Ricky Hatton BITTER over loss to Floyd Mayweather
By Charles Brun: Ricky Hatton is still bitter and disappointed over his 10th round knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. from their mega-fight 13 years ago on December 8, 2007. The previously unbeaten Hatton still feels jaded about his experience from that fight in which feels that referee Joe Cortez prevented him from working on the inside.
Referee Cortez played a big part in the outcome
With his inside game nullified by Cortez, the former two-division world champion Hatton (45-3, 32 KOs) had no other option but to charge Mayweather repeatedly to try and land shots. It was a game plan that destined for failure, but Hatton says it shouldn’t have been like that.
Had Cortez allowed him to fight on the inside, he would have had at least a fighting chance to defeat Mayweather. Hatton isn’t saying that he would have won, but he at least would have increased his chances of getting the victory.
Whatever semblance of a game plan, Hatton had come apart in round 6 when Cortez took a point from him for throwing a punch to the back of Mayweather’s head. The blow missed Mayweather and hit the ropes, but Cortiz still docked a point from Hatton. From that point on, Hatton looked angry and fought in an uncontrolled manner, which made it easy for Mayweather to pick him apart.
Ricky wanted to wear Mayweather down
“We were so different. Floyd Mayweather was like, ‘Look at me, I’ve got 250,000 dollars around my wrist,'” said Hatton to Sky Sports Boxing. “We were at the press conferences, and Floyd was, ‘Look at you. I’ve got 250 around my wrist.’ And I was like,’But look Floyd, you’re an idiot’ Floyd says, ‘Look, I’ve got 300 around my neck.’ Golden Boy or HBO got us a private jet each to fly us to Los Angeles, to Michigan, to New York, and Vegas.
“We had our own jet each. I went on the plane, and the pilot goes, ‘Ricky, come here. Have you heard this idiot?’ And he put the speaker on, and Floyd is ‘I’ll give you any money you want to overtake him.’ Floyd was saying, ‘Overtake him. Overtake him.’ He literally wanted to overtake me.
“No,” said Hatton when asked if he felt that Mayweather was in a different class than him. “From the first exchange, he came out with a left hook, bang. Me and Billy were of the opinion to ease into the fight like you would with any fight.
Ricky couldn’t stay on the outside
“Get the timing first, and something like that. He was just so fast. In my mind, I thought to myself, ‘Listen, I can’t stand off from this fellow with his ability and his speed.’ It’s the truth. I was never going to beat Floyd Mayweather with ability, and I was never going to beat him with speed. I was going to beat him on work rate, stay close, and wear him out. That’s what I did,” said Hatton.
With a lenient referee that allows wrestling on the inside, Hatton might have wore Mayweather down the way he did with Kostya Tszyu. But with Cortez, he’s an old school referee, who of a sweet science type of guy, he wasn’t going to let Hatton grapple all night.
Hatton says Joe Cortez didn’t let him work
“I think it was working to a degree, but [referee] Joe Cortez didn’t let me work,” said Hatton. “I know people will sit there and now say, ‘Ricky, please don’t tell me now that the only reason you got beat by Floyd Mayweather was because of the referee.’ I’m not saying I would have won the fight anyway.
“What I’m saying is it made my job very, very difficult. I thought afterward that Joe Cortiz lets you fight but totally forgot that Joe Cortez is from Las Vegas, where Floyd is from. Would you let me fight Kostya Tszyu with a Mancunian referee? But little things in hindsight after, you know?
“It was like, he [Cortez] took a point off me without getting me a warning first. Certain people loved the Ricky Hatton American venture. I’m not saying I would have won the fight. What I’m saying is, it was very out of character what he did. You seen what Joe Cortez for years. ‘Fair but firm,’ but I don’t think he was that night,” said Hatton.
Cortez didn’t let Hatton work on the inside against Mayweather, but there was a reason for that. In a lot of cases, Hatton was grappling with Mayweather in the same way that he did against Tszyu. Cortez is one of those referees that didn’t put up with mauling by a fighter.
If you were on the inside, you were expected to work. If you were just wrestling, like we saw with Hatton in the Mayweather and Tszyu fights, Cortez wasn’t going to let that happen. Hatton’s lousy habit of wrestling is what caused Cortez to break the two fighters. Going into the Mayweather fight, there was a lot of criticism of Hatton for all the mauling he did against Tszyu.
Hatton got away with prolonged periods of wrestling without punching. It worked for Hatton, as he wore Tszyuk down, and he was able to beat him. It didn’t look like a boxing match. Hatton resembled an MMA fighter in that contest, and he got away with a lot.
Loss to Mayweather affected Hatton
“Massively,” said Hatton when asked how his loss to Mayweather affected him. “People say to me, ‘it was Floyd Mayweather. What’s up with you, Rick?’ Those people don’t know Ricky Hatton. I was fighting the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but I went in there thinking I could win. When I didn’t, I didn’t cope with it very well.
“I felt like chucking it. I couldn’t leave the house or show my face. It was the start of my depression problem. The beginning of it started with Mayweather. I parted ways with [trainer] Billy, but Billy didn’t share the enthusiasm with me. So me and Billy fell out. I was down for the Mayweather fight, then up for the Lazcano fight, and then down when I fell out with Billy.
“Then I was back up when I fought Malignaggi. I think I put the best performance in since the [Kostya] Tszyu fight. A lot of people were saying he’s back to his best. And then I got the fight with Pacquiao, and I was destroyed. My friend, my mind, was going up and down and then accumulating with me falling out with my parents.
“It was a chain of events that led me to be in the darkest place I’ve ever been. I was always a very proud man, and I’d been able to beat fighters bigger than me. I walked through Kostya Tszyu the manner I did, and I’m not as strong a person as you actually think, to be honest with you. What goes on through my ears is my worst enemy,” said Hatton.
After Hatton’s loss to Mayweather, he looked miserable in beating Juan Lazcano by a 12 round unanimous decision in May 2008. Lazcano hurt Hatton with a hard left hook to the head in round 10. Hatton chose to call a timeout, saying that one of his shoelaces had come untied.
Unbelievably, referee Howard Foster stopped the action and let Hatton have his shoelaces tied. It looked bizarre, given that he was severely hurt, and Lazcano was trying to finish him off. The time that Hatton was given for his shoelaces to be laced back up allowed him to recover, and he cruised the rest of the way to a 2 round decision.
Following Hatton’s win over Lazcano, he defeated Paulie Malignaggi by an 11th round knockout in November 2008. That was Hatton’s last career victory. In his next two fights, he was stopped by Manny Pacquiao and Vyacheslav Senchenko. He then retired from boxing after the loss to Senchenko.
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