Boxing


Mayweather Hatton: After Effects

floyd mayweather jr.by Phil Santos – Overhandright .com: Floyd Mayweather Jr.: “Money” Mayweather remained perfect by knocking out one of the best pound for pound fighters on the planet in Ricky Hatton but did little to silence his critics. Mayweather finds himself in the same situation now as after the De La Hoya fight. He notched another win over a big name opponent (a list which includes Angel Manfredy, Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, Jose Luis Castillo (2), Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Oscar De La Hoya, and now Ricky Hatton) but whether it is questionable match making due to age, weight, or skill level of his challenger “Pretty Boy” will always draw harsh reviews from fans and media alike.

Floyd Mayweather, in short, is one of if not the most skilled fighters of all-time. On the same note he can be a very insipid, if not, unwatchable. Mayweather may not have the most exciting style but he plays to win and it hard to argue with his success. It is a difficult situation when you find yourself analyzing Mayweather and his place in history. The fight fan in me yearns to bash him for ducking Margarito and Cotto, or criticize his style and the fact that he is often content with a decision when he appears to be dominating the action. But how can I? Seriously the guy is really, really good…no check that, he’s great.

How can anyone be critical of a fighter who simply knows what it takes to win? It’s like calling a football team weak for beating a team with a great run defense by throwing all over them. Are they less of a team because they don’t challenge the great run D, or does that just make them smart? Floyd seems to have the rare ability to remain composed under pressure while realizing when to go for the knockout and when out boxing his opponent is the surest way to a win. It’s hard to hate on that.

Floyd’s options are endless. A match up with Miguel Cotto would indeed be a Super Fight with the winner emerging as the worlds pound for pound champ. Aside from Cotto the competition is very good but the reward in terms of drawing power and acclaim for victory over the likes of Kermit Cintron, Paul Williams or Shane Mosley may not be worth the hassle for Mayweather. A Mosley fight seemed logical, a big name and a good draw, until Cotto defeated the former champ making himself the biggest threat to Mayweather’s throne. So while there are endless options available to Mayweather there are only two that make sense to fight fans: Fight Cotto or Retire.

Ricky Hatton: “The Hit Man” showed heart and lived up to his word as he promised to pressure Mayweather like no fighter before him had been able to. Hatton was in the fight throughout and I think it may be unfair to say he was outclassed, but he was clearly not the better fighter regardless of whether Mayweather scored the knockout or not.

Hatton seemed disappointed yet optimistic that he would bounce back from defeat, even joking immediately following the fight that “that was some fluke”. Hatton’s fans supported their man throughout and should continue to do so as Hatton ventures back into the Junior Welterweight division. In only his second fight at Welterweight Hatton fought as well as expected against arguably the best fighter on the planet. A return to 140lbs should spell success for “The Hit Man”.

After taking on such a difficult opponent Hatton should be expected to take some time off and most likely return with a tune up fight, maybe two before facing an elite 140 pounder. Perhaps the most intriguing match up may come against fellow Brit Junior Witter who is the reigning WBC title holder. Witter and Hatton have held an ongoing feud mostly fueled by Witter calling Hatton out and Hatton responding by disparaging Witter’s skills and credentials.

Ricky Hatton came in to his match up with Mayweather in an ideal situation. He fought at a weight where he couldn’t perform his best, a point he was quick to point out after the fight, so his sympathizers had a built in excuse for the loss before the inevitable became reality. Hatton remains a very good fighter, potentially still a force at 140 and at 29 years old he should have some good years ahead of him.

Having the undefeated label so painfully removed by Mayweather may take some of the shine off of Hatton’s star, his ability to draw a crowd and marquis fights is soundly in tact. The aforementioned bout with Witter could help establish Hatton as the best Junior Welterweight over the last decade however; a loss could badly damage his place in history.

Article posted on 10.12.2007



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