Mayweather/Hatton: Could Hatton Make a Fight?

29.07.05 - By Mike Casile - Somebody convinced Arturo Gatti that he had the skill and boxing ability to stand in the middle of the ring with one of the most dynamic fighters of the past ten years, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Buddy McGirt must not have watched the film on Mayweather, because Gatti, definitely had the power, but in no way could compete with the speed and accuracy of Mayweather..

The only way to defeat speed is to bully it, or smother it, or try to contain it. Antonio Tarver looked like he was in slow motion against Roy Jones, but he bullied Jones. He consistently pushed him back, and hit hard to the body, then got out before Jones could do any damage. Mayweather does a majority of his damage in the center of the ring. The best shot a guy like Hatton has is to keep him against the ropes, limit the distance of his right hand, and bully the hell out of him. Sounds easy, but the fact of the matter is that, it takes a fighter with tremendous will, and tremendous ring skill.

You do not have to be fast, if your smart and you do not have to look pretty to win. Hatton only landed 24% of his punches against Tszyu. Ricky is a head hunter who landed 171 head shots, but only 31 body shots and 24 jabs over 11 rounds. Floyd’s head would be a little harder to hit, so Hatton would have to spread those figures out a little more if he hopes to stay with Mayweather. Hatton is an up-close inside puncher that does most of his damage at close range; Mayweather is a stylist that lives by the old Roy Jones, Pernell Whitaker adage, keep at arms length and pick’em apart.

In the heavier weight divisions, if you try to smother a speedy heavyweight, you have to remember that men that big still have the power off the ropes to knockout their opponent down or out, but when the smaller guys are bullied, or smothered, it is a lot harder for them to get off power punches, or to use their speed. Julio Cesar Chavez made a living as a bully in the ring. He fought a lot of faster craftier fighters, but always managed to chase them down, and bully them into submission. I don’t know if I would take this fight if I was Mayweather. This could be the kind of fight, that although he would probably win. Would take a few years off his career. The only way to be the best, is to beat the best, and right now, Hatton is 39-0 with 29 KO’s, coming off the biggest fight of his career. Will Mayweather fight a string of bums, only to face his “Antonio Tarver” or “Glen Johnson” at the end of his career? Because if history has taught us anything, the longer a champion waits, the less chance he has. Just ask Roy Jones.

Article posted on 29.07.2005

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