Hatton/Urango: “Hitman” vs. “Iron Twin”, a fight of redemption

17.01.07 - By Zhenyu Li: It’s a fight between two explosive hard punchers. It’s a fight of two undefeated sensations. It’s a fight that could redeem either fighter’s ringside image. Undefeated two-division world champion Ricky “Hitman” Hatton will go back to the 140lbs division and challenge the IBF junior welterweight champion Juan “Iron Twin” Urango, another undefeated fighter on Jan 20.

This IBF belt was formerly held by Hatton before he relinquished it to get a title shot against the WBA welterweight titlist Luis Collazo last May. Though concluded with a unanimous win, Hatton performed poorly in that match. Realizing the current landscape of the 147-pound division, he chose to drop the WBA title of welterweight and returned to his natural weight class, the 140-pound division. Urango, the Colombian who was a soldier in the Colombian military was picked up by Hatton as his first opponent when going back to the junior welterweight division.

Urango has been compared to a little Tyson because he always comes forward throwing hooks, no jabs. Moreover, he’s a southpaw with heavy muscles who has stopped 76% of his rivalries. Although his professional record is not as convincing as Hatton’s (17wins, no loss with 1 draw to Hatton's 41 straight victories), Urango has a huge amount of amateur experience behind him, 160 solid fights with few losses. One thing that worthy to be mentioned is that the Colombian had two wins over the current WBO junior welterweight champion Miguel Cotto when both of the two were amateurs.

In his recent fights, however, Urango didn’t live up to the expectations. He went toe-to-toe with the then undefeated Mike Arnaoutis in August, 2004. After a tough 12-round competition where many felt Mike Arnaoutis should have won the judges’ favor, the fight was declared a draw. Although he breezed to three consecutive victories with TKOs over Ubaldo Hernandez, Francisco Campos and Andre Eason, he had a very questionable win when facing Naoufel Ben Rabah for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title in his last fight. For the whole 12-round fight, Urango connected little and ate a ton while the unconventional Naoufel Ben Rabah grounded the cleaner shots by large margin. It was clear to all the naked eyes that Rabah was going to crown the IBF title. To everyone’s surprise, the three judges gave the unanimous decisions to Urango. The decision was so bad that when it was announced, even Urango’s fans booed him for the final result.

Likewise, the British boxing sensation Ricky Hatton also experienced a lacklustered fight in his last showup. Hatton has a gorgeous past before him but not necessarily a brilliant future behind him. After dumping the former undisputed champion Kostya Tszyu with an eleventh round TKO and flooring Carlos Maussa twice to win the WBA title, Hatton moved up in weight and took on the then WBA welterweight championship Luis Collazo last May.

In spite of the flash knockdown Hatton scored in the first round, he couldn’t keep his momentum. It was clear that the fluctuation in weight drained his stamina, lessened his punching power and weakened his capability to sustain punishment. The exhausted “Hitman” barely hit the target and was wobbled before the bell rang. It was the most ugly fight Hatton had ever experienced in his entire professional career despite the win.

Being named as a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen herself on New Year's Day, Hatton went back to his old division trying to rebuild his ringside image and regain the title he gave up. Urango, the reigning champion can also use this fight to his advantage, changing the impression he gave to the audience in his last bout and writing a new chapter by defeating the world-renowned Hatton.

Now, Hatton who has fought mostly on his home turf and Urango, who made Miami his home and has had all his bouts in his new home soil since moving to the United States both meet on neutral land in Las Vegas, hopefully this will do the trick and won’t let the “gift decision” hand out again.

This is not a fight for attention, but a fight for redemption.

Zhenyu Li is the senior writer for People’s Daily online. He can be reached at

Article posted on 17.01.2007

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