HBO Championship Boxing: Urango vs. Hatton
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 Urangos power. By the same token, Ricky knew that he didnt have power enough to knock out Urango.
I guess, if I had to describe Ricky Hattons first fight at his natural weight class (140) since moving up to Welterweight (147lbs) to defeat Luis Collazo, Id use the word proficient. Hatton was proficient in his easy 12-round decision against Juan Urango, but not spectacular. Thats not to say that Ricky Hatton wasnt impressive, but not impressive enough to garner the kind of following his promoters seem to think hes 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 didnt 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 didnt 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 its because Hatton was booked into a little room at the Paris Las Vegas (although thats not the first time 7,000 men have been inside a Paris in Las Vegas) and not the MEN Arena in Manchester, England. Maybe its because this was Rickys second awkward match up in a row. Maybe it was the Nevada state boxing commissions 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 wasnt the spark that there was in Hattons fight against Kostya Tszyu, or his other British fights.
Either way, Ricky Hattons got a long way to go before he captures the hearts of the average, uninformed American boxing fan (who didnt catch him on ShoBox like I did). These sorts of fights arent going to do it, and if Ricky doesnt develop a following by cleaning the clocks of some guys who are easy victims for his body-punching, Rickys 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.