27.11.05 – By Fontain Richardson: In a battle that looked like a fight from the 50’s, 27-year-old Ricky Hatton stormed to victory over the tough but awkward Columbian Carlos Maussa, stopping him in the 9th round to unify the IBF and WBA light welterweight titles along the way. However, Hatton (40-0, 30 KO’s) suffered two bad cuts over both eyes early on, which seemed to only make him fight even harder, as he pressured Maussa (20-3, 18 KO’s), smothering him with non-stop punches from start to finish, landing at will with a wide assortment of hooks, uppercuts and straight rights.
In the first round, Hatton clashed heads with Maussa, opening up the first of two nasty cuts over his left eye at the 30 second mark. Perhaps worrying about a potential stoppage, the cut seemed to inflame Hatton, causing him to throw caution to the wind, as he showed very little respect for Maussa, while throwing punch after punch on the inside.
Maussa, to his credit, showed excellent composure under fire, considering that he wasn’t ever for a second given a breather by Hatton’s unrelenting attack. Maussa, a tough ring veteran, held Hatton, sometimes using his head and elbows against the Brit, when he came inside for his body attacks in the early going, thus, making for a messy affair. However, Maussa’s survival tactics only seemed to slow Hatton a little, as the Brit would continue to wing huge body shots and ripping uppercuts whenever his hands where free.
By the fourth round, Hatton’s punches and non-stop pressure were starting to sap the strength from Maussa, who no longer seemed to be able to avoid the huge bombs that were continuously being thrown at him.
In the fifth round, Hatton tagged Maussa with a series of left hand shots, that drove back the Columbian. Through all this, Maussa attempted look brave, beckoning Hatton for more, but it seemed to be an insincere gesture, considering that the Columbian was starting to take a terrible beating.
In the eighth round, Hatton, perhaps sensing that the end was near, landed huge body and head shots towards the end of the round, that seemed to rock Maussa.
Finally, the end came early in the ninth round, when Hatton tagged Maussa with a monstrous left hook that crashed off the side of the Columbian’s chin, knocking him to the canvas. Somehow, a badly hurt Maussa was able to make it to his feet at the count of nine, but he was in no shape to continue fighting and the bout was halted at the 1:10 mark.
Afterwards, Hatton’s trainer, Billy Graham, said that Ricky wants to fight Floyd Mayweather, the WBC Super Lightweight champion, next.
“We want Floyd Mayweather,” Graham said.
However, due to the severity of the facial cuts, Hatton will likely not be able to box for at least 6 months, possibly more, while the cuts slowly heal.