17.08.07 - By Sean McDaniel: Up to this point, most of what I've read on various boxing sites have been fans mostly assuming that Floyd Mayweather Jr. (38-0, 24 KOs) will be having an easy time of it against Ricky Hatton (43-0, 31 KOs) on December 8th, forgetting completely about what a powerhouse Ricky is, his overall tenacity, and his superior stamina and ability to break Mayweather down over the course of the bout to wreck him. I'm fully aware about Mayweather's attributes, namely his hit and run style of offense, and how he tends to make his opponents look bad.
Article posted on 18.08.2007
However, Mayweather has never fought a tough fighter like Hatton, who is not only younger than him, but also has the type of precision accuracy to beat him. Mayweather, like most counter punchers, depend on his opponents to make miss punches so that he can make them pay for their mistakes with pot shots.
Hatton, however, rarely ever misses punches ever, and with his short arms, he's able to quickly wind up and throw more shots even when he does miss an occasional shot. Mayweather hasn't seen that kind of fighter, never.
People like to point to Arturo Gatti, suggesting that he's identical to Hatton in his fighting style, but that is now even close to being true. Gatti has never been an unstoppable machine like Hatton, nor was he as young and unbeaten as Hatton is now. No, Hatton has his own style, and there is no one like him and there never has been anyone quite like him before. Imagine seeing Mayweather's face when he attempts to do his usual thing, sliding along the ropes and pot-shotting, and finding that Hatton has effectively cut off the ring cornered him. Imagine, as well, the chilling effect it will have on Mayweather's psyche seeing Hatton do that to him again and again, destroying him each time with short, sharp blasts to the belly region. As the saying goes, Mayweather can run, but he can't hide.
I've also noticed that way too many writers and, perhaps more significantly, fans, have been fooled by Mayweather's wins over old fighters such as Oscar De La Hoya and Carlos Baldomir, and point to this as further evidence for Mayweather's supposed greatness as a fighter. It's really laughable to we have so many naive people in the world without even the inclination to put the wins in perspective. Certainly, if Mayweather had beaten a prime De La Hoya, I'd not hesitate to give him full credit, but the fact remains he beat an old De La Hoya, one that should have called it a career two-three years ago. Many, if not most, Mayweather fans won't even entertain the idea that Hatton, with his atomic pressure style, is capable of ruining Mayweather.
Before leaving this all too brief article, I want to point out that Mayweather's propensity to focus on his defensive, safety-first style of fighting, unfortunately for him, will lead to his downfall against Hatton. If you live by the sword, you die the sword, the saying goes, meaning that if Mayweather's tendency is to run, cover up like a turtle or throw punches on the outside, Hatton's aggressive style is perfectly suited to defeat each of these measures as they present themselves. I'll go even further by saying that Mayweather's style is perfect for Hatton, one that he's seen (and defeated) all throughout his career. In many ways, Hatton is like a big spider, who is attacking a fly in his web. The fly may attempt to run from the web, but will find himself trapped nonetheless and be forced to have his life sucked out of him. The same goes for Mayweather.