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Ricky Hatton vs Paulie Malignaggi: Overview and Prediction

Posted by beeshabo on November 21, 2008

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Tomorrow night, Manchester’s Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton takes on Brooklyn’s own Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi in a 12 round Junior Welterweight Showdown between two of the best in the division, Hatton is coming off of a Unanimous Decision win over Juan Lazcano in May, Paulie fought on the undercard in a rematch against Lovemore N’dou in a not so impressive close decision win, that night set the stage for a bout that is to determine who is the best 140lb fighter in the world.

Since winning the number one spot in the 140lb division by beating the formidable Kostya Tszyu in June of 2005, Ricky Hatton has steadily declined as a fighter, most would not like to acknowledge this, but the fact is that he has since struggled to impress. Having beat only a couple decent 140lb fighters, Ricky made a courageous move in weight to challenge Luis Collazo for the WBA Welterweight Strap in June of last year, but had a hard time proving his worth at that weight, struggling to controversial win, and immediately moved back down to 140lbs. Soon after he faced a strong fighter in Juan Urango, and put forth a less than energetic performance, doing just enough to win, Hatton slipped away with a Unanimous Decision, that same night, Jose Luis Castillo made his 140lb debut, defeating Herman Ngoudjo, this victorious night for the two setup a showdown between them take place 6 month later. The fight was set for June, most figured it would be a classic brawl in favor of the brawler, Ricky Hatton, Castillo had a decent chance, but it would be hard to think his battle worn body can hang in there with the naturally bigger Hatton, and it couldn’t, Castillo was knocked out in the fourth round by a picture perfect left hook to the body. In a post fight interview with HBO commentator Max Kellermen, Ricky Hatton went calling for Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather, and edged himself towards a welterweight showdown with (then) the Pound For Pound King, but he got more than he bargained for, being knocked out in the 10th round of a one sided fight. Since the loss, Ricky came back down (again) to the 140lb division and fought Juan Lazcano, again struggling to look good, Hatton was rocked a few times, but did barely enough to win, after the fight, many questions were raised about Hatton’s abilities to perform, having struggled with fighters he was supposed to easily beat, Can Ricky Hatton rejuvenate himself and get back on track? We’ll soon find out…

Paulie Malignaggi, the fast mouth fast handed boxer from Brooklyn, makes an attempt to take the number one spot by being only the second man to beat Ricky Hatton, But can he do it?

Over the years, Malignaggi has been working his way up the ranks slowly but surely, and after a few years of fighting nobodies, he finally got his chance at a title, he was matched with Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto for the WBO Jr. Welterweight title. Malignaggi spent a lot of time bad mouthing his opponent, building his reputation as a smack talker who’s bark is bigger than his bite, at the time containing a record of 21 wins, 0 losses with only 5 KO’s, he was no puncher. Come fight night, Malignaggi had a lot to prove, it was time to put up or shut up, but he immediately began the fight on the wrong track, he was cut in the first round by clash of heads and was dropped in the second round, it did not look good. As the fight progressed, Malignaggi was able to develop a bit of a rhythm, boxing very well, but it was his lack of power that allowed Cotto to impose his will. By the end of the fight, Malignaggi was bruised and battered, he sustained a broken cheek bone and broken dream, he had lost his first professional bout and fell short of his chance at a world title. Most fighters never come back the same after being brutalized by the hard hitting Cotto, it was no secret that Malignaggi was physically tested, he was forced to dig deep in that fight, and he indeed proved that he has a huge heart, and showed extreme courage in his loss. In his comeback fight, Malignaggi boxed his way to a Unanimous Decision against Edner Cherry, then immediately was awarded another shot at the dream, a world title, having to fight against Lovemore N’dou, Malignaggi put on a boxing clinic, completely outclassing N’dou to earn a clear unanimous decision, he was now the IBF champ.

So, who will win this Saturday’s bout? Will it be Ricky Hatton, or can Paulie Malignaggi uses his speed to neutralize Hatton’s mauling brawling style?

This is a good matchup, it’s a Brawler vs Boxer, it should be very entertaining, so long as Hatton is kept under control, he tends to do a bit more holding than we would like to see, both should be on their game, and the best man will win. I think this is Paulie’s time to shine, he is very underrated as far as skills, and Hatton has slowed over the past few years, I’m not sure he has enough left in the tank to control a pure boxer like Malignaggi. Hatton will try his normal hit and hold tactics, it will be up to Paulie to jab away and control Hatton’s aggression, as Mayweather proved, Hatton can be outboxed, but will the lack of power hurt Malignaggi’s chances? I’m not too sure, I don’t expect Malignaggi to use power punches much in this fight, he will simply throw more and land more, Hatton must get in close (as he usually does) to do what he does best, land to the body. Malignaggi has a huge heart, so don’t expect Ricky to knock him out, I see a pretty close fight within the first few rounds, but Malignaggi will take over in the later portion of the fight to win a decision. Hatton’s only chance it to land something significant to keep Malignaggi thinking, otherwise he will be out boxed by the fast handed Malignaggi.

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