Ricky Hatton: “Watch My Fights With Jose Luis Castillo And Floyd Mayweather And Tell Me Joe Cortez Did A Good Job In The Mayweather Fight!”

By James Slater - 12/13/2023 - Comments

Ricky Hatton, who will be enshrined in Canastota, in The International Boxing Hall of Fame next summer, was a recent guest on ‘Up Front With Simon Jordan,‘ and the former two-weight champion again spoke about his loss to Floyd Mayweather from 2007. Or to be accurate, 44 year old Hatton spoke about referee Joe Cortez and his handling of the fight that saw Hatton lose his unbeaten record via 10th round stoppage defeat.

Hatton, who said he knows Floyd Mayweather fans will say, ‘oh, that’s sour grapes, [you saying Cortez never allowed me to fight my fight],” but the British legend then issued a challenge to all fight fans.

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“I hate talking about this, because I know people say, ‘are you telling me the only reason you lost the fight is because of the referee?’ But he was s**t, he was terrible,” Hatton said. “I’ve watched the fight on Sky [Sports] and I’ve watched the HBO version, and you know, everyone could see it. If you’re a Mayweather fan, you’ll go, ‘oh, that’s just sour grapes, Ricky.’ But I’m not saying I would’ve won anyway. But you cannot look me in the eye and say Joe Cortez did a good job and [say] ‘he let the fight flow, didn’t he?’ Did he f**k. My fight with Jose Luis Castillo, my previous fight, two body punchers, and we went toe-to-toe, and Joe Cortez was stood there watching it! Watch the two fights and then come back and tell me he [Cortez] did a good job in the Mayweather fight.”

Well, I’ve done what Hatton suggested and a rewatching of the Castillo fight is indeed quite fascinating compared to the Mayweather fight, at least in terms of Cortez’ performance as the third man in the ring. It’s absolutely true that Cortez was almost a passive observer in the Hatton-Castillo fight, whereas “Fair But Firm” couldn’t interfere enough in the Mayweather-Hatton fight. Again, nobody, least of all Hatton, is saying “Hitman” would have beaten Mayweather no matter who the referee was on the night.

But the thing that continues to pull at Hatton, to bother him, is the fact that he wasn’t given any chance to fight HIS fight. Get in close and go to work. “That was the only chance I had,” Hatton told Jordan. And it was taken away from him by Cortez’ handling of the fight. As to why Cortez officiated the way he did that night, Hatton says something that happened before the fight “always stuck in my head.” Hatton explained how the American anthem was met by a chorus of boos on the night, and he caught the image of Cortez shaking his head in disgust at what he was hearing. “The only way I look at it sometimes, I think to myself, I’m a referee from Manchester, and Floyd Mayweather comes to Manchester, and then all the American supporters start booing ‘God Save The Queen,'” Hatton said. “If I’m the referee, I’m thinking, ‘huh, that’s you f****d.’ You know what I mean? Who do these people think they are coming to my hometown and booing our national anthem?’ That’s what I think happened.”

Interesting stuff. Maybe Joe Cortez was hit by a big wave of patriotism and maybe he decided to punish Hatton for the disrespect many of his fans had shown in dissing the American national anthem. Maybe. Of course, Hatton is right when he says Mayweather fans will accuse him of having nothing but a case of sour grapes. But take Hatton up on his challenge and watch Hatton-Castillo and then Mayweather-Hatton, and see what you think.

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