Boxing


Ricky Hatton Says No-One Will Ever Beat Him At Junior-Welterweight - Could He Be Right?

Ricky Hatton28.11.08 - by James Slater - Now that practically everyone has accepted the fact that Ricky Hatton is no way near finished, and instead has a good few top quality fights left in him, it's time to look ahead. Straight after silencing the critics that said he was close to a shot fighter with his strong showing against the previously unstopped Paulie Malignaggi, Hatton mentioned fighting the winner of December 6th's big De La Hoya-Pacquiao clash. Hatton also said something else very interesting.

Stating, with sincere belief, that he will never lose a fight at his natural weight of 140-pounds, the 30-year-old set himself a challenge. But is this a challenge Hatton can pass? Putting a big money showdown with De La Hoya aside for the moment (a fight that would almost certainly take place above Ricky's optimum weight of 140), is it possible "The Hitman" will never, ever lose to a man his own size and weight?

There are plenty of top class fighters currently operating in the light-welterweight division who very much want a date with Hatton. Say Ricky has another three of four bouts at 140, will he ever lose? Hatton may have a point when he says he will not. Remember, the 45-1 Manchester man has only struggled in fights that were fought at a weight above his natural one, and only the sublime skills of Floyd Mayweather Junior were enough to actually beat him. Take a look at the top-ten right now at light-welterweight and ask yourself, if Hatton remained where he should and faced the best men out there, would he be in danger of losing?

Timothy Bradley, the winner of the Ricardo Torres-Kendal Holt rubber-match and Andriy Kotelnik are Hatton's nearest and most formidable rivals; with guys like Junior Witter and Herman N'goudjo a few notches below. Can you picture any of these fighters beating the Hatton that so easily handled "The Magic Man" on November 22nd? Unbeaten WBC champ Bradley would be in with a shout, but he'd have to put on a career-best performance and, as good as he's looked, he'd have to look even better to go as far as defeating Ricky. Kotelnik is underrated, as is he largely unknown, so there is unlikely to be any great demand for the Ukraine and reigning WBA champion to face Hatton - and who would bet on the German-based fighter even if he did get the match?

The same would likely go for Ngoudjo, even if he were to beat (Hatton victim) Juan Urango in January, in a fight for the vacant IBF belt that was ludicrously stripped from Malignaggi. Witter? He was never on Hatton's radar even when he held a prestigious world title, there's no chance he will get a look in now. That leaves just the Torres-Holt victor as a possible threat to Hatton's 140-pound supremacy. And, as gutsy and entertaining as these two are, neither has anything (Torres' power aside) with which to unduly trouble the man we saw making easy work of a fighter no-one's ever made easy work of, in Las Vegas last Saturday.

Bradley, to this writer's way of thinking, is Hatton's biggest threat at 140, followed by Torres if he can stop Holt in fight-three. But could either of these two men beat Hatton? Ricky answers that question perfectly himself when he says "No-one will ever beat me at junior-welterweight."

Unless he carries on boxing until he is way past his best (which he says he will not do, instead retiring on top) Hatton will be proven correct in what he says.

Article posted on 29.11.2008



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