The big fight is over. Floyd Mayweather, Jr., has beaten Zab Judah like most thought he would, although not as easily. Aside from the Melee in the tenth round that is causing the purses to be held up, things went as planned...or did they? Many thought it would be an easy fight for Floyd and the bout would end with him knocking out Judah, but the Brooklyn native was there to fight. The early rounds went his way and up until the sixth, it looked as if Zab might pull it off but things changed and Mayweather found his range, giving him the unanimous decision in the end.
That fight is done now and aside from the politics that will take place because of Mayweather's corner jumping in the ring (with Don King as Judah's promoter, believe me, this will not go away easily) after Zab hit Floyd low and behind the head in the tenth, it's now time to move on. Mayweather will again make his claims about being the greatest fighter in the world (even the greatest in history, if you ask him) and many will believe it and sing his praises. He now has a world title in every division that he has fought in.
There is one thing that is bothering me about Floyd though...he is starting to remind me of another fighter... Roy Jones, Jr.! Think about it for a second.
Like Roy, Floyd has been dominant in almost every fight and at times, making even world champions look like amateurs. He has been thus far flawless in the eyes of many. Some have gone as far as to say that they cannot find a weakness in his style. The same things were said about Roy Jones Jr., years. Also, it seems as though he is avoiding his biggest threat, just like Roy Jones did for years! Roy avoided rematches with Hopkins and Toney, who called him out every chance they had. Always finding an excuse not to fight them.
Roy at least could claim he had beaten them already. He did win decisions against both fighters but the fights were boring and Hopkins was still fairly new to the game. He had almost no amateur experience and was far from being the middleweight legend he became. Once Hopkins came into his own as a fighter, Roy wanted nothing to do with him. Floyd Mayweather is doing the same thing to Ricky Hatton.
Let's face it, before both men abandoned their titles at light welter, a talent rich division, you had Hatton-Mayweather and then the rest. Why wouldn't you want to fight the only guy out there who is worth fighting, career-wise? The only guy who stands between you and the Ring Magazine title! The guy who has called you out. The guy who dismantled the greatest 140lb fighter to date in Kostya Tszyu. The only guy who has a real chance of beating you.
The question is starting to be asked "Why won't Floyd fight Hatton?" The P4P greatest fighter of today should be jumping at the chance to show why he is the greatest fighter out there. Or so one would think anyway. Valid excuses can be made for Floyd not fighting Hatton. Other commitments, personal business with Judah....etc. Now his dance card is empty and he is in a new dance hall at 147, where there are others waiting to dance with him. He has a title to defend. Except for one big thing...Hatton has come to dance at 147 too!
Ricky has left his IBF title in hopes of bigger things. He is taking on Luis Collazo, 26-1 (12), for Collazo's WBA Welterweight crown. Assuming Hatton wins (and there is no reason to think otherwise) we are back to square one. Two men with world titles and the potential of a "Superfight"!
There are other fighters out there for them to face but in truth they will still be the marquee opponent for each other. Mayweather showed his ability to be hurt and flustered in the early rounds of the Judah fight. Zab hurt Floyd a few times. Floyd eventually fell into his rhythm but was thrown off early on. The jump up in weight looks as though power may have been an issue for Mayweather.
Speed is still Floyd's primary weapon and it will continue to be so, but at the lower weights he had the power to go along with it. His twenty four knockouts speak for themselves but in Hatton's case, power is not going to be a problem at 147. What many people don't know is that Ricky gets up to 160lbs often when he isn't fighting. The jump up just makes it easier for him to lose the weight. With seven less pounds to shed, he can stay stronger. Speed isn't Ricky's strong point so he has no loss or gain either way in that category.
Again with Floyd showing that he can be hurt at 147, although not hurt in a serious way against Judah, but it was unusual to see Mayweather wince from shots. Hatton and his all out style can be brutal on a fighter. Just ask Kostya Tszyu. Also unlike Judah, who became tentative as the fight wore on, Hatton will come right at you.
Even though Floyd's speed will be to his advantage, it becomes useless if you can't keep your opponent off of you. Hatton loves to bury himself on a guy and do his work. If Floyd can't avoid that, it could mean bad news for him. It is starting to become obvious that he knows this. Now the question is what is he going to do about it?
As Roy Jones did, Mayweather can continue to fight other guys in the top ten. As long as he keeps winning, he can continue to claim his greatness. With or without a fight against Hatton, Floyd will still be great. His accomplishments thus far have assured that. The question is "Does Floyd want the black eye"? Is he okay with the fact that he will have the "Hatton" doubt hanging over him even after retirement? If he can, then more power to him. If he is okay with it, then please don't continue to claim P4P greatest.
Not that I am implying either way that Floyd would win or lose against Hatton. My point is "If you avoid your biggest threat, then you have doubts" and this takes away from your claims as the greatest. Muhammad Ali claimed he was the "Greatest" but when Ali makes those claims, he has the right. Ali fought everyone! Win, lose or draw, Ali fought them. Why? Because that's what great fighters do. They don't make excuses or avoid the challenges. The time is coming soon. The fans want it. The promoters want it, I am sure Hatton wants it!
There are no more excuses. If Mayweather is that confident in his skills, then sign the fight. I mean, what does he have to lose? If Floyd believes his own hype, then he should go and take Hatton out. Collect what could be the biggest payday of either man's career and move on. There are no more excuses. The only person right now stopping Floyd Mayweather, Jr., fighting Ricky Hatton by the end of 2006 is Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Mayweather once claimed he is better than "Sugar" Ray Robinson ever was. Robinson would have signed to fight Hatton long ago. Again this is what makes great fighters, fighting the number one threat.
It's time to dance Floyd! Your dance card is wide open and Hatton is looking to tango. Are you?