In November of 2008, Ricky Hatton knocked out Paul Malignaggi in Round 11 of their bout. Since then neither fighter has mentioned each other, and Malignaggi was left without an opportunity to avenge his loss. Both fighters went their separate ways, and both have had fairly successful careers.
Now, after four years, it seems that Paulie is interested in facing Hatton in October in Brooklyn, and he might actually get his wish. There are pictures and various rumors circulating that Hatton is back in the gym and is looking good.
In a recent interview posted on BoxingScene, Malignaggi said the following:
“I am trying to find out if the rumors are true. If they are then of course I am interested. It is always nice to be able to go back and avenge your loss.”
Hatton went on to explain why their previous fight was a fluke, and why this time things will be different:
“There is just no way Ricky Hatton can beat me. I say that respectfully. He did his thing. He was an iconic figure in boxing but I eat those styles up. If you watched me the entire 2008 you will see it was sub par. It wasn’t just the Hatton fight. It was an inner (team) problem that I should have fixed a long time before that but I didn’t. I would love to fight Hatton on October 20th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After that I will give him the third fight in the UK to settle the trilogy,” concluded Malignaggi
Personally, I find it funny when a fighter that lost to his former foe states that there is no way they could lose to that person, despite the fact that such a result has already happened. Of course it is clear why Malignaggi wants Hatton, and it has to be due to the fact that Hatton had a long break, and will likely show ring rust in his possible comeback fight.
It is entirely possible that Paulie believes that this is a perfect opportunity to fight a famous name, avenge his loss and do this all with considerable ease.
Ring rust is in my opinion a very questionable concept, and is not always true. When fighters come back with the drive and the intention to make a splash in the boxing community, they want the limelight and do their best to impress the public. If Hatton and Malignaggi ever meet again, I would not be surprised if Paulie kisses the canvas yet again.
Hatton is a very motivated fighter, and has never come to fight in a suboptimal shape. Not only that, but he is the kind of boxer who will take the fight to you, and Paulie’s questionable power might not be enough to stop Hatton in his tracks.
As far as a comeback fight for Hatton, it would be a good one. I always liked Ricky, and would be cheering for his return.