close round, but on my scorecard, I gave round one to Ricky Hatton.

Again, Hatton came out the aggressor for round two. He was cutting the ring off very nicely and was able to keep Floyd near the ropes or corners, landing punches to both the body and head for most of the round. Hatton landed a solid left on the side of Floyd’s head, sending the Champion backwards, and the only thing that appeared to keep him on his feet was his exceptional balance. Mayweather was counter-punching successfully as Hatton came in throwing his punches, but was only landing one punch at a time, which kept the round in Ricky’s favor. Floyd was also holding a lot and clearly was not fighting “his” fight. This was a very good round for Ricky Hatton.

Floyd Mayweather started round three pedaling away on his bicycle attempting to bring the fight back to his preferred HIS arm’s length away. He began throwing extremely accurate counter-punches in twos and threes instead of one at a time like the way he did in the first two rounds. Hatton however was going to have nothing of this.

Again, Ricky was able to cut the ring off and keep the round and fight very close. He landed several solid left-right combinations to both the head and body of Mayweather. (It’s important to note that referee Joe Cortez, whom I normally think does a great job, was “over-refereeing” this fight. Every time Hatton brought the fight in close, Cortez would separate them. This move was clearly in Mayweather’s favor and I personally thought it to be very poor refereeing). Towards the end of the round, Mayweather landed back-to-back rights that opened up a cut over Hatton’s right eye. Although this round was very close and honestly could have gone either way, I gave the round to Hatton because I felt he was still the aggressor and landed more punches, and most importantly, the harder ones.

Even though Hatton came out the aggressor for the fourth round, it was Mayweather who began to turn up the heat. As he was being attacked against the ropes, Floyd was able to counter punch very well, landing several left-right-left combinations square on Hatton’s face, forcing the fight into open waters. The more Hatton pressed, the more punches Floyd landed. Mayweather clearly took this round.

The fifth round had Mayweather return to holding. Hatton pressed the fight, attacking Mayweather as he was against the ropes. Floyd was able to counter, but he was back to throwing one punch at a time as Ricky kept throwing punches from all angles, landing most. As Mayweather held, Ricky punched attempting to try and force Floyd to fight and it seemed that every time this happened, Cortez would break them apart. It started to visibly frustrate Ricky. The round was close, but I gave the edge to Hatton.

Hatton continued to batter Mayweather for most of the sixth round. At one point he had Mayweather against the ropes and as he often does, Floyd turned his back as Ricky launched a punch, the result was it (the punch) landed on the back of Mayweather’s head. Referee Joe Cortez immediately jumped in and took a point away from Hatton. Again, this was poor refereeing in my opinion.

Although he was warning both fighters for holding, never once was either fighter warned about hitting behind the head. This was a close fight and one point was huge. As soon as the round continued, Hatton proceeded to batter Mayweather, resulting in an even 9-9 round on my scorecard.

The fight started to change as soon as the seventh round began. Hatton continued to press the action, but now Floyd Mayweather was countering with seemly harder punches. They were also coming in multi-punch barrages and as the seconds ticked on during the round, so did Floyd’s output level. He landed more punches as well as clearly landing the harder ones. The round was very entertaining and full of action, but it was not close. On my card, Floyd won the round easily.

The eighth round picked up where the seventh left off. Now Mayweather was controlling the fight. Floyd landed a devastating right that stopped Hatton in his tracks. He also began landing multi-punch combinations to the head and body of Hatton. Mid-way through the round, a barrage of punches battered Hatton; his head snapping back and forth like a speed bag. But rather than cover up, Ricky began throwing punches back. They were wild, but his best defense was his offense. He came on strong for the final minute, but it was not enough to win the round. I gave the round to Mayweather.

The ninth round was a carbon copy of the beginning of the eighth. It saw Hatton coming in pressing the fight, but Mayweather able to seemly land punches at will from “his” arm’s length. Again, a close round but I gave the edge to Mayweather.

