Mayweather-Hatton On HBO
“This fight is going to be extremely exciting, the buzz is worldwide and I am very excited that Golden Boy can bring another great event to boxing fans,” said Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. “This is one of the biggest nights in boxing history, showcasing a welterweight match-up between two undefeated fighters … a fantastic way to end a record-breaking year.”
Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions said, “Mayweather Promotions is delighted to be a part of this tremendous event. December 8 will be our first major promotion and its magnitude only is a testament to our commitment to bring great boxing match-ups to fans around the world.”
While most believe Mayweather-Hatton has the potential to break records this December, many insist the match-up stylistically could be compared to another classic welterweight clash, the first epic battle between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran in June 1980. In that bout, the slick-boxing Leonard was goaded into a brawl with the hard-charging Duran and a classic ensued – which was won by Duran. Leonard got even five months later by stopping Duran in the eighth round of the infamous ‘No Mas’ rematch.
Regardless of one’s opinion, when Mayweather and Hatton step into the ring on Dec. 8, it will be a bout destined for the history books and an early Christmas present for fight fans.
Richard Sturm, president of Sports and Entertainment for MGM MIRAGE, stated, “What an exciting way to end 2007. This thrilling match-up between two sensational and undefeated champions, Mayweather and Hatton, will certainly bring an unprecedented and electric atmosphere to the MGM Grand Garden Arena and to the fans worldwide who will be witnessing the event.”
Mark Taffet of HBO Pay-Per-View agreed, “Mayweather-Hatton is a world-class showdown between two undefeated superstars in their prime. The storylines of both fighters are compelling and they have truly earned the recognition and praise they are receiving.”
Mayweather vs. Hatton, is being compared to “Fight of The Millennium,” the September 18, 1999 bout between Oscar de la Hoya (31-0 at the time) and Felix Trinidad (35-0 at the time) which had the sports world buzzing for months, and set a record for most pay-per-view buys for a non-heavyweight event. The record was shattered this past May in the bout between De La Hoya and Mayweather.
Mayweather, 30, is 38-0 (24 KOs) and the reigning world and Ring Magazine welterweight champion. He is a six-time world champion in five weight divisions including super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight. An accomplished fighter who capped off his amateur career with a Bronze Medal in the 1996 Olympic Games, Mayweather turned pro later that year and by his 18th fight was a world champion having stopped Genaro Hernandez in the eighth round to win the WBC super featherweight title October 3, 1998 at the age of only 21.
The Grand Rapids native defended his 130-pound title eight times, capping off his stay in the division with wins over world champions Diego Corrales, Carlos Hernandez and Jesus Chavez. Just months after his last super featherweight fight, Mayweather won the WBC lightweight title on April 20, 2002 with a 12-round win over Jose Luis Castillo. Three lightweight title defenses followed before Mayweather moved up in weight again, stopping Arturo Gatti in the sixth round to win the WBC junior welterweight title in 2005. He added the IBF welterweight title to his resume in 2006 by defeating Zab Judah.
In 2007 Mayweather continued his legacy with a spectacular victory over De La Hoya for the WBC junior middleweight title in May – the largest grossing event in the history of boxing. Now, “Pretty Boy” Floyd, one of the most gifted fighters to ever step between the ropes, is looking for a repeat performance when he takes on Hatton on Dec. 8.
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