Mayweather Hatton: Why Floyd Will Win
06.12.07 - By Derek Cowan: In September, I wrote an article for eastside boxing titled, "5 Reasons why Hatton can beat Mayweather.” In the article I laid out an argument for Ricky Hatton having a solid chance of beating Floyd Mayweather. I did so mainly because of the enormous amounts of posting on other ESB related articles that gave Hatton almost no chance of a victory..
Article posted on 07.12.2007
I found that to be difficult to understand due to the fact that I and others believe that Ricky Hatton is possibly the best pressure fighter in boxing at the moment, and that most believe that maybe the only recipe to beating Mayweather at this point in his career is by applying relentless, intelligent pressure.
I still believe this to be true. More and more posts of late have been pouring in making similar points to mine, and I believe as people have begun to honestly assess this fight, the fighters, and their styles, many have begun to feel this fight may be closer than first anticipated. I still think this fight will be very competitive and close, and by no means feel that the outcome can be comfortably predicted. At the end of that article I explained that I would not be making a final prediction until the week before the fight. Well that time has come and here is why I believe Floyd Mayweather will keep his "0" intact, and while Ricky Hatton will lose for the first time in his career.
First of all, for those who did not read my previous article on this subject, let me reiterate. I am a huge Ricky Hatton fan, and it his career I have been monitoring for about 4 or 5 years now. Of course I have stayed tuned in to other fighters along the way, but this American's allegiance lies with the Englishman from Manchester. With that said, some of Ricky's following might feel betrayed by my prediction of a Mayweather win, but I have always stated that when predicting a fight, I am more concerned with being correct after an unbiased analysis of an upcoming fight, than simply choosing my personal favorite.
Now let me be clear, I do not like Floyd Mayweather personally, as many others have mentioned on this site. He is arrogant, brash, egotistical, self-centered, is always disrespectful of his opponents, and even runs red lights with reckless abandon in his fancy sports cars. But as a boxer he is at the top of the world. In my opinion there are three ingredients that must be present for any fighter to be regarded, or even mentioned seriously when speaking of the greatest fighters of all time.
1) Talent and Skill. Even the nastiest Mayweather detractor must admit that Floyd is immensely talented. He has the speed, reflexes, and pure boxing skill of nearly any all time great that can be mentioned. Anyone denying this attribute must be either an unknowledgeable boxing fan, or simply "too" in love with a Mayweather opponent to be able to make sound judgment on this issue.
2) Quality Resume. This has been the topic of several articles of late, and I happen to agree that Mayweather's resume is not yet worthy of all time greatness. It is good, don't get me wrong, but with this current welter weight division being loaded, it is my opinion that Floyd must line them up and at least attempt to knock them all down prior to retirement before being in the running for greatest of all time.
3) Mental Strength - Now this is the attribute that I want to focus on as to the reason I think Mayweather will be victorious come Saturday night. This particular element of the boxing game is possibly the most important, and the reason many very talented and gifted fighters do not become great is because they lack this piece of the puzzle.
Floyd Mayweather is tops in this part of the game for several reasons. First, he is always in tremendous shape. Over the years I have watched many good fighters never fulfill their potential because they simply refuse to sacrifice enough to stay in quality physical condition. Riddick Bowe is a good example of this. When he showed up in shape and focused, he was very, very good. But he never reached his potential due to always battling his weight and stamina issues. Floyd has always been a gym rat and loves to train, never for even a moment looking as though he did not take every fight seriously.
Second, Mayweather has shown courage and heart in the ring. Does he run sometimes?? Yes, but not nearly as often as many accuse him. He normally goes into that defensive shell while he figures out his opponent, makes the proper adjustments, and then waits for the opportune time to strike. Mayweather can boast of being in some war-like activity. That does not mean that he has forgotten his skill and simply threw punches from the floor in an all out brawl. But, he has had to dig down deep against the likes of Castillo, Chavez, and even N'dou who threw non-stop punches in bunches for about 5 rounds.
In my opinion, Floyd has been tested here, although I do believe the greatest test in this department will come from Hatton. Third, Mayweather always, and I mean always remains poised and focused during a fight. When performing well, he doesn't seem to let it go to his head. When amidst a storm, he doesn't seem to fall apart. He simply keeps to the game plan and executes. The best example of this, and for me the most impressive fight of Mayweather's career was against Zab Judah.
Judah, who happens to be the antithesis of this point, was every bit as talented, athletic, and skilled as Mayweather. For 4 or 5 rounds, I thought Judah had a real chance to beat Floyd. I thought he had won at least 3 of the first 4 rounds, if not all four. He had been robbed of a knockdown when Floyd used his glove to balance himself after a barrage of punches. I think most would agree that Mayweather was behind on the cards at that point, and was being matched as far as speed and action. But in the midst of all that, Floyd kept his composure, continued to analyze Judah, and then began to make the proper adjustments.
On the other hand, Judah also saw this, and suddenly began to look like a fighter who would be more than happy to simply finish the fight. As Mayweather began to open up his arsenal he sensed Judah fading and began to score at will. The tide had turned, and Floyd was in complete control...and that is when all hell broke loose. Judah hit Mayweather with a dirty low blow that obviously hurt Floyd. As Floyd slumped to the ground to recover, Roger Mayweather jumped in to the ring, followed by Yowell Judah, and just about any other person within earshot of the front row it seemed.
A full blown melee was taking over the fight, and if you will remember, the only person on site that remained calm and poised was.....Floyd Mayweather. He stayed cool and calm, while getting over the pain, and simply waited for the Jerry Springer show to subside. Then, like a true business man at the office, Mayweather commenced to the further dismantling of Judah for the rest of the fight. Think about it. The one person that had the right to be truly upset, and beside himself, is Mayweather. But he was aware of what was at hand, and had the wits to continue to use the situation to his advantage.
Now I will admit that I think Hatton will very possibly be the toughest storm in the ring that Mayweather has ever had to handle. But, my mind says that Floyd will be able to weather it. If I thought for a moment that Mayweather would bend under adverse conditions I would pick Ricky to win this fight in a second without losing a minutes sleep.
Unfortunately, Mayweather is one calm, poised, and focused dude. I still think this will be a closely contested bout, and I think Hatton will be game and has a decent shot at the upset, but my money (if I were a betting man) would be on Pretty Boy. Since I won't be wagering a nickel, I will sit back and enjoy this match and pull for Ricky like a madman. As for this thinking Hatton fan. Mayweather by unanimous decision.
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