Boxing: ricky hatton

Hatton loses; Malignaggi rematch DOA?

November, 24, 2012
Ricky Hatton came back after 42 months off, and was stopped in Round 9 by ex-welterweight champ Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester, England -- Hatton's stomping grounds.

A left-hook liver shot sent Hatton down, and he tried mightily to get up, but he heard the count of 10. After the fight, Hatton declared, "I'm not a failure," and said, "I'm sorry" the fans at Manchester Arena.

He's not a failure, no, considering he was suicidal after leaving boxing following a May 2009 loss to Manny Pacquiao. Before Saturday's bout, Hatton said he considered it a massive victory to get back in shape, dropping 70 pounds, and ditch the drinking to excess and vicious state of depression. Hatton did some solid things, showing less rust than many expected he might. But his stamina lagged some, and his defense, never superb, worsened later in the fight.

Paul Malignaggi, who hoped to meet the Brit in a rematch of their 2008 scrap, in which he was stopped out in Round 11, spoke after the fight.

"I thought he fought a pretty good fight," said Paulie, who worked the broadcast for Primetime. "I had Ricky winning, but Senchenko landed some sharp shots."

Malignaggi managed a smile when asked about a blown payday, and admitted that he was going right to the negotiating table after this fight if Hatton had won. Now, he said, it'll be back to the proverbial drawing board.

Malignaggi was impressed Senchenko stayed focused mentally, and said that he expected Hatton would be tad overanxious.

Yes, in retrospect, a tuneup fight against a lesser level foe might have been a good idea.

Ex-champ Collazo has been a bit off radar

October, 19, 2012
The packed card at the Barclays Center in Prospect Heights tomorrow night features one certain Hall of Famer, young guns with fresh faces and compelling back stories to stir media interest, and the pride of Bensonnhurst, Paul Malignaggi, who will walk triumphantly to center stage, showing off his WBA welterweight title to adoring friends and family.

But there is a guy on the card who is a former world champ, who has fought and been competitive with some of the game's top dogs, who grew up and lives in nearby Williamsburg, but has been a bit off the radar, both in the game and in the lead-up to the boxing debut at the new building.

Luis Collazo, a 31-year-old welterweight, will have to work hard to collect a bigger sliver of spotlight at Barclays when he gloves up against Steve Upsher Chambers in a scrap set for eight or less.

I asked Collazo, in so many words, where the heck he has been. After a June 2009 victory, he wasn't in the ring again until April 2011. He scored a TKO3, then met Freddy Hernandez six months later. Collazo lost a UD10, and was again on the shelf.

I had heard whispers on the grapevine, so I tried to tactfully ask the fighter if there was anything to them? Had he been on state-sponsored vacation? Battling an urge to splurge when it came to the partying department? "Nope, I was never locked up, and I was never on drugs," he told me. "My only addiction is tattoos."

Collazo explained that he was signed to Don King, and since King hasn't been staging that many cards in the last few years, he was inactive. "I was on the shelf," he said. "But I haven't been in wars. I feel great, I'm in my prime now."

Collazo said he's pumped to fight in front of the Williamsburg crew. That section is a hipster haven now, but Collazo has seen it morph, when a seedy element, lots of drugs and prostitution, were prevalent. He said he's ready, like Billyburg, to move up the ladder, stand out as one of the borough's best.

He won a WBA welter crown against Jose A. Rivera in 2005, was in a pick 'em scrap with Ricky Hatton the following year, and dropped UDs to Shane Mosley and Andre Berto in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Getting back to 2005 form is a tall order, but he insists that physically and mentally, he's primed: "At Barclays, I have to be aggressive, take my time and let my experience kick in."

If Garcia, Malignaggi, Quillin win?

October, 10, 2012
Disclosure: As a fight fan and writer who happens to live a 20-minute walk from the Barclays Center, I am excited that boxing looms large in the grand plan for the new building to be as big as MSG in the United States' arena-sphere.

Golden Boy is contracted to do 12 shows at Barclays a year, from 2012 to 2014. It is a bold growth bid for the California-based company, headed up by Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer. It is bold, in my eyes, because they don't have the staffing on the East Coast that they have in Cali. But Golden Boy COO David Itskowitch told me at Gleason's Gym on Tuesday, at a workout featuring Brooklyners Paul Malignaggi and Danny Jacobs, that his company will be able to pull off the expansion. Malignaggi and Jacobs will fight on Oct. 20 at the Barclays boxing debut.

Itskowitch, who looked surprisingly peppy, considering his wife Kim gave birth to a boy, Austin, on Aug. 30, said that Golden Boy recently put on three shows that ran the same night and were televised on Showtime, Fox and TeleFutura, successfully. "I never sleep," said Itskowitch, who lives in Manhattan. "Before, it was all work. Now, it's the baby and working, a combination."

No, Itskowitch told me, bottom-lining the issue, he doesn't expect any dilution to the Golden Boy product with the addition of East Coast shows to the mix.

I prodded the COO, who has been with Golden Boy for 5-plus years, after working for local promoter Lou DiBella before that, to learn what some ramifications are for fighters taking part in the Oct. 20 premiere.

