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HBO Championship Boxing: Urango vs. Hatton

Juan “Iron Twin” Urango (17-0-1, 13 KOs)
Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton (41-0, 30 KOs)
IBF Junior Welterweight (140lbs) Championship

At some point or another in the layoff between 147lbs and 140lbs, Ricky Hatton learned to box. I know, I was surprised too, but he moved his head, slipped punches well, and stood back and picked at the stronger Juan Urango, using his handspeed to his advantage by beating Urango to the punch early and often. Ricky was never in any real danger, and he seemed to know this once he got a taste of Urango’s power. By the same token, Ricky knew that he didn’t have power enough to knock out Urango.

I guess, if I had to describe Ricky Hatton’s first fight at his natural weight class (140) since moving up to Welterweight (147lbs) to defeat Luis Collazo, I’d use the word proficient. Hatton was proficient in his easy 12-round decision against Juan Urango, but not spectacular. That’s not to say that Ricky Hatton wasn’t impressive, but not impressive enough to garner the kind of following his promoters seem to think he’s destined for.
Urango, like Luis Collazo, was a tough opponent for Hatton. Urango is a right-handed fighter who fights southpaw, and as such, he didn’t throw more than 10 left-handed punches the whole right. Needless to say, Hatton only had to worry about one side of his face, and somehow avoided his usual Arturo Gatti impersonation (that means bleeding like crazy). Urango also looked like a body-builder, which meant that while his punches landed hard, they didn’t snap much, so I never really thought Ricky was in much danger of being knocked out. Though some body shots did stagger Hatton from time to time, this was mostly because they were body shots to the testicles that went unnoticed by the referee.

Maybe it’s because Hatton was booked into a little room at the Paris Las Vegas (although that’s not the first time 7,000 men have been inside a Paris in Las Vegas) and not the MEN Arena in Manchester, England. Maybe it’s because this was Ricky’s second awkward match up in a row. Maybe it was the Nevada state boxing commission’s new rules that force all fighters above 135lbs to wear heavyweight gloves. Maybe it was the change in weight classes and the 13-week training camp required to take Ricky from ‘Fatton’ to Hatton. Either way, something was off yet again. Something was missing, and there wasn’t the spark that there was in Hatton’s fight against Kostya Tszyu, or his other British fights.

Either way, Ricky Hatton’s got a long way to go before he captures the hearts of the average, uninformed American boxing fan (who didn’t catch him on ShoBox like I did). These sorts of fights aren’t going to do it, and if Ricky doesn’t develop a following by cleaning the clocks of some guys who are easy victims for his body-punching, Ricky’s not going to get the kind of cachet necessary to set up that match with Floyd Mayweather everyone and their mother seems to be penciling in a few years down the road.
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