Hatton Not Interested in Rees
According to the latest reports, Ricky Hatton (43-1, 31 KOs) isn’t interested in choosing World Boxing Association light welterweight champion Gavin Rees as his next opponent. The bout, if it were to have taken place, would have been on that was mainly of interest to British fans, as very few Americans have heard or seen Rees before, which would have taken away any possibility for getting world wide attention for the bout. In an interview with Hatton’s father on the BBC Sport Live, he said “The prospect of a fight with Rees was put to us but the terms were not right and it won’t be taking place…Ricky will look elsewhere for his comeback opponent.”
It appears to be smart move on Ricky’s part, as Rees would have been the easiest of opponents available to him, which do little to erase the sting of Hatton’s December 8th 10th round TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. However, there are only a handful of opponents in the light welterweight division that can partially undo the damage from such a defeat – Junior Witter, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricardo Torres and Kendall Holt. Of the bunch, Witter stands out high above the rest in terms of ability and clout, making him the most appealing and dangerous of opponents to fight.
However, Hatton has said that he doesn’t want to fight him, despite the fact that Witter has been calling him out in the media for more than year. It’s hard to ignore to Witter, and even though Hatton is giving it his best effort, it makes him seem as if he’s avoiding him. It would be understandable if Witter was an average fighter, someone just trying to build a name for himself by taking on a champion. But, Witter is a champion himself – WBC light welterweight – and what’s more, he hasn’t been beaten in eight years. He’s a very impressive fighter, with boxing skills and ability on par with Mayweather.
It’s hard to discount Witter because of these facts, and even though Hatton is saying that he doesn’t want to fight him because of all the trash talking that Witter has been making in the media, it seems that he may have another reason for avoiding him. Certainly, it would be a tough opponent for Hatton to fight coming off his crippling loss to Mayweather, but it also would be the best time to fight Witter, considering Hatton will be already warmed up to that style due to his last fight.
I don’t think Hatton has much choice. If he fights a lesser fighter, he”ll likely feel less challenged, as the fight wouldn’t undo the damage from his loss to Mayweather. However, by choosing Witter, arguably the best fighter in the junior welterweight division, that would be a huge victory for Hatton if he were able to beat him, one that would go a long way in rebuilding his shattered confidence.
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