Junior welter Danny Garcia, the Philly perma-underdog who fights Erik Morales in the main event, would be a fine fit to meet Juan Manuel Marquez, like Morales a Mexican living legend and shoo-in Hall of Famer. If Morales pulls off the unlikely-but-only-a-fool-would-say-unlikely win over Garcia, a third bout between the two would make immense sense. "We'd get a trilogy," Itskowitch said. Also, a Garcia-Lucas Matthysse fight would be "ridiculous," he said, in a good way.

Bensonhurst's Malignaggi, the WBA welter titlist, is looking at a rematch with Ricky Hatton if he beats Pablo Cano in Brooklyn. But that plan is contingent on the comebacking Hatton not getting knocked off the horse. As well as a decision not to return to the less exciting but smoother path as a promoter. Hatton's upcoming bout against Viacheslav Senchenko on Nov. 24 has been deemed by the WBA a welterweight title-shot eliminator, Itskowitch said. It is likely that Malignaggi will either fight Hatton, or face a rematch with the Ukrainian Senchenko in the near future. As always, let us note that boxing is the theater of the unexpected, so while planning, it is always wise to factor in that variables could pop up at any time.

Peter Quillin meets WBO middleweight champ Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam at Barclays, and if the Manhattan quote machine wins the crown, Itskowitch said that a tussle with Sergio Martinez would be alluring. "But we don't know Martinez's plans for a rematch with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.," he cautioned.

Barclays will be able to fit about 16,000 for the first fight night. Will we see a sellout? "I don't know about a sellout, but I expect a very good crowd," Itskowitch said.

Malignaggi would like Hatton again

September, 12, 2012
Ricky Hatton is set to make a big announcement on Friday, in England, and the cat is out of the bag. He'll be making a comeback, multiple stories suggest.

Brooklyn's Paul Malignaggi has made no secret that he'd love to avenge his November 2008 loss to "The Hitman," who hung up the gloves following a May 2009 Ko2 loss to Manny Pacquiao, a year and a half after he was stopped in Round 10 by Floyd Mayweather. Now 33, and still enjoying the admiration and adoration of the boxing public, Hatton wasn't, it seems, fulfilled by his role as promoter. So, it looks like he'll yank the gloves back on for a final run.

So, Paulie, are the wheels in motion to bring Hatton to the States, to headline at the Barclays with you in, say, February?

"That would be nice but that would have to be figured out when the time comes to talk about it. His comeback seems like the worst kept secret in boxing," the 31-year-old hitter told NYFightBlog from LA, where he's training for his next fight. "How could talk of a rematch not get my attention? I am fully focused on Pablo Cano on October 20 and only Cano, though."

I asked if Malignaggi is doing anything different in this camp to get ready for the young bomber Cano. New cardio plan? New diet? Cutting out hanky-panky?

"Same regimen," he said, with a laugh. "If it's not broke, don't fix it!"

MSG to show Mayweather, Pacquiao bouts

July, 26, 2012
Fight fans, if they have followed the sport for any length of time, are typically a cynical lot when it comes to the deal-making segment of the sport. Promoters can at times speak with the conviction of a pump and dump boiler room stock promoter, and if you've been sold shares in a new tech outfit with a promise that it's the new Google, and it turns out the entity is a worthless shell operated out of a guy's garage in the Caymans, and your shares are rendered worthless, well, you have good reason to be cynical. Many folks are feeling dubious that the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight will ever occur, and this hardens the fight-game cynics that much more, because it's a no-brainer of a bout.

So, while we wait, and hope that the principals come to their senses, and make the fight everyone wants to see, we can pass the time watching some of the best bouts from Pacquiao’s and Mayweather’s careers. Some of those fights will run on Sunday nights for the next seven weeks on MSG, starting Sunday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. with Pacquiao’s 2007 WBC international super featherweight bout versus Marco Antonio Barrera.

In addition to the Pacquiao-Barrera fight, MSG's "Fight Sports: MEGA Fights!" lineup includes: Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya (2008), Mayweather vs. “Sugar” Shane Mosley (2010), Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton (2007), Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (2008), Pacquiao vs. Hatton (2009) and Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (2009).

I know, we all want it. But until we get it, or circumstances -- like a surprise retirement announcement from Pacquiao, for instance -- pop up that render Mayweather-Pacquiao nothing but a monument to bungling and greed and petty grievances, we need to make do with what we have.

Malignaggi-Barclays update

July, 25, 2012
The summer is winding down, if I am to believe all the back-to-school sales I am seeing in circulars. So, that means the October 20 debut of boxing at the Barclays Center is getting closer. The presumed headliner, Paulie Malignaggi, still hasn't received word that his status is cemented, he tells ESPN New York.

"I'm still waiting on something to pop as far as the opponent is concerned," said the WBA welterweight champion who grew up in Bensonhurst. "My promoter, Golden Boy, would like to keep me on as the main event but that will depend on if the opponent is a big enough name. The Barclays arena deserves a big main event in its opening show. We are trying to see if we can be a part of that."

Considering the boxer is front and center in billboards for the building, gosh, I'd think and hope that he'd be the headliner on opening night.

