Hatton, Schaefer Talk De La Hoya-Hatton Next Year At Wembley

24.11.08 - by James Slater - Now that he has silenced his critics with his back-to-his-best performance against Paulie Malignaggi, the future looks extremely bright for 30-year-old Ricky Hatton. It's no secret both he and Oscar De La Hoya want very much to engage in a mega-fight showdown next year (providing Oscar gets past Manny Pacquiao, of course). Talking about this mouth-watering prospect, Hatton himself and Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer are both mightily excited about the possibilty..

hatton"My dream would be to have it at Wembley, without a doubt, and it's a strong possibility," a jubilant Hatton said shortly after becoming the first man to stop Malignaggi. "Oscar's never fought in Britain and he's said he'd like to tick it off on his resume of what he's achieved. We got 58,000 at the City of Manchester Stadium for Juan Lazcano - if we can't get 100,000 at Wembley for Oscar De La Hoya, then I'd be very surprised."

Without too much of a doubt, a Hatton-De La Hoya super-fight would have no trouble shifting tickets, that's for sure. Hatton, though he rejuvenated his career with his excellent showing in Las Vegas, still maintains he doesn't plan to fight on for that much longer. A clash with "The Golden Boy" sure would be some way to go out.

"I don't want to go on for too much longer, as I keep stressing, but retirement is not on my agenda, not on my radar at the moment," Ricky continued. "When you see a performance like that [Malignaggi], with everything I had to deal with - 'he's not been the same since Mayweather, he's struggled, he's a little bit past it, he's looking a bit shot' - I've slammed that door shut now."

He sure has, and no-one can say anymore that Hatton is on the slide - he looked the best he's looked in years on Saturday night. Richard Schaefer too, now wants to see "The Hitman" box De La Hoya.

"We are looking at staging it in a big stadium in the U.K," Schaefer told The Sun newspaper. "But the arena needs to be covered because of the unpredictable weather. My idea, and I haven't spoken to the Hatton camp about this yet, is to have the fight on a Sunday. I was thinking that big sporting events are on a Sunday in America, like The Super Bowl, so why not this fight?

"It would be a huge event with maybe even a pop concert leading into a great under-card and then the fight. Oscar against Ricky could be the biggest event in boxing. It would be two great fighters, who come to fight and are loved by the fans. The winner could then fight Floyd Mayweather who, of course, has already boxed both fighters."

Schaefer undeniably has vision, but first things first. Oscar must get past "Pac-Man," and Mayweather, who has not now fought for almost a year, has given no inclination of even fighting again yet. A Hatton-De La Hoya possibility is more than enough to look forward to at present.

Article posted on 24.11.2008

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