Mayweather Set For Hatton Clash

By Francis Walker
Updated: August 5, 2007

NEW YORK — It’s official! Unbeaten five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (34-0, 24 KOs) will end his “retirement” against unbeaten two-division world champion Ricky Hatton (43-0, 31 KOs) on December 8. The bout will more than likely be televised from Las Vegas on HBO Pay-Per-View and is entitled “Undefeated.”

“Mayweather vs. Hatton: Undefeated,” will be promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in association with Mayweather Promotions.

This is what boxing is all about. The best fighting the best while both fighters are in their prime. Mayweather, the 30-year-old from Grand Rapids is considered by many to be the best fighter in the world, “pound-for-pound.” Mayweather has won WBC championships at 130, 135, 140, 147, and 154 pounds and has beaten the best.

“I am the best fighter in boxing today and I’m prepared for any challenge my team puts in front of me,” said Mayweather. “And with 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. He’s definitely getting knocked out.”

In his last fight, Mayweather won a hard-fought twelve-round split decision in his first fight as junior middleweight against Oscar De La Hoya in May. “The Golden Boy” did his best to pressure Mayweather with combinations, but “Pretty Boy” Floyd was too slick defensively and slightly faster than De La Hoya.

Afterwards, Mayweather announced his “retirement” which everyone knew it would be short-lived. Mayweather has repeatedly been called out by Hatton, 28, Manchester, England. Hatton is an excellent body puncher that likes to come forward and throws a lot of combinations. Once again, Mayweather, who has always fought the best, continues to accept the best challenges.

Hatton is definitely one of boxing’s best.

“It is a dream of every boxer to fight the best boxers in the world,” said Hatton. “I respect Floyd Mayweather immensely for his boxing ability and it will be an honor to share the same ring with him. He is rightly regarded as the best pound for pound boxer in the world. However, I am confident and determined that I will be the first boxer to beat him in the ring and I am looking forward to this fight.”

Hatton will challenge Mayweather for his WBC welterweight championship at 147 pounds — a weight class that Hatton has struggled. Although Hatton knocked Luis Collazo down en route toward claiming the WBA 147-pound belt on a decision in June 2006, Hatton was seriously hurt in the final round.

After his unimpressive encounter against then unbeaten Juan Urango in January, Hatton returned to 140 pounds to score a decisive knockout of Jose Luis Castillo. In his prime, Castillo had twice took Mayweather the twelve-round distance.

Hatton had fought a Castillo that already had 65 professional fights after having started his professional career at age 17. By the time the 33 year-old from Mexico fought Hatton, he was already on rubbery legs. Hatton KO’d Castillo in the fourth round.

Perhaps the biggest victory for Hatton was his eleventh-round TKO of former undisputed world junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu to win the IBF 140-pound title in June 2005.

The question is whether Hatton can make Mayweather fight? Of the record-setting crowd that saw “Mayweather-De La Hoya: The World Awaits,” many were disappointed because they didn’t see a 12-round war. What everyone saw was a tactical boxing match that was dictated by Mayweather. Had De La Hoya not abandon his left jab, the fight would have been more exciting and he probably would have won.

De La Hoya is a tall fighter at 5-feet-10. Hatton is much shorter at 5-feet-6, and will have a shorter 65-inch reach. Mayweather, at 5-feet-8, with a 72-inch reach, should be able to beat Hatton to the punch. Mayweather is a more diverse fighter than Hatton, who fights one way.

Hatton is tough, but so is Mayweather. Both fighters are undefeated and are willing to fight, but does Hatton have enough skill to impose his will and beat Mayweather?

Mosley To Fight Cotto in November

WBC interim welterweight champion, “Sugar” Shane Mosley (44-4, 37 KOs) returns in November on another HBO Pay-Per-View attraction. His opponent will be unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (30-0, 25 KOs). The bout will occur on November 10 at Madison Square Garden.

Mosley is strongly considered one of the best fighters of his generation. Mosley is former world champion at 135, 147, and 154 pounds. He has pair of decision victories against Oscar De La Hoya and a pair of consecutive knockout victories against Fernando Vargas. However, Mosley also has lost a pair of 12 round decisions to both Winky Wright and Vernon Forrest.

Although Floyd Mayweather is the official WBC welterweight champion, he also had possession of the WBC super welterweight title after he defeated De La Hoya in May. I guess Mayweather took too deciding whether to remain at 154 pounds or 147. Mosley was awarded the WBC welterweight title after he soundly out-boxed Luis Collazo through twelve rounds in February.

Cotto, perhaps the 2007 “Fighter of the Year,” is coming off his electric eleventh-round TKO of Zab Judah in front of a record-setting crowd at The Garden in June. Cotto is an unbeaten two-division world champion at both 140 and 147 pounds. Cotto’s resume includes current and former world champions: Puile Malignaggi, Lovermore N’dou, Demarcus Corley, Randall Bailey, Cesar Bazan, John Brown, and Oktay Urkal.

Cotto, a 27-year-old from Caguas, Puerto Rico, is younger than the soon-to-be 36-year-old from La Verne, Ca. Cotto is very strong and powerful at 147, but he is not as flashy as and faster than Mosley. It will be interesting to see whether Mosley can sustain Cotto’s power from close range the way Judah did in the earlier rounds. Judah was able to stun Cotto in the opening round until he was hit below the belt in the first and third rounds which ultimately changed the tide of the fight.

Regardless, Mosley and Cotto are both fighters who like to exchange punches from close range. Styles makes fights and Cotto may be a perfect fit for Mosley.