Still Undefeated: Mayweather Schools Hatton

By Francis Walker
Updated: December 9, 2007

NEW YORK — Another one bytes the dust and his name is Ricky Hatton. Manchester, England’s favorite son proved no match for unbeaten WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather.

In a battle of undefeated fighters, Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs) looked spectacular during his TKO victory over Hatton (43-1, 31 KOs) at 1:35 seconds into round ten in front of more than 16,000 fans at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Styles do make fights and Mayweather’s style proved simply too much for “The Hitman.” Hatton’s name can be added to the lengthy list of exciting fighters that Mayweather has defeated — Oscar De La Hoya, Diego Corrales, Zab Judah, Angel Manfredy, Arturo Gatti, Genaro Hernandez, Sharmba Mitchell, Emmanuel Augustus, Jesus Chavez, Gregorio Vargas and a prime Jose Luis Castillo. Mayweather is fast, strong, throws combinations from various angles, and blocks a lot of punches with his arms and shoulders.

Mayweather is a true student of the Sweet Science, as his uncles Roger, Jeff, and father Floyd Sr. are highly respected trainers and were once fighters.

“One thing about me is that I’m dedicated to the sport of boxing,” Mayweather told Hatton and the boxing world when they first announced the fight. “Like I said before, it’s not cocky if you can back it up. I’ve been backing it up for years.”

Mayweather has proven himself to be amongst the very best in boxing ever since he won his first world title, the WBC super featherweight championship 10 years ago.

Mayweather, a 30 year-old from Grand Rapids, MI, has won six world championships in five different weight classes from 130 to 154 pounds.

Hatton is an aggressive fighter and has a lot of heart. He fights hard, but always comes straight forward throwing short, winging shots. That may have worked against a faded and injured Kostya Tszyu and a worn-out, past-prime Castillo. But against a fighter with the skill level of a Floyd Mayweather, it was almost inevitable that Hatton would come up short.

Mayweather entered this bout having been criticized for being a boring fighter and looking unimpressive. There were many nights when Mayweather didn’t look spectacular, as evident in recent fights against Judah and Carlos Baldomir.

Then again, there were many nights when Floyd was simply brilliant — Corrales, Manfredy, Hernandez, Gatti, and even De La Hoya. Regardless as to whether Mayweather has an audience on their feet or sitting quietly in their seats, Mayweather was still dominant.

Not only did Mayweather dominate Hatton, but Hatton was so limited he actually made Mayweather look spectacular by coming straight forward. Hatton came straight forward throwing hooks and wide punches. Hatton provided Mayweather with countless opportunities to throw straight, sharp-shooting counters that landed flush.

“Ricky Hatton is one of the toughest competitors that I’ve ever faced,” Mayweather said. “I hit him with some body shots, some big body shots, but he kept coming.”

Hatton’s best chance to defeat Mayweather was to smother the champion against the ropes with body punches and a lot of pressure. The more distance Mayweather, at 5-foot-8, could garner from his 5-foot-6 challenger, the more Mayweather could use his reach advantage (72″-66″), movement, and connect with faster, sharper punches.

Hatton, who suffered a cut above his right eye in round three, was docked one point by referee Joe Cortez for hitting Mayweather behind the head in round six. The longer the bout progressed, the more Hatton struggled.

In the eighth, Mayweather punished Hatton in a corner with double-left hooks and overhand rights. In the ninth, Mayweather touched Hatton with left jabs and moved away before Hatton could do anything. Mayweather boxed circles around Hatton, who could do nothing but walk into big punches and clinch.

The fight ended in the 10th round after Mayweather caught Hatton walking straight into a sharp left hook he didn’t see coming. The impact of the hook was so devastating; Hatton’s head hit the protective padding in a corner before his back hit the canvas. Hatton did return to his feet only to have Mayweather greet him with more punishment, as referee Joe Cortez waved off the bout.

Mayweather’s Future

Now that Mayweather has defeated another big name, what’s next? No one knows for sure, as Mayweather has repeatedly complained about having hand problems. One thing is for sure, fighters such as unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, and perhaps Sugar Shane Mosley would want to challenge Mayweather. If these guys want to make serious money, they can easily do it by fighting Mayweather.

In other bouts

Former IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy returned after missing more than one year due to an injured/torn rotator cuff. Lacy won a 10-round unanimous decision against former “Contender” reality TV star Peter Manfredo, Jr. Lacy scored a knockdown in round four off a solid right hand. Lacy was ahead 97-92, 96-93, and 95-94 on all three judges’ scorecards.

Lightweight Wes Ferguson (17-3-1, 5 KOs) was knocked out at 2:59 seconds into the sixth round of their rematch by Edner Cherry (23-5-2, 11 KOs). Ferguson and Cherry fought previously in June with Cherry winning a close unanimous decision.

Also, once beaten WBO junior featherweight champion Daniel Ponce DeLeon (34-1, 30 KOs) won a 12-round unanimous decision over Eduardo Escobedo (20-3, 14 KOs). The scores were 118-110, 117-111, and closer at 115-113.