Boxing


Ricky Hatton Offers Floyd Mayweather $10 million

ricky hattonBy Neil Thompson - 29th June 2007: When writing articles for Eastsideboxing.com, I try to be as balanced and as unbiased as possible, even when such an article includes one of my favourite fighters. All too many articles on ESB come across as one-sided propaganda and many don’t even pretend to appear objective. Some writers cannot put their view of a fight (or fighter) across without completely trashing the opponent. Well, you won’t get that from me. As many of my fellow ESB users know, I am a big fan of Ricky Hatton. I also have a healthy respect for the skills and talent of Floyd Mayweather.

On Saturday 23rd June 2007, Ricky Hatton proved many people wrong by destroying one of the toughest Mexican fighters of the last 10 years. Hatton proved the physically stronger and faster of the two.

Over the course of 4 rounds he continued to deliver an impressive performance, ending the fight with one perfectly timed punch to the body. Castillo, racked in pain, was unable to beat the count and left Hatton in a perfect position to call out Floyd Mayweather. With America taking notice again, there seems to be a good chance of Hatton getting this fight.

A couple of days after last Saturdays contest Floyd Mayweather incensed by Hatton’s pre-fight interview, issued a challenge to the Mancunian. Some people have seen this as Mayweather “calling Hatton's bluff”. Hatton’s repeated attacks on Mayweather's “boring” performances (his words, not mine) are clearly getting to the outspoken Welterweight Champion. Hatton responded a couple of days later with a £5 million offer (almost $10 million in American money) to a fight in early November. Its obvious to everyone that there is no “bluff” to be called, Ricky Hatton wants Floyd Mayweather and he wants him bad.

There’s no avoiding the fact, Floyd Mayweather is hugely talented and most boxing fans will admit that he has earned the right to be called the number one fighter pound 4 pound. He looked untouchable at Super Featherweight, he moved up to dominate Lightweight beating the best that division had to offer. He then briefly move up to Junior Welterweight won an alphabet title against an average champion and then moved up to Welterweight to capture the ‘real’ world title against Carlos Baldomir. A few months later he got the fight he always wanted against the ‘Golden Boy’ of American boxing Oscar De La Hoya. This fight was at Light Middleweight and allowed Mayweather to capture his 5th world title in 5th different weight divisions. How can anyone fail to be impressed by that. Floyd may not have a crowd-pleasing style and he may often come across as arrogant and disrespectful to everyone he meets, but the guy is a defensive genius with excellent speed and skill. He also takes his profession very seriously and always comes into the ring in excellent condition. After his close victory over De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather announced his retirement but it was obvious that a man with such an inflated ego would not stay ‘retired’ for long. Just as predicted, Floyd’s retirement didn’t last more than a couple of months and all it took was one cheeky little fighter from the North of England to tempt him back into ring.

Ricky Hatton is making a habit of proving people wrong. Boxing fans have been predicting his downfall for over 3 years now. Before the Tyszu fight, the majority of fans and writers were predicting a Kostya Tyszu victory inside 6 rounds. Two years later, many fans and writers were predicting a similar win for Castillo over Hatton. It is now obvious that when Ricky Hatton has a serious threat in the opposite corner, and when people are writing him off, he is a different animal. He looked excellent against Castillo and we got to see the old Ricky Hatton dominating his opponent with power, strength, speed and work rate. The better and more respected his opponent is, the better Hatton performs. When on such form it’s easy to see how Ricky’s swarming, aggressive and more crowd-pleasing style could cause problems for Floyd Mayweather.

So was Castillo a shot fighter? – No, not ‘shot’, but quite possibly a little past his best. Just like Oscar De La Hoya was in his defeat to Mayweather. Whilst Oscar was certainly not ‘shot’, he was still a little past his best. I wont deny that for the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight I predicted a close and controversial points win for Oscar, but in the numerous debates on ESB before the fight, I promised the Mayweather fans that I would not use the old “Oscar was shot” excuse. Floyd proved me wrong and I was man enough to say, “I was wrong, well done Floyd”. How ironic then, that as soon as Ricky Hatton proves the same fans wrong about the Castillo fight, the first excuses I hear are “but Castillo was shot”. The attitude and response from certain ESB users has been disappointing but not totally surprising.

If Floyd Mayweather and Ricky Hatton do get it on, then I believe it’s a classic boxer vs fighter confrontation. Once again the majority of fans and writers will favour a victory for Floyd Mayweather - but not me. Since his Lightweight days, all Mayweather has been building up to was a fight with the ‘Golden Boy’ and full credit to him, he did what he said he would do and beat the talented, bigger and more popular darling of American boxing. However, I feel the era of Mayweather’s dominance is coming to an end. As the Pound 4 Pound number one fighter, every world class boxer around his weight class would love the opportunity to be the first man to beat him. Now that Oscar is out of the way we have a number of world class fighters with the talent and style to threaten Mayweather. Both Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto have the style, strength and work rate to cause Mayweather fits. A fighter like Antonio Margarito can also add size to that combination of style and strength. Also, Shane Mosley is back at 147 and although he is no pressure fighter, he is a threat to anyone. Being the Hatton fan that I am, I would love Hatton to be the first of these fighters to challenge Mayweather.

Unless they retire before their time, all great fighters lose eventually.

Many fans will disagree with me and I can understand that. However, I believe Ricky Hatton can beat Floyd Mayweather. Floyd is great when given the room to use his speed and counter punching skills. A fighter like Ricky Hatton can close the gap on a fighter very quickly, pound away to the body, maul him, out muscle him and force Floyd to work 3 minutes of every round and push Floyd out of his comfort zone. Oscar De La Hoya, unlike his younger days, was unable to throw the amount of punches needed to pressure Mayweather enough to gain the nod of the judges. I believe Hatton can and being a more natural pressure fighter (than Oscar is) is more suited towards using this tactic against Floyd.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that Floyd Mayweather will be a firm betting favourite with fans, sports writers and bookies alike, but bigger upsets have happened. Whatever the result, I just want to see Ricky Hatton get his chance against Floyd Mayweather. Hatton will not get any better and now is the time to strike. As for Hatton’s $10 Million offer for a fight in November, it appears that it’s Hatton that is calling Floyd’s bluff and not the other way round.

Let’s just get it on and may the best man win!

Thank you for reading

www.myspace.com/neilthompson300

Article posted on 29.06.2007



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