Looking back at Hatton vs. Mayweather and Cortez
By Josh Adams: First of all this is my first article, by no means an expert just a fan having his opinion. I re-watched the December 2007 fight between Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather Jr. today and was appalled. Personally, I have never looked forward to a boxing fight so much in my life. It was the ultimate fight, the best fighter against the most popular fighter. But don’t get me wrong, Hatton was pretty damn good himself. The styles was a great mix something like Sugar Ray Robinson vs Jake Lamotta, the bulldog who kept coming forward and the slick boxer. The build up to the fight excited people further with the adrenaline pumping weigh in
The first time I seen the fight it was in fact on my birthday. I had already been drinking an watched it with my heart on my sleeve, by the end of it I accepted Hatton was outclassed. He did himself justice but was beat by the best. But after watching it back today I just couldn’t believe how much Joe Cortez the referee was influencing the fight in Mayweather’s favour. Mayweather is an incredible fighter and its tough enough to beat him without the referee making it an imposable task.
Hatton started the first couple of rounds great, Mayweather looked worried. Even in the first 2 rounds, Cortez was much too busy, but Hatton was managing to get the better even with the obstacle of Cortez. In the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds, Mayweather started to come back into the fight more but by this point Cortez was breaking up Hatton’s work almost every other second. Imagine if it was a football match it’d be like blowing for a free kick every time one team got the ball and letting the other team play when they had the ball.
In round 6, I saw one of the most ridiculous decisions in boxing, under pressure and receiving punches from Hatton, Mayweather his upper body out of the ring to avoid the attack. He is now showing his back to Hatton so obviously receives a blow to the back of the head. Hatton is incredibly deducted the first point of his career. Imagine if every time you were hurt you could just turn your back to stop the punches, it’d be a different sport. At other times, Mayweather just ducked down when he was receiving attacks and the referee would stop it. By this point, Mayweather knew just how to use the referee as if he had a remote control. By the end of the 6th round, HBO have Hatton a point up, and sky have Mayweather a point up, this includes Hattons point deduction. But by this point, Hatton is angry in there, he is frustrated as he feels the whole world against him. At times you can even see Winky Wright, Hopkins and De la Hoya questioning all these shocking decisions. From round 7 onwards, its a different Hatton. He can’t focus, he’s just running in trying to take his frustration out on Mayweather, which for someone as good as Mayweather becomes an easy fight.
To summaries the point I’m trying to make is if there was a different referee I think it could have been a different night. I hate to see the criticism Hatton gets off some people these days. He was a great fighter and troubled Mayweather more than anyone has (except the first Mayweather vs. Jose Luis Castillo fight). It’s a shame we never got to know what could have happened. Feel free to voice your opinions and for anyone with sky plus the fight is currently on sky anytime for anyone who wants to watch it.
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