Discussion

Who could be next for Hatton?

Updated: June 26, 2007, 2:47 PM ET
By Dan Rafael
• You want a massive, massive fight? You want the most passionate crowd of the decade? Match Ricky Hatton with Miguel Cotto in a welterweight championship fight and put it in Yankee Stadium, which has a storied tradition of hosting prize fights. Cotto's fight with Zab Judah drew a record 20,658 to a sold-out Madison Square Garden on June 9. They were mostly Cotto's Puerto Rican fans. Hatton brought 13,044 to the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas to see him fight Jose Luis Castillo last weekend in Las Vegas. More than 10,000 of those fans were Brits, who traveled across the pond to see the Manchester hero. Madison Square Garden isn't big enough for Cotto-Hatton. If they fought each other they could very well pack 50,000 into the ballpark for what would be a can't-miss all-action fight.

• Hatton's wicked one-punch knockout of Castillo on a perfectly placed body shot got me thinking about some of the best body shot KO's of the past decade or so. Here are four of the best: Roy Jones' rib-snapping knockout of Virgil Hill (folks who were there have told me that the impact of the blow sounded like a shotgun blast); Bernard Hopkins' liver shot on Oscar De La Hoya (I do not subscribe to the notion of many that Oscar was faking it and could have gotten up); Cotto's annihilation of Carlos Quintana and Arturo Gatti's belly shot against Leonard Dorin. It's hard to breathe just thinking about those blows.

• So, Hatton is calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr. to fight. No surprise there because it's a money fight. But here's the problem for Hatton (who I have great respect for and enjoy watching fight) if it does happen: Mayweather beats him easily. It will be like Mayweather's slaughter of Gatti, although Hatton is fresh enough to last longer and maybe even go the distance and lose a one-sided decision. Hatton does not have the size, speed or defensive brilliance to fight on Mayweather's level. Just calling 'em like I see 'em.

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