De La Hoya Picks Hatton Over Mayweather
- Matthew Hurley: As the World Boxing Council
welterweight showdown between Ricky Hatton and Floyd
Mayweather fast approaches an interested observer, Oscar
De La Hoya, has been whispering in the challenger’s ear.
De La Hoya, whose Golden Boy Promotions is promoting the
bout, has picked Hatton to beat Mayweather. This, of
course, must be taken with a grain of salt considering
that Oscar is still looking for a marquee opponent to take
on in 2008 and a fight with Hatton would be a mega event.
“Oscar has shared a ring with him (Mayweather),” Hatton
told reporter David Anderson. “He has given me some little
bits of advice on what works and what doesn’t.”
De La Hoya had contacted Hatton immediately after the
“Hitman” had defeated Jose Luis Castillo in June and there
were indications that the “Golden Boy” was already
considering the possibility of facing the junior
welterweight champion. But Hatton, brimming with
confidence after wiping out Castillo with a wicked body
shot in the fourth round, called out Mayweather saying, “I
think you saw more action in four rounds here than in
Floyd’s whole career.”
Mayweather, incensed, called his confidant Leonard
Ellerbee and told him to make the fight. Before the ink on
the contracts had dried HBO jumped into the mix with its
24/7 documentary series, which had debuted with the De La
Hoya – Mayweather fight. Hatton found himself playing
Oscar’s role of the good guy versus bad guy Mayweather.
Now De La Hoya, his promotional instincts sensing a Hatton
victory would certainly benefit his career, is pulling for
“A lot of people are backing Floyd,” he says, “and a lot
of people are going to lose a lot of money in Vegas. I’ve
been in there with Floyd. He doesn’t rely on power, he
relies on speed. Hatton relies on both speed and power and
that is the difference between him and any other fighter
Floyd has fought.”
Hatton, now in Vegas, is winding down his preparations for
the December 8th fight. Trainer Billy Graham believes he
is peaking at just the right time.
“I see Floyd completely on top of his game,” he told
Sporting Life. “He’s just moved up to light-middleweight
and beaten Oscar De La Hoya. He’s at his absolute peak but
so is Ricky and that’s what makes this fight so appealing.
I don’t think Floyd has faced a more skilled pressure
fighter than Ricky. I know he hasn’t because there isn’t
another more skilled pressure fighter on the planet. Ricky
will beat him.”
The betting odds on the fight are now at, Floyd Mayweather
–240 and Ricky Hatton at +190.