The tenth round began the same way as the previous three, Hatton was pressing the fight and Mayweather was fighting from the outside, when a CRUSHING left hook sent Hatton crumbling down to the canvas. He was up and ready to go by the count of eight, but was still in trouble. Hatton tried to battle back and as he went in for an attack, Mayweather countered a sluggish right with a quick, crisp and power-packed left-right-left combination to the jaw of Hatton, sending him down again. As referee Joe Cortez began to count, he immediately saw that Ricky Hatton was not going to beat the count and put a halt to the bout.

The official time came at 1:35 of the tenth round, giving Floyd Mayweather the TKO victory. He retains his WBC & Ring Magazine Welterweight Titles and improves to 39-0 (25 KOs). After the fight, he said that he has nothing left to prove in the ring and will now focus on Promoting Fights. He gave Ricky Hatton and his fans credit and said it was one of the toughest fights he had been in.

Ricky Hatton loses for the first time in his career, dropping to 43-1 (31 KOs) and will most certainly not only be back, but will be back on top very quickly, most likely in the 140lb division, where in my opinion he belongs.

The fight was very entertaining and was fun to watch. I felt that Hatton was doing everything he needed to to come out with a win, but Mayweather proved a little too fast and too big for him to overcome. I also strongly believe that referee Joe Cortez helped Floyd by constantly breaking them apart AS SOON as the fight went close. This was clearly an advantage to Mayweather. I think he over-refereed this bout and as he and Floyd posed for a picture, the smile on Floyd’s face as he looked at Cortez proved to me that Mayweather too had appreciated the referee’s actions.

On the not so exciting under card, Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy won a unanimous ten-round decision over Peter Manfredo, Jr. in their Super Middleweight bout without throwing a substantial left-hook.

The fight was close, but Manfredo seemed to run out of gas as the fight went on. Lacy started out slow, giving the first few rounds to Manfredo on my card, but during the fourth, a right hand, combined with an awkward retreat, sent Manfredo down to the canvas. He was up and did not seem hurt at all, but it was clearly a knockdown and was scored accordingly.

The fight continued on with Lacy the aggressor, landing the harder shots more often.

The judges at ringside scored the fight 95-94, 96-93, and 97-92, all in favor of Jeff Lacy, who improves to 23-1 (17 KOs). Peter Manfredo Jr. drops to 28-5 (13 KOs).

Daniel Ponce DeLeon retained his WBO Jr. Featherweight Title by winning a unanimous decision over Eduardo Escobedo in another very “hard to watch” fight.

Daniel Ponce DeLeon demonstrated virtually no boxing skill, offensively or defensively but yet still clearly won the fight. The judges at ringside saw the fight 115-113, 117-111 and 118-110, all in favor of Daniel Ponce DeLeon, who improves to 34-1 (30 KOs).

Eduardo Escobedo proved to be the far superior boxer in terms of skill, but failed to be aggressive enough or throw enough punches to make this fight close, let alone win. He drops to 20-3 (14 KOs).

Finally to round off the un-impressive under card, Edner Cherry used a devastating left hook to drop Wes Ferguson twice in the sixth round, the later causing the referee to put a stop to the bout officially at 2:59 of their scheduled ten-round lightweight contest.

Cherry improves to 23-5-2 (11 KOs) and looks to fight for a Lightweight Title soon.
Ferguson drops to 17-3-1 (5 KOs) and looks to regroup.

I feel that the Mayweather vs. Hatton fight lived up to the hype. I also feel it was one of the first times I saw Floyd Mayweather Jr. have to actually fight and I was glad and impressed.

His counter-punching work was beautiful to watch and only someone with his hand speed could make it look so easy and effortless. The only issue I have with the fight is the difference in their size. Floyd was clearly the bigger fighter, from the weigh-in to fight night, I would guess that he held easily a 10-12 lb advantage and in the Welterweight division, that is huge.

I also feel that Floyd Mayweather Jr. MUST fight one more time to solidify his spot as a “Pound-For-Pound” All-Time Great, which is the title he personally craves. That fight has to be against a fighter the same size and in his prime. There is only one I can think of and that is Miguel Cotto. A win over Cotto will shut guys like me up for good on Floyd Mayweather, Jr.


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Article posted on 10.12.2007

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