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