Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mayweather Stops Hatton

Floyd Mayweather Jr. stopped Ricky Hatton last night at 1:35 of the tenth round. Hatton started the fight aggressively and landed the first meaningful punch, a left hook to the head of Mayweather, causing Mayweather to stumble backwards. He also caught Mayweather off guard with his speed. In the third round Mayweather cut Hatton over the left eyebrow with a right hand. Mayweather appeared to be overly respectful or scared for the first few rounds to the point where it made for an ugly fight. Joe Cortez for his part was just doing too much refereeing, which in this case, was more of a problem for Hatton than Mayweather. There was a certain sense of incompetence hanging over Joe Cortez all night. He continually warned the wrong man (Hatton) and he should have deducted a point from Mayweather for holding.

In the middle rounds after regaining his confidence Mayweather started to assume control of the fight with his superior skills, though Ricky Hatton was still in the fight and it was far from over. Hatton was clearly the crowd favorite though that may be because half of the United Kingdom was in Las Vegas last night, still it was hard not to root for Hatton, who showed tremendous heart last night. In the seventh during an exchange in the corner that had Hatton landing several shots to Mayweather, Mayweather turned his back on Hatton and hung half his body over the ropes, in what to me at least was a cowardly act. Hatton in the middle of exchanging punches and with his adrenaline shooting at full speed through his body kept punching. Inexplicably Joe Cortez, who should have warned Mayweather, took a point away from Hatton. Just as he inexplicably, throughout the fight said nothing to Mayweather as he continued to hit Hatton behind the head.

In the long run, none of it mattered. Hatton was stopped and Mayweather won the fight and there is no disputing that. However it was Ricky Hatton who won the hearts of the fans with his own big heart. Mayweather did nothing last night to show why he deserves to be called the pound for pound best fighter in the world. He has been compared to Sugar Ray Leonard at times but after last night’s fight, it’s clear he is no Sugar Ray. He talked about retiring without ever facing any of the real legitimate challengers or the other welterweight champions, such as Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams, Sugar Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito or Kermit Cintron. In a division that is saturated with talent, Mayweather has opted to fight none of them. Metaphorically, he is sticking his head and body outside the ropes, again, where it is safe. Maybe he should retire, maybe he should take the money and run. That’s his right I suppose, but just don’t expect to be called the pound for pound best, and don’t whine when you don’t get the respect you (and only you) feel you deserve.

1 comment:

brian said...

Excellent recap;I also think Mayweather's elbow may have been involved in HaTTON'S CUT.And I also-still don't consider Mayweather among the all-time great welters.

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