Final Thoughts On Mayweather/Hatton And The Rest Of Saturday Night

Before we move on to other things — like Ring Report’s annual awards, coming all this week — I wanted to stop and ruminate on what turned out to be a great night for boxing Saturday when Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. put on a good show before an audience of millions.
Hatton says he lost focus after the referee docked him a point in the sixth. I buy it. He was clearly irritated by referee Joe Cortez’ constant interference, and the unfair docking of a point was the climax of it. Hatton, in true Manchester lad fashion, showed his disdain by offering up his backside to Mayweather. He really wasn’t competitive after that, and maybe his game plan got lost in the shuffle. I still think Mayweather would have turned the tide, but Hatton hurt himself by letting Cortez hurt him too much.
Mayweather allegedly dominated Hatton. I don’t buy it. It was very competitive through the first six rounds, no matter what the judges and some boxing writers saw. Now, if you said, “Mayweather dominated Hatton after the sixth,” I’d agree wholeheartedly. That was some good, good stuff.
Hatton needs to stick to junior welterweight. Probably so. I know I dismissed the notion repeatedly that the move up from 140 lbs. to 147 lbs. would be a big factor, and in the end, it wasn’t the deciding one. But it played a decent role. For whatever reason, Hatton just has difficulty anywhere but 140. Lennox Lewis thinks Hatton should consider retiring, which is why Lewis is the most annoying boxing commentator in the history of mankind. I mean, yeah, Hatton could retire tomorrow and have his whole life set financially. But it’s not like he’s in any imminent danger of suffering a fatal injury — beyond the one common to all boxing — and he can make a lot more and build a bigger career legacy if he sticks around.
Wow. Mayweather acknowledged “in one of my last fights, I gave the fans a dud.” It’s great news that he recognized this. It’s actually been his last one and a half fights, but never mind the details. That he was conscientious about that contributed heavily, I believe, to his improved performance in this one. Another ugly Mayweather showing might have been bad for boxing. Instead, he probably reeled in some new fans to the sport.

Mayweather ended up not being a jerk, or it was all a ruse, or something else. Mayweather’s a manic depressive or something. If anyone was impressed with Mayweather’s humility and compliments of Hatton, keep in mind that he’s done this same routine in every fight — try his best to humiliate and degrade his opponents beforehand, then after come across like a great guy. I’m not sure which Mayweather is the real Mayweather, but I wouldn’t rush to thinking that Mayweather is all sugar and spice and everything nice on the inside.
The British fans were jerks, though. Who would’ve thunk it, given how envious of Hatton every boxer in the world is because of his fans? Booing the United States’ national anthem was pretty classless.
Whatever happened to the surprise Mayweather ring entrance? “Born in the U.S.A.” must’ve been it, but it was a dumb choice. Ronald Reagan made the same mistake using it as one of his campaign theme songs. If you think it’s some kind of rah-rah go-America song, look at the lyrics again. It may ultimately be patriotic in the school of thought of “the best way to love America may be to criticize it, to use the freedom of speech that is at the foundation of our Constitution,” but it’s not the rousing nationalistic fight song one would expect.
Mayweather left the door open to fighting in 2008, but says he’s “bored” with the sport. It’s not encouraging that Mayweather’s bored, but if he’s looking for a remedy to his ennui, there are some bigger challenges than Hatton out there. Miguel Cotto is foremost among them, but making a deal for that fight could be tough since Cotto is promoted by Bob Arum, and Mayweather and Arum had an acrimonious split. Shane Mosley reportedly issued a challenge to Mayweather after the fight, and Mosley is about the closest there is out there in terms of speed and boxing skill to Mayweather. I am issuing a correction on my post that said there aren’t any middleweights except Pavlik who could give an argument to  Mayweather — Winky Wright, as commenter E-ROC pointed out, would be an interesting bout for Mayweather.
In other action Saturday night, sensations Amir Khan and John Duddy got career-best wins. Khan (lightweight, 135 lbs.) blew out Graham Earl in the first round. John Duddy (middleweight, 160 lbs.) outworked Howard Eastman. Khan’s promoter is talking about him as the second coming of Sugar Ray Leonard, but for Great Britain. He’s got a tremendous amount of talent — I’m not sure it’s a stretch, and Khan’s just 21. Beating Earl so decisively is a big deal. As for Duddy, the win over Eastman proves he’s at least a borderline contender, which is better than I thought of him. Not that it matters, since he’s going to make so much money revving up the Irish fans even if he fights tomato cans his whole career that my non-Irish booty doesn’t count for squat.
(Information drawn from The London Times; ESPN and ESPN again; ITV; The Los Angeles Times; The London Daily Telegraph; and the BBC.)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.