Boxing


Hatton Mayweather: No Joy In Manchester Mighty Ricky's Been Knocked Out

By Jason Peck: I hate Floyd Mayweather. I want to see him lose, and not gracefully either. But I'm not going to let that hatred rob me of my rationality. And I'm not going to ignore Mayweather's obvious gifts..

For one, Mayweather doesn't care about my opinion. For another, it didn't give Hatton a better chance of winning, any more than it would make him more handsome. But most boxing fans went on pure emotion, and stuck by ridiculous reasons why Hatton would win.

My favorite, to paraphrase an commentator who shall remain nameless:

"Let me tell you, the first clues of an upset came from witnessing the Manchester weigh-in two months ago. That was where Hatton, having reached his fill of incessant disrespect from the immature punk from Las Vegas, turned the tables and lashed back in the form of the famous quote...Never has a great champion been laughed at, mocked and humiliated publicly as Phloyd [sic] was in that moment. Never. Because Mayweather is a counterfeit."

Eureka! That's been the solution the whole time: Insult Floyd' fragile ego. I'll bet you Arturo Gatti and Zab Judah are kicking themselves for not thinking of that.

Other reasons included Hattons' supreme confidence, the support of his fans in England and his determination to succeed with the odds stacked against him.

Come on! I wouldn't call a pee-wee baseball game on those factors, let alone a championship boxing match. To be sure, Hatton's all-action style received some praise, but overall it took a backseat. Oscar de la Hoya's endorsement of Hatton scored some belief as well, but think of the source. If Hatton won, he was Oscar's next super-fight. Of course the Golden Boy would favor Ricky.

Had the fans thought this through, they would have realized how heavily the deck was stacked against Hatton. For starters, he was a low-defense fighter against a pair of very fast hands a tremendous disadvantage that alone tipped the scales to Mayweather. For another, Hatton was much smaller, with arms 6 inches shorter than his opponent. And he wasn't nearly as fast.

And to top it all off, the one fact people immediately forgot: HATTON WAS NOT A WELTERWEIGHT. Luis Collazo fight proved that.

To be sure, Hatton could swarm Mayweather and wear him down like he did against Kostya Tszyu. The one-punch KO of Jose Luis Castillo was an exception in his career; by and large Hatton won from an accumulation of punches. That meant Hatton had to strike a fast-moving target multiple times to make a dent.

Like many others, I thought Floyd was a coward for not fighting Hatton back in 2005, when they both won titles at 140 within weeks of each other. But in retrospect, the delay was probably more business than anything else.

Two years ago Hatton was barely known outside of the UK. Last night Mayweather KO'd a fighter with fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and dragged him outside his best weight class to boot. Kudos to Floyd at the very least he doubled his paycheck.

And the best part? This fight didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Immediately after the knockout, Mayweather announced he would take the next two years off. As Emmanuel Steward pointed out, that probably stemmed from Floyd's realization that he would soon have to fight large welterweights - like Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron and Paul Williams - if he continued fighting at welterweight.

Hatton was no welterweight. A wide gulf exists between 140 and 147, as Arturo Gatti found out. All Mayweather did was beat a much smaller guy than the other welterweight champions.

So there you have it. You've got four qualified, dangerous welterweight champions (Mayweather, Cotto, Cintron and Williams), and last night did nothing to clear up the picture. I agree with the above writer (who shall remain nameless) in one respect: this division needs unification.

Article posted on 10.12.2007



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