Ricky Hatton Vