Looking at Ricky Hatton’s Next Fight if He Loses to Pacquiao
By Chris Williams: There’s no time better than the present to start planning for Ricky Hatton’s next fight after his almost guaranteed loss to Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd. Depending on how badly he’s beaten by Pacquiao, he’ll possibly have to dip really low to find someone serviceable to beat that won’t put him in danger of being knocked out. Pacquiao will probably give him a thorough beating before finishing him off, so it’s best to plan on finding someone that doesn’t have a whole lot of power that could be troublesome potentially for Hatton on the rebound.
In the past day, it was learned that Zab Judah (37-6, 25 KOs), a former light welterweight and welterweight champion, is raring at the bit to try and get his hands on a fight with Hatton. There it is, the perfect fight for Ricky after he gets beaten up by Pacquiao.
Judah, 31, is pretty much shot as a fighter, and has lost most of his meaningful fights in the past few years. Add to that, his stamina has dropped off badly as he’s aged, making him more less six round fighter. His skin has a lot of scar tissue around his eyes, and he’s prone to getting cut now more than ever. It’s been four years since Judah last beat a credible opponent, stopping Cosme Rivera in the 3rd round.
That’s perfect for Hatton. Judah would be popular enough to impress casual fans and many of the diehard fans of Ricky, who would jump at the chance to see him get a win after his likely Pacquiao debacle. Ricky then could use the fight to work on his so-called new style under Floyd Mayweather Sr., showing that despite his age, he’s capable of learning new things in the ring.
Above all, Hatton needs a fighter with a name, and that’s the difficult part for him, because the light welterweight division doesn’t have a lot of good options for him. If it was me, I’d try to talk Oscar De La Hoya into taking a fight. It would actually work out just perfect.
De La Hoya was recently beaten to a pulp by Pacquiao, and with Hatton also losing to him, it would be a fight with both of them coming off as winners of a sort. There’s no question that this would be a huge mega fight with the fans, because even though De La Hoya has taken a hit with his losses to Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., he still remains much more popular than any other fighter in boxing right now.
At 36, he looks young and is still believable for casual boxing fans if they were to see the pre-fight hype cable advertisements for a fight with Hatton. Never mind that both of them have had mixed results in the past year in the ring, boxing has become like the phony professional wrestling, with fans seeming not to care when their stars lose from time to time.
It’s all part of the sport and besides, it doesn’t match the drama of the pre-fight build up. Focus on the positive by ignoring the losses and pretending they never occurred and fans will stream in like never before to see Hatton and De La Hoya mix it up.
Beyond that, Hatton should put in an effort to try and lure Kostya Tszyu out of retirement. Yeah, it’s been a few years since Tszyu last fought, and he’s put on thirty or forty pounds since then, but I’d be willing to bet that he would be open to a rematch with Hatton if the money was right.
The fight would probably have to be at welterweight, though, because I can’t see Tszyu being able to melt down to light welterweight without risking damage to his health. But, at 147 or possibly 154, Tszyu would be a live opponent for Hatton. And best of all, it’s a fight that the fans would be interested in seeing.
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