“Undefeated”: A Look At Mayweather-Hatton

After witnessing the best year ever in the sport of Boxing, the final, and perhaps main contestants now stand ‘front and center’ on the big stage to end 2007 with a bang! As we get closer to the highly anticipated showdown between the sport of boxings mythical pound for pound Champ, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (38-0, 24 KO’s) and the UK’s Ricky Hatton (43-0, 31KO’s), it has become more and more evident that this mega fight will be the ‘fireball’ most have desired. Known for his ‘hit-and-not-be-hit’ style, and never known to consistently brawl, Floyd Mayweather jr., may simply not have that option this time around as Ricky Hatton only knows one way to engage in battle. That way is to plow straight ahead and take a little punishment to give a lot in return. To Mayweather’s defense, when he has needed to in the past – mainly against the late Diego Corrales and Arturo Gatti – he has changed his style a bit and engaged in a brawl to take away the perceived mental edge that his opponents conceivably had. This tactic, however, didn’t work as well when Mayweather initially fought Jose Luis Castillo, as Castillo pressured the elusive fighter from the beginning to the end, resulting in what is still perceived as a ‘gift’ decision for Mayweather. Hatton On The Rise This same Jose Luis Castillo that Floyd Mayweather Jr. barely escaped the first time around was TKO’d by Ricky Hatton in only 4 rounds a few months ago in a performance that spoke volumes. Although Floyd Mayweather Jr. carries the physical advantages into the ring – height, size, reach – there’s no way to nullify a very Mike Tyson like punchers chance that Hatton will carry into the ring on that night. The thing about Hatton that you have to appreciate is the fact that every time he has been on a big stage, he has risen to the occasion and performed at his peak. Stamina has been an issue for Hatton in recent fights but on the biggest stage of his life, you can rest assured this won’t be an issue. Known as a purely intelligent fighter with ring smarts that are legendary, few know what style Mayweather Jr. will employ on the night of December 8th in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, but one thing we do know is that if he does come to fight toe to toe, every ounce of his credentials and accolades will be put to the test, as we know Hatton will not back down. Whatever the case may be, Mayweather now has less than 10 days to decide his strategy, and the clock is ticking. In the end, someone’s “O” must go, and it’s very clear that there won’t be a draw. To fight fans near and abroad, all I can do is quote the NFL’s Terrell Owens in saying: “Get your popcorn ready”. This showdown will be all that you’ve ever wanted and expected to see in a fight. Power versus speed, craftiness versus brilliance, youth versus youth. December 8th can’t get here quick enough. ***Tune into HBO’s pre-fight special: Hatton/Mayweather 24/7, which will air Sunday night on HBO at 10pm est*** (Got feedback?: Write MVN’s Vivek Wallace at vivexemail@yahoo.com or show some love at www.myspace.com/anonymouslyinvolved)

About Tim Starks

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