Advisor Anthony Catanzaro likes alleged comeback Ricky Hatton as that "big enough name."

"I feel that would be a dream fight if we can make Malignaggi versus Hatton for October 20th," he said. "If not, Malignaggi versus Dmitriy Salita or Jan Zaveck would be very entertaining bull versus matador type-of-fights."

So, is Hatton really coming back after being out of the ring since the summer of 2009, when he got stopped by Manny Pacquiao in the second round?

"It looks like, from what we hear and the pictures we saw, that he has definitely been in the gym," Catanzaro said.

A potential mix-muddler is the fact that Brit Amir Khan, just off a shocker stoppage loss to Danny Garcia, mentioned the Mancunian Hatton as a possibility for his next bout. That would be a mongo fight in the UK.

Would you rather see Malignaggi-Hatton II, to see if Paulie can avenge his Nov. 2008 TKO loss to the Hitman? Or, an all-Brit showdown, between Khan, with that compromised chin, and a rust-covered Hatton?

Weigh in using the comments, below.
People are saying that he's pushing the plate away, getting back into fighting trim, and the whispers have turned to screams. Is Ricky Hatton, last seen getting handled by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009, coming out of retirement?

That hasn't been answered definitively, though a story on, which had Brit trainer Bob Shannon going into depth and detail about how he'd like to train comebacking Hatton, doesn't do anything to dampen the rumors.

In the story, Shannon said Hatton would be pleased to get right back into the deep end, and sign for a rematch with WBA welterweight champ Paul Malignaggi. Shannon seems to think Hatton could handle Malignaggi in similar fashion as he did in November 2008, when the Manchester hitter scored a TKO11 over the New Yorker in Vegas.

Malignaggi advisor Anthony Catanzaro seems to be rooting hard for Hatton, who had some troubles adjusting to post-ring life, as he partied excessively, and after he settled down, has been toiling as a promoter, to pull on the gloves.

"If there is any truth to the rumor of Hatton coming out of retirement and fighting Paulie straight away, then that becomes priority one for Team Malignaggi," Catanzaro told NYFightBlog. "What better way to open the Barclays Center?"
Paulie Malignaggi's next gig is still up the the air.

He thought it might be a "best in Brooklyn" showdown affair pitting him against Dmitriy Salita, but Malignaggi told NYFightBlog that promoter Golden Boy informed him that bout couldn't be the main event at the Barclays Center boxing opening on Oct. 20.

Presumably, that's because Salita needs to get a win over a credible contender type before he'd be warmly embraced by TV buyers, skeptical fightwriters and perhaps fans. So Malignaggi is still playing a waiting game, which should be sorted out in the next couple weeks, because he wants to start training pretty soon.

Malignaggi shocked some of the world when he easily handled WBA welter champ Vyacheslav Senchenko in the Ukraine on April 29, and took the strap home with him. He's been chilling, enjoying the fruits of his labors, traveling, watching soccer and minimizing his vicious Twitter addiction, a trait we share.

The rumor mill ground out the name of retired pug Ricky Hatton a few weeks back. He's been out of the game since May 2009, and I asked Malignaggi if he'd figured out whether Hatton is sticking to promoting, or wants to try another run. A Golden Boy rep was in England this weekend, for the David Haye-Dereck Chisora bout--GB has a piece of Haye--but Paulie still doesn't know what Hatton has in mind. "I haven't got a clue but if it's true he wants to come back, I doubt it would be as soon as October."

Given that Hatton's eating habits, when not training, mirror a fight writers', we can surmise he might need an extra couple weeks to get in fighting trim. He does, after all, refer to himself self-mockingly as "Ricky Fat-ton."

Malignaggi talks Khan-Garcia, Hatton bout

July, 13, 2012
Our man Paul Malignaggi is off his Twitter duty, momentarily, prepping to work BBC radio for Saturday night's Amir Khan-Danny Garcia junior welterweight showdown in Las Vegas. The Bensonhurst-bred boxer is doing double duty in Vegas, working that media gig, and also checking in with promoter Golden Boy, figuring out what's next on his to-do list.

We've heard rumors that Ricky Hatton might not have shrugged off his boxing jones, that the Manchester hitter, who retired following his KO2 loss to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009, might be lacing up again. And that he might tap Malignaggi, whom he defeated via TKO11 victory six months before the Pacman loss, to be his comeback dance partner. Any truth to that, Paulie?

"I am curious about Hatton," he told me. "I spoke to (Golden Boy's) Richard Schaefer and right now the Hatton stuff is strictly speculation but Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz is in England for the David Haye-Dereck Chisora fight and he is looking into it."

In my mind, Malignaggi would be the favorite going into that bout, as I think a rust-dusted Hatton would have a hard time with his speed this time around.

And who does Paulie like in the Khan-Garcia scrap? Keep in mind Khan had his best night as a pro when he beat Malignaggi in May 2010 (TKO11), in NYC.

"I think Khan's speed will be too much but Garcia is no punk, he will come to fight," the WBA welterweight champion told me.

Readers, who do you like in the Khan-Garcia tangle, which will run on HBO?