Has Ricky Hatton Bitten Off More Than He Can Chew?

20.03.05 - By Phydos Sergiou: Forget the heavyweight division; the 140 pound division is where it’s at! There are at least 7 Superb Fighters vying for the number one Kosta Tszyu’s number #1 spot in 2005, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Vivian Harris, Aturo Gatti, Floyd Mayweather, and with Oscar De La Hoya and Ricardo Mayorga announcing that they to want to come back down to 140 pounds this is the strongest division of them all. I will be discussing the other fighters in another article, but for now lets concentrate on the upcoming fight between Tszyu and Hatton.

Tszyu has one of the most extensive and impressive amateur resumes in boxing, and to top that he is a two-time world champion and now undisputed light welterweight champion (although he does not hold all the belts), and with good reason. His punching power is the most potent in the division and definitely in the top 3 pound 4 pound fighters in the world right now. Add that to his undeniable skill and excellent conditioning, and you begin to understand why he is so revered.

Tszyu is one of the best trainers in boxing, forging himself into a stocky and powerful 140 pounder with excellent hand-speed. A stoppage loss to Vince Phillips and an extremely shaky outing against Diobelys Hurtado pose questions about his punch resistance. But offensively, especially with the right hand as Zab Judah found out, Tszyu is an immense force.

Ricky Hatton gets the first shot at Kosta’s crown on June 5th at the MEN arena in Manchester. The fight sold out in 2 days and I am one of the lucky ones who has a ticket. Ricky has been a very busy fighter since turning pro in 1997 averaging 5 fights a year and winning all his 38 fights, including 28 inside the distance. Ricky feels he has exactly the right style to pull off a shock win against the Russian/Australian. In his last fight against Ray Olivera, Hatton threw over 1000 punches in 10 rounds, totally dismantling a game but outmatched Olivera. Ricky is all action and will take the fight to Kosta from the opening bell, and with 21000 plus baying fans behind him the atmosphere will be electric. Will Ricky’s all out attack style play right into the hands of the veteran? Or will it prove too much for Tszyu who has only fought 9 competitive rounds in over 3 years?

Most boxing fans on this site feel Ricky is going to get annihilated and that he was silly to take on Tszyu when he could have fought Cotto, Gatti or Harris all of whom in my opinion, would lose to Hatton by KO. I feel he has a great chance of taking Tszyu’s crown as long as he can protect his chin from that perfect right of Kosta’s, especially when he throws his favourite punch the left hook to the body. I also hear that Hatton’s chin has never been tested but I feel it has and it is not suspect. Saying that, even a rock solid beard could falter from a Tszyu bomb.

I see the fight like this: Tszyu will not fancy a 12 round slug fest and will be looking to finish the fight early, while Hatton will try and pressure the champion from the opening bell, throwing his combinations and his trademark left hook to the body. I think that ring rust and age will catch up with Tszyu and the younger hungrier fighter will prevail.

Obviously, I am open to abuse from all the knowledgeable fans that frequent this great site, but hey! that’s my opinion. Ricky suffers unfair abuse because Frank Warren is his promoter. I even hear that Brit fight fans feel Junior Witter is better than Ricky, which is laughable as Witter has not fought the class of opponents that Hatton has - with the exception of Judah, who schooled him, and Ndou who has been exposed as a strong but one dimensional fighter (by Cotto) as a fighter before Witter fought him. Timing is all important in the fight game, and I feel the time is right for a shock defeat. Either way, this is going to be a great fight with a young lion fighting An old warhorse only one will prevail. Who do you think will win?

Article posted on 20.03.2005

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