Every now and then someone in the world of boxing captures the imagination of the public in a way that most other sportsmen and women can only dream about; Ali, Sugar Ray 1&2, Duran, Marciano etc. you can pick your own favourites and we all like to argue over that famous phrase “pound for pound the best boxer in the world” I believe this was first said about Sugar Ray Robinson, not a bad place to start, we all have our opinions and my vote goes to Sugar Ray 1 so there I’ve said it.
It has been the great misfortune of Ricky Hatton that his career has coincided with 2 fighters who have with some justification laid claim to that unofficial title, Floyd Mayweather who knocked him out after coming back from retirement and the present incumbent in most boxing fans opinions, Filipino phenomenon Manny Pacquiao who will surely knock him out or stop him on Saturday night .
I like Hatton; he has a mighty heart and is a bit of a throwback to past fighters who feared no one, allways ready to take on anyone including world class yanks, unlike the serously flawed Joe Calzaghe who fought for 15 years befor finding his way to America to fight 44 year old ex champ Bernard Hopkins who still took him the distance. Hatton is capable of knocking out anyone he fights with his power and; perversely that has become a problem for him at the top level. At the dizzy heights where people like Mayweather; Pacquiao and latterly De La Hoya ply their trade any weakness is spotted and savagely exposed and to them; Ricky is a one trick pony, if he doesn’t knock you out you will beat him. This brutal logic is why these guys are the top in the business, further down the pecking order Ricky can knock out, stop and even outpoint opponents but Saturday night’s opponent could not be further away from the middle order fighters in that part of the pecking order.
Hatton I.M.O. is the warm up bout for the fight that everyone wants to see and the man waiting to step in to the ring with Pacquiao once he has defeated Hatton is our old friend the great boxing and dancing champion Floyd Mayweather who is of course retired again but; is still only 33 years old, you can smell the money from here.
I think Hatton will fade away after Saturday night but he owes no one a dime he has always given it everything. Manny gave De La Hoya a savage beating in his last fight and even although Oscar was past his best he is still a hand full for most fighters, he has surely now reached the stage where he looks across at the man in the opposite corner and sees a guy with a long beard and white robes who is carrying a scythe, he made his mark though. This little Filipino warrior is quite phenomenal he starts his fights at an incredible pace with incredible energy throwing countless punches from everywhere and from then on he steps it up a gear, his hand and foot speed will be too much for Hatton. Ricky is about to feel during this fight as if he is surrounded, I hope it’s a good pay night for him and he will cling to the old maxim of having a puncher’s chance, it’s one man against another etc. even if it is Manny Pacquiao.
Manny has already done something quite unusual for modern day boxing, in an interview he finished not by threatening to rip his opponents ear off and spit in the hole but; by wishing Hatton good luck, the same goes for me.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
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Apart from being a very boring sport for big bloodthirsty neds, punching someone on the head is rather stupid for the long-term damage it can cause.
Lots of sports are dangerous and boxing just happens to be the toughest sport in the world, people will always be fascinated by it for that reason. I find it difficult to believe that anyone could genuinely describe boxing as boring; many people whom I respect share your view about the damage it can cause, I have my own reservations about that.
I have been hooked on it since I was a kid; my old man was a former exponent and a big fan, I also had a disastrous adventure with it when I was too young to know better.
It also has a proven track record of turning round the lives of kids who would be likely to go off the rails.
A good post, Councillor, but if your boxing prognostications are as accurate as your political ones, then Hatton may spring a surprise! I tease, of course, but it was a good post and obviously written with genuine enthusiasm for a sport which I think in many ways is an excellent one to be encouraged amongst young males. However, I am not the first to complain that the plethora of so-called 'world championships' has taken off some of the gloss. I simply can't follow who is fighting who for what these days! Anyway, I wish our 'champion' well.
Funny there was a boxer, and his sister, from Renfrew who used to work beside me through the 70's and 80's who was in the local paper a while back who was jailed for drug dealing.
I am afraid it would need to be two women wrestling with little or nothing on to get my interest and fascinate me.
