Boxing


Hatton’s Trainer Concedes – “Ricky Is A Bleeder.”

04.12.07 - By Matthew Hurley: As World Boxing Council welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather looks ahead to his showdown with Ricky Hatton in a battle dubbed “Undefeated” the “Pretty Boy” stuck one more verbal dagger into the “Hitman”. “Truthfully, when we’re being honest,” he told Sky Sports, “Ricky Hatton has one loss. He lost to Luis Collazo. I mean he got a gift, but I’m not really worried about a guy’s record because once we go in there and face each other a guy could have thirty wins and ten losses. One we face each other, we’re both zero and zero..

Mayweather is alluding to Hatton’s one other foray into the one hundred and forty-seven pound ranks when he had his hands full with the talented southpaw Luis Collazo at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston back in May of 2006. Hatton maintains that he was under prepared for the Brooklyn born fighter and was extremely lucky to leave Beantown with a close but unanimous decision and the World Boxing Association welterweight belt. Hatton immediately dropped back down to junior welterweight. Now, three fights later, he’s moving up again.

Hatton and his camp, meanwhile, have been focusing their concern on referee Joe Cortez. Although Hatton and trainer Billy Graham have expressed respect for the veteran ref (Cortez was the third man in the ring for Hatton’s last bout against Jose Luis Castillo) they are worried that Mr. “Fair but Firm” won’t allow Hatton to employ his clutch-and-grab technique that will, they hope, allow Hatton to bull Mayweather into the ropes and wear him down to the body. It’s a tactic that worked extremely well for him when he lifted the International Boxing Federation junior welterweight title from long reigning champion Kostya Tszyu in June of 2005. They are also concerned that Cortez may jump the gun should Mayweather open a cut on Hatton’s battle scarred face.

“Obviously the safety of the fighters comes first,” Graham told the Daily Mail. “But we want to find out who’s the best between the two of them. The world wants to know. People get cut in fights, they get hurt. It’s a rough business. They should let these guys get on with what they do best. We don’t want the referee stopping it at the first sign of blood.”

Hatton has relied heavily on his cut man Mick Williamson during his forty-three-bout career. It is Williamson who kept Hatton’s face together when his opponents’ fists threatened to bust it open. Graham knows that there’s a good chance Williamson will have to perform his magic once again against Mayweather.

“I always go in expecting the worst thing to happened and, yes, I’m worried about the cuts,” he said. “Ricky is a bleeder. That’s the only department where he’s vulnerable. It would be a shame if the fight had to end on an injury to either man.”

The fear of cuts may be the reason that Hatton is now insisting that he will be going for the knockout early against the elusive Mayweather.

“I’ve gone from the mentality of just being happy to win to thinking I’m going to knock him out. I’ll be going for the knockout, like I always do and with each training session I believe more and more that I can do it.”

Hatton also continues to relish his underdog status, particularly among the American press. “They’ve written me off in America,” he says, almost gleefully. “Everyone is tipping Mayweather and that’s the way I like it. I know how much sweeter it’s going to be when I do win.”

Hatton continues to be a +190 betting underdog to Mayweather’s –240, but it is anticipated that a lot of late Hatton money will come in just prior to the fight.

Article posted on 04.12.2007



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