Boxing

Hatton Looks To May 24th Return

ricky hatton01.02.08 - Matthew Hurley: Although his loss to Floyd Mayweather left little doubt as to who the better man was in the ring on December 8th Ricky Hatton remains both determined to erase the memory of his tenth round knockout loss and hopefully get back in the ring with the ‘Pretty Boy’ one more time. Hatton recently told The Times that he felt that over officious referee Joe Cortez hindered his performance and ultimately led to his mentally unraveling before Mayweather finished him off.

“I have a lot of respect for Mr. Cortez,” he said. “Maybe he just had an off-night. And I was a little bit over-keen, over-eager and I made the cardinal sin of losing my composure.”

As for a return bout with Mayweather, Hatton revealed that he feels he needs to redeem himself and stepping up to fight Floyd again is the only way to accomplish that. It’s doubtful, however, that Mayweather, who picks and chooses his opponents with a businessman’s eye for the greatest monetary reward, will deign to give him a second shot.

“I don’t want my last fight to be that fight, me on my back getting counted out to my first defeat,” Hatton said. “What sort of a champion would I be if I didn’t come back and try and prove myself? There’s one or two things I want to do and one of those is to prove people wrong. If you’re a man, that’s what you do. So I’d like to fight Floyd again. Last time I don’t think I was given a fair crack of the whip.”

Mayweather isn’t scheduled to fight again until September when he will take on Oscar De La Hoya in a rematch of what was the richest fight in boxing history. Although that fight has been greeted with a majority of collective yawns it speaks to both Floyd and Oscar’s position in the sport, which is that of two men in suits sitting atop the corporate structure and counting their money. Ricky wants to be included in their ritzy niche but it is unlikely he will again be involved in the kind of event that Hatton – Mayweather turned out to be. Instead he will look to spear smaller fish in the junior welterweight division. A bout with bitter rival WBC champion Junior Witter would seem to be a no-brainer but for now Hatton remains content to thumb his nose at the ‘Hitter’.

“I’m not going to give him the opportunity to make money off me after all the slagging off he’s done in the press,” Hatton says.

Witter is scheduled to defend his title against Demetrius Hopkins on March 22nd. Although Hatton seems resolute in waving Witter off, he does hint that the grudge match could come about at the end of his career.

For a possible return in May, Hatton is said to be looking at IBF junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi or WBO champion Ricardo Torres. He is also hopeful that the fight will take place at the City of Manchester Stadium.

“It has always been my dream to fight at City’s ground and I know my dad is deep in talks with the club to make it come true.”

Article posted on 01.02.2008



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