Just over a month ago I said that I would love to see a Ricky Hatton – Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, but I thought it would never happen. I thought Hatton’s trash-talking after his dominant win over Jose Luis Castillo would bring a response from Floyd, but that the fight was too risky for him to take. I was as shocked as anyone when Mayweather actually took the fight. But what didn’t shock me was the stuff he was spewing when the two fighters inked their contracts for the December 8th fight.
“He’s definitely getting knocked out. I am the best fighter in boxing today, and I’m prepared for any challenge my team puts in front of me. And Ricky Hatton, it’s already personal. He has talked and disrespected me so much in the past months that I can’t wait to get him in the ring and show him he is not even on my level.”
OK Floyd, I’ve got a few things for ya here. You realize that you are actually going to have to punch him if you want to score a knockout right? And you’re angry because he talked trash about you? All Hatton said was that your fights are boring. And he’s right. You prefer a track meet to a brawl, and Hatton is the exact opposite. Then he went on to say you disrespect other fighters (true) and that no one who’s met you has anything good to say about you (true). So basically Hatton said what everyone else was thinking, he was just being honest. People like honesty. Maybe that’s the reason he’s so wildly popular and no one likes you. The only reason people follow you – aside from your obvious natural talent – is because your family’s legendary feuds are so damn entertaining we can’t look away.
All of Hatton’s talk also came after Mr. Mayweather laid this gem on us all back in February:
“When I retire, I’ll get Ricky Hatton to wash my clothes and cut my lawn and buckle my shoes. Ricky Hatton ain’t nothing but a fat man. I’m going to punch him in his beer belly. He ain’t good enough to be my sparring partner.”
So yeah, Floyd, I think Hatton had a bit of catching up to do in the trash talking department after that little tirade. But the bigger question is, why are you wearing shoes with buckles on them? Is this 1675? Are you a pilgrim? What’s going on? I’m confused.
The best part about this whole thing is that Floyd doesn’t understand that Hatton said what he said to anger Mayweather and get him to take the fight. Then, when the talks for the fight died, Oscar De La Hoya began to circulate a rumor that he was going to go back down to welterweight and that he was targeting a fight with Hatton. As soon as Pretty Boy’s people heard that, they couldn’t let Oscar steal their spotlight and they jumped back in the Hatton sweepstakes. They then quickly worked out a deal … brokered by De La Hoya’s Golden Boy promotions. Hmmm, anyone else think Floyd and his people were getting played here? Oscar threatens to take his opponent for a mega-fight away, and all of a sudden Floyd’s people jump back to get it done. Frankly, De La Hoya never wanted Hatton, I think he’s angling for a matchup with Miguel Cotto sometime next year, he did what he did to entice Mayweather to take the fight. If we know one thing about De La Hoya, it’s that he’s a good businessman.
As for this fight, it should be fantastic. The 28-year-old Hatton (43-0, 31 KOs) has a habit of letting himself go a bit between fights, earning him the nickname Ricky “Fatton” but he’s already said that won’t be the case this time around. He’ll use his relentless, brawling, inside style to try and stunt Floyd’s speed. As his vicious left hook to the body that KO’d Castillo showed, he can body punch with authority and take away his opponent’s legs. Because of the way Hatton cuts off the ring and the speed he possesses, Floyd probably won’t be able to run from him. At least not for long. That will force the “Pretty Boy” to do what we all want to see him do: unleash his freakish ability in the center of the ring and actually beat someone up to win.
The fight will be the second huge bout in a year for the 30-year-old Mayweather (38-0, 24 KOs) and that could wear him down. But this time he’ll be fighting at the 147-pound welterweight limit, his natural weight, as opposed to the 154-pound junior middleweight limit that he was at for his close decision win over De La Hoya. He’s clearly in his prime and right now only a few people on the planet could compete with him in the ring, Hatton just happens to be one of them. This is an extremely dangerous fight for Floyd though, Hatton’s rough and relentless style will be like nothing he’s seen before and he will have to change his entire game plan from how he’s been winning recently. He will need to actually come to fight, not to run. Hatton will clearly be the fan favorite and Floyd needs to take him seriously if he hopes to stay atop the pound-for-pound rankings.
This should be a great fight and if Hatton – who will be moving up in weight for the fight – can carry the weight and still remain as active as is typical for him, Floyd could be in trouble. Mayweather is the best fighter in the world right now, but anyone who follows boxing knows he doesn’t like to brawl, he prefers to box. If he doesn’t change that mentality, December 8th will be a very long night for him.