'Point Given, Point Well Taken': A Look At Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ricky Hatton (Volume 1)
06.08.07 - By Vivek Wallace: It's been slightly over two weeks now since the world of Boxing learned that in addition to the numerous showdowns scheduled for the fall, a fight of mega proportions will also take place in Las Vegas between consensus Pound for Pound Champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ricky Hatton.
Article posted on 06.08.2007
Ever since that great news dropped, those of us who keep an 'ear to the streets' have heard the rumblings both in main stream media as well as the 'underground' that not only have questioned the fighters' reasons for taking the fight, but also questioned their abilities as well. In an effort to shine light on both men, this piece was designed to identify the 'flip side' of every proverbial coin tossed among them.
Not just a view of the pro and con sides, but simply an unbiased look at the misconceptions associated with these two men, and perhaps the truth that lies beneath. This is volume one of a series debating many issues about the two fighters between now and the day of the fight. (Every Monday a new volume will be released between now and Dec 3rd, chronicling the latest fight news and there will be a final edition with predictions released on the morning of the fight - Dec 8th).
Point (1.) Floyd Mayweather Jr.: "Prettyboy" Or 'Pretty Enigmatic'?
When the name of Floyd Mayweather Jr. is announced, regardless of the capacity, the pendulum swings fiercely from one side to the other. Once upon a time he was viewed as a young, dazzling kid with the potential to be one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of gloves. Over the last few years, that perception hasn't changed, but due to an ego that some feel has inflated with his impressive record, that perception has also developed a side of contrast. Somehow, talent aside, this masterful pugilist has become both the 'The man some love to hate', as well as 'The man some hate to love'. What's really unfortunate in this case is the fact that beneath the skin of Floyd the 'business-man' - the one who knows what to do to help hype a fight - lies Floyd the 'human' - the one who cries emotionally at the drop of a hat when the emotions of his past and the greatness of his presence often culminate.
No doubt, even for the Floyd-faithful his antics and braggadocio can be a bit much to handle, but in a day and age where having a certain image has led the likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears to life as iconic figures, who am I to judge? What I can judge, is what I see in the ring. Few can match his speed, even less can match his ability to execute after the bell rings. With Floyd, it's a psychology class. The very aspect of him that most dislike effectively allows him to change the game right beneath the nose of his opponents every single time. To quote Larry Merchant in the Dela Hoya/Mayweather showdown - "No one can change Floyd's tempo in a fight". He sets his pace, he executes his plan. He's become a master of creating an atmosphere where he is loud before the fight, and a silent executionist during, while his opponents are generally quiet during the pre-fight events, and tend to overcompensate their aggression during the fight based on what they remember as his pre-fight demeanor - a demeanor he throws out when it's time to execute calmly. Remember the whole Zab Judah fiasco where everyone in the ring was going banana's? Floyd Mayweather Jr. stood in one corner watching it all unfold without ever visually showing either concern or content. Bottom line, we may not like his ways, but in the ring, he's easily one of the craftiest, most talented fighters of our era, as even undefeated Joe Calzaghe went on note saying in a recent interview. Anyone who feels other wise is clearly being biased based on personal agenda's, not his ability to be a professional contender. PERIOD!
Point (2.) Ricky Hatton's Worth....
When the name Ricky Hatton is announced, people likewise create a steep swing in that proverbial pendulum. Members of the eastern hemisphere place him on a larger than life pedestal - with great reason - while people of the western hemisphere - based largely on lack of knowledge - find him to be simply another letter in the alphabet soup of potentially worthy contenders. Truth is, much like Joe Calzaghe, few in America realize exactly how good this young man is and even less realize that he is on the brink of greatness. Knocking out 31 of his 41 opponents is in large part a prequel to what lies beneath his exterior surface, and an avid country man, his love for England exudes the peace that lies above. Finally being a recipient of the fight most say he always wanted, Ricky stands at center stage in possession of the best chance he's ever had to show that same prejudicial western hemisphere who he really is. For those out there who feels he doesn't belong, I would beg to differ, as there is only one way to stand where he now stands - that is by busting his ass and a countless amount of others.
On the morning of December 9th, only GOD knows what the headlines will read but one thing for sure, there are two men in the fight, and there are two men who can legitimately win the fight, but in the end there will be only one hand held high. Usually it's Mayweather who talks and the other man who listens, but in a rare switch, this time around in a retort to Mayweather's verbal jabs, it was an unusually vocal Ricky Hatton who's words blasted loud and clear: "Anyone who says I haven't got a chance to win doesn't know what they're talking about - I've got a massive chance". Most of us believe him, but to those who don't, nothing you feel can take away the fact that he has done enough to now receive that chance.
That sentence ends my take on volume one of this multi-part chronicle of the two fighters. Stay tuned for the others and drop a line if there are some you wanna see in effect.
(Got feedback?: Write Vivek Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org or show some love at myspace.com/anonymouslyinvolved)
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