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24 NOVEMBER 2014

 

Hatton To Fight On, But Who Will Be Next?




By Clive Bernath: Ricky Hatton has announced that he will fight on rather than retire on a defeat following his 10th round stoppage loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas last weekend.

Hatton had hinted that after 44 fights he may be ready to call it a day. But after a couple of days drowning his sorrows over a few pints of Guinness the ’Hitman’ told reporters: "I would rather die than finish my career on a defeat.

"I’ll be damned if I am going to finish by getting knocked out by someone in the last fight of my life,

"I am not going to finish, because my training camp went very well. I can’t stand fighters that make excuses when things go wrong, and the top and bottom is that I got knocked out and beaten by the better man on the night.”

Although, the 29 year-old has confirmed he will fight on, Hatton has pretty much accepted that he will not be in the welterweight division: "The two times I have moved up to welterweight my training camp has been OK and I have gone into it with a spring in my step, but even though Floyd is not the biggest welterweight out there, you still notice the difference," said Hatton.

****
So Who Will Hatton Face Next?

JUNIOR WITTER: Hatton has always insisted that Junior Witter does not figure in his plans and that he has no wish to line his bitter rival’s pockets. But that was before Ricky lost his unbeaten record to Floyd Mayweather and although, WBC junior-welterweight king Witter has very little market value in the US, an all British grudge fight between the two at an outdoor stadium in early summer would definitely be of interest to British fight fans.

Having said that, HBO,the broadcaster that bank rolled Saturday’s super fight, will want to capitalise on Hatton’s popularity-so will probably prefer ’The Hitman’ to face an American opponent.

RICARDO TORRES: I’m sure Ricardo Torres would jump at the chance of defending his WBO junior-welterweight crown against Hatton and it would guarantee to be an exciting battle between two of the division’s biggest punchers. Ricardo has stopped 28 opponents on his 32-1 record, with the only blemish being a seventh round knockout against undefeated Puerto Rican super star Miguel Angel Cotto in September 2005, No disgrace there.

Since then Ricardo has won all four comeback fights including a split decision win over Mike Arnaoutis for the vacant WBO title and most recently an 11th round tko win over Kendall Holt. The only drawback to this fight being made is that Torres lacks ’superstar’ status.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: The head of Golden Boy Promotions has made no secret of the fact that he would like to face Hatton, hopefully in England in 2008, but I have never bought into the hype. Lets be honest, Oscar De La Hoya was a very lean 154lbs against Floyd Mayweather back in May and Hatton knows his next fight will be down at 140lb. Enough said.

PAULIE MALIGNAGGi: For me, a clash with IBF junior welterweight king Paulie Malignaggi seems to be the best option and the fight that makes sense to all concerned. Malignaggi is not exactly the biggest puncher in the division as the five knockouts on his 23-1 record confirm but he is very charismatic, has a great chin and has excellent boxing skills. And like Torres, has only been beaten by Miguel Angel Cotto. Just as importantly, Malignaggi is known to US fights fans and the suits at HBO. What better fight can there be than a New Yorker and a Brit clashing in a classic puncher vs boxer scrap at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York?

GAVIN REES: Whilst this all British clash does not carry the appeal of a Hatton vs Witter it could still be an intriguing affair between Hatton and the Welsh ’Cinderella Man’. If a fight between Rees and Hatton was even mentioned in passing this time last year the thought would have been dismissed very quickly. But this is boxing and the sport of opportunity. And Rees took his chance back in July when the pint sized Welsh banger did a job on Frenchman Souleymane M’Baye to claim the WBA junior-welterweight crown. Like Hatton, Rees is a tough no nonsense pressure fighter. Hatton would start favourite but these two would guarantee the public witnessed a helluva war while it lasted. The chances of this fight happening any time soon is pretty remote but you just never know.



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December 11, 2007


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