Boxing


Hatton-Tszyu Rematch Unlikely To Happen

05.08.05 - By Colin Clive: Ricky Hatton's trainer, Billy Graham, showed faint interest about the prospects of Hatton fighting a rematch with Kostya Tszyu. In June, Ricky Hatton, the IBF light welterweight champion defeated Tszyu in a rough slugfest that left both fighters black and blue. Since then, Kostya Tszyu has made comments about possibly fighting Hatton in a rematch. However, Graham stated that chances of a rematch were slight, since Hatton's team would rather him fight in the future against Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto.

As far as I am concerned, a rematch is pointless because Ricky has stopped Kostya and we would be going over old ground," Graham said. "I am looking at the bigger picture and now it is all about building Ricky's career and his name. "Mayweather is the biggest fight out there right now, it is the fight both Ricky and I want and that is the one we want to build up to."

"Floyd Mayweather is the biggest fight out there in boxing right now and it is the fight both Ricky and I want."

Hatton has not selected a date or place for his first defense of his title, but he is expected to fight in Manchester towards the end of the year.

Personally, I can understand Graham's feelings on this, because I don't see Tszyu having a better chance if they were to fight for a second time. Hatton's youth, and constant pressure style offense, would make it hard for the Aussie to get his punches off, just as he did last time. Never mind that Kostya is the harder puncher of the two, the fact remains that Hatton is the best in the business at fighting on the inside, and preventing fighters from finding their range. In a rematch, Hatton would back up Tszyu continuously, and beat him up against the ropes with punishing uppercuts, mixed in with huge rib crunching body shots that would literally take the fight out of the aging Tszyu. In my opinion, no matter how much preparation Kostya could put into getting ready for a rematch with Hatton, the outcome would be the same, if not worse. Tszyu would likely come in with a better game plan next time out, I believe, but so would Hatton, who would quickly make adjustments to Tszyu’s new fight strategy and dominate just like before.

You see, Tszyu uses an Eastern European style of fighting, which relies on fighting from the outside, arms extended and picking his shots. To be honest, that style just doesn't work against a fighter that pressures and crowds to the inside, and stays there the entire fight. This is how fighters from the UK are taught to fight, and frankly, it's superior to the Eastern European style.

Speaking for most fans, I think most people would much prefer to see Hatton fighting some of the other fighter than Kostya. Mainly, because it was such a devastating beating that Hatton put on Kostya in their fight. For another, it was the sad, pathetic sight of Kostya afterwards, standing there in the ring with his face swollen and disfigured from Hatton's hard punches. Somehow, Tszyu looked like a sad, beaten and utterly ruined fighter. I honestly don't think people want to see Tszyu get beaten like that again, and perhaps risk permanent physical or mental damager. Fighting Kostya again would be a big step backwards for Hatton, in my opinion. Face it, Hatton is just the better man, and there's no point in him having to go out and waste time having to prove it once more.

As far as future opponents go, I can't imagine a better opponent for Ricky Hatton than Floyd Mayweather Jr. This fight has big money written all over it for Hatton. The fight would, for obvious reason, be fought in Manchester, where there would be over 20,000 tickets sold within hours of the fight being announced. Combine that with the PPV gate, shown all around the world, and you have one of the biggest fights in years.

Regardless of how many people seem to think that Mayweather is unbeatable, I think he's tailor made for Hatton. Hatton would come out strong, applying non stop pressure against Mayweather, roughing him up and hurting him on the inside. Mayweather, for all his greatness, has never been in a war like Hatton would bring. That's not to say that Mayweather wouldn't have his moments in the fight. Sure, he'd run a lot, throw his usual flurries, and side step on the inside to throw. However, Mayweather wouldn't be able to sustain that pace over a full 12 rounds. Not with the kind of wrestling and bruising inside fighting that Hatton brings to the table. Nevertheless, Mayweather, in my opinion, is not physically or mentally able to handle the pace of the fight that Hatton brings, and you would see it on his face as the fight progresses. Whether Mayweather wants to fight a war or not, would matter little, since Hatton would make it into one.

Let’s just hope, for the fans sake, that they can arrange for this fight to come off sooner rather than later, because this fight would be huge with nothing coming close to it in comparison.

Article posted on 06.08.2005



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