An Open Letter To Ricky Hatton

By Jason Peck - Dear Ricky: You can hear it, canít you? The welterweight division is calling again. Word on the street says that youíre going to fight Oscar De La Hoya if the Golden Boy makes it past Manny Pacquiao. But come on Ė you already know that welterweight is wrong you. At 140, youíre a proven champ; at 147 your record is none too impressive. Build a legacy where you belong, where you really shine. Itís not like one weight class is a bad thing..

Ricky HattonIn the world of boxing training, hard work counts for a hell of a lot. But when it comes to weight shifting, Mother Nature plays a bigger role. Floyd Mayweather Jr. had a naturally slimmer frame that let him pack on pounds from super featherweight to junior middleweight without any negative effects. By contrast, youíre already pretty muscled up at 140 pounds.

Donít take my word for it. At welterweight your controversial victory over Luis Collazo was anything but convincing, a bump that threw your skyrocketing career off track. And your second bout at 147Öwell, thatís pretty obvious. Anything above 140 pounds and youíre running into trouble. As a matter of fact, you might even be able to make lightweight if you didnít drink so goddamned much in between fights.

Just kiddingÖItís impressive. Thereís not too many boxers whose livers can match a member of Oasis.

But again, a lifetime at junior welterweight is hardly a bad thing. Itís not like there arenít opportunities there. You could make a mint unifying the titles in the UK Ė my thoughts especially go out to the winner of the upcoming Torres-Holt fight. Not only that, you have your pick of anyone fighting at lightweight.

Youíve still got Kostya Tszyuís number, havenít you? Give him a call. He spent his entire career at junior welterweight, and only a fool will fail to recognize his status among the greatest fighters of the past 25 years.

Donít buy into this Sugar Ray Leonard-induced crap. Fighting in multiple weight classes shouldnít be a prerequisite for being a great fighter. Some of the greatest like Marvin Hagler easily earned Hall of Fame credentials at a single weight.

And Oscar de La Hoya? I know, you still want a piece of that guy. Everyone does Ė itís maximum money, maximum fame and minimum risk. But why should YOU move up for HIM? This year you got in the ring with two men who were naturally suited for your size. Thatís a whole helluva lot more than De La Hoya can brag about. By contrast, he forced two guys to move a full two weight classes up for the honor of fighting him.

How magnanimous of him.

The ballís in your corner, Ricky Ďol boy. Oscar wants you because the real contenders at welterweight and super-middleweight will likely kick his butt. Donít play his game, let him slim down to 140 pounds. Youíre on the upswing, not him. So start acting like it. Just donít start acting stupid again.

Article posted on 26.11.2008

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