It’s not difficult to name boxers who have won fame in the ring and then went off the rails, I was referring to the thousands of youngsters who do not find fame but have good reason to be grateful that they learned to box and learned the discipline which goes with it.
You have some worrying tastes in sporting entertainment.
(David Duff) 14:10
I agree that the “plethora of so called world champions” is very bad for the game. It was never anything other than a money making scam to divide the old weights in to several versions of each. It made a sport which has always had trouble with it’s image look even more suspect.
People like Hatton, Pacquiao, De La Hoya etc. give it back some dignity. I wish the same for Hatton.
You are usually good at posting to remember poignant events.
Perhaps you you could put a post out to mark the withdrawal of our British Troops in Iraq.
It would be prudent to remember the 179 British troops (and service people from other nations) that were needlessly sent to their deaths and the 100,083 civilians that have been slaughtered.
All this for nothing - no reason.
The shame of this will hang over the British People for a very long time and will thankfully put an end to this corrupt Labour government very shortly.
All those who supported this war and murdering all of those people will live with blood dripping from their hands.
The shame of the Labour Government.
(Deborah Mathie) 10:39
The partisan hatred which you display for labour makes it impossible for me to believe that you have any sympathy with those who have lost their lives; I think you are using these dead and injured people which is just about as low as someone can get, you obviously have no sense of shame or decency.
You should write the boxing / martial arts column for the express, or even a real newspaper. Despite your protests, it really does bring out the best in you...
PS This written in the knowledge that Hatton lost in 2, but noone anywhere predicted that!
Well done, Councillor, Hatton out in two. Well, that's your correct prediction for the year, back to business as usual from now on!
(David Duff) 08:06
I predicted 8 rounds by letting my heart rule my head but not to the extent of giving him a chance of winning.
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddy Roach; when asked for a prediction said quite coldly and seriously that it “wouldn’t last 3 rounds; the way he (Hatton) boxes Manny can’t miss him”
Roach is a deceptive guy; he looks and sounds like an ex fighter who has taken too many shots to the head which he has but; he is the top man in boxing at the moment and very clever indeed.
I would love to be a sports journalist but; I would have to learn to spell and punctuate and stuff; besides writing an article every couple of months is a helluva lot easier than meeting regular deadlines.
“PS This written in the knowledge that Hatton lost in 2, but noone anywhere predicted that!”
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddy Roach is a fascinating guy he looks and sounds a bit punch drunk but; that is very deceptive he’s the man in world boxing training circles right now, here is what he said when asked for a prediction before the fight, “the fight will not last 3 rounds, the way he (Hatton) boxes Manny can’t miss him“ he predicted it O.K. but I take your point I can’t remember anyone else being as bold and correct as that.
I was coming on to submit a correction, as my mate at lunch told me that Pacquiao’s trainer had said it wouldn't go to 3, I'd missed that, but I think we agree, noone else tipped it and a lot of the stuff close to the boxers is often just bluster. I am told Pacquiao was an absolute gentleman and very humble though, making Mayweather snr. appear something of a buffoon (again, I am relating what I've been told happened).
As for punctuation and grammar in sports journalists... which papers do you read? ;-)
I'm sure you could make a massive contribution to some of the local martial arts / boxing clubs by submitting reviews or stories on their activities to the local papers.
I hate the bluster that you refer to; Pacquiao was and is a true sportsman and genuine guy, you are also right about Mayweather Snr. After the fight he was telling everyone that Hatton did not do as he had told him, a big mistake by Ricky hooking up with this guy. I don’t understand why he was there, his own son gave him the boot.
I was right about the Mayweather thing but that’s no consolation for Hatton, still that is going to be one of the biggest hyped fights since Ali in his prime, my money is on Manny.
Perhaps rather than becoming a sports journalist with all the hassle of deadlines you could contribute articles to various publications on a freelance basis.
Stuff like Boxing News
Or stuff ,like Scottish Memories magazine which would welcome articles about past Scottish boxers or bouts held here in Scotland.
It's an obvious talent and a pa ssion. It would be a terrible shame to waste it.
Thank you for your kind comments, I might just try that. Damon Runyan look out.
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