What No Ricky Hatton Fan Wants to Hear

02.06.05 - By Shane Rhinewald: If you watch Saturdayís bout between Aussie Kosta Tszyu and Britainís Ricky Hatton with the expectation of witnessing a fight, you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you watch Saturdayís match expecting to see a blowout, you will be in for a treat. Tszyu, considered one of the best ever at 140 pounds, will knock Hatton out and likely in the early rounds. Hatton fans, remember to close your eyes..

Tsyzu has survived at the top in the sport of boxing for so long because of a powerful straight right and a difficult, almost robotic style. But do not mistake Tszyuís devastating right hand and awkward style to an inability to box. Tszyu fought a prolific amateur career and managed to box circles during that time around Vernon Forrest, the same talented boxer that put an end to the Sugar Shane Mosely express.

Unlike some power punchers, Tszyu has other punches and tricks in his arsenal that he can employ. Throughout his career, Tszyu has illustrated time and time again an uncanny ability to adapt to his opponents. In his fight with Hatton, Tszyu will fight no differently. Hatton will never be praised for having stellar defense, and Tszyu will exploit this with his laser guided right hand.

Hatton may press the attack immediately and try to catch an aging Tszyu off guard. Hatton may go to the body early and often with flurries of punches meant to sap Tszyuís stamina. Hatton may even manage to smother Tzsyuís offense for a round or two with his pressure style. In fact, Hatton may do everything perfectly right and fight a beautiful fight in the beginning. Yet Tzsyuís right hand will find its home within the first several rounds. Luckily for Hatton, the fight will take place in his own backyard in Great Britain. He will not have far to limp home.

Tszyu, 35, will be at a distinct disadvantage in age and activity level. He has fought only 3 rounds in the last two years, blowing out top ranked Sharmba Mitchell much like he will blow out Hatton. He will also have to contend with a vivacious crowd that will be solely in Hattonís corner. But Tszyu did not become the top ranked junior welterweight in the world without prevailing in the face of adversity. The age difference and the lack of crowd support will not stop Tszyu this Saturday.

Some experts and former boxers have jumped on the Hatton bandwagon and see the young, hungry fighter as a lock for an upset. Considering the numerous upsets of the last year or two, picking the less experienced fighter makes sense. In this sport, anything can happen. But not Saturday.

Tszyu will win because he is the better, stronger fighter. Sorry Hatton fans, but much like Zab Judah in 2001, he has bitten off more then he can chew at this stage in his career. Hatton may go on to do wonderful things at 140 pounds, but he will not be undefeated after Saturday. Tszyu will be far too much to handle.

Article posted on 02.06.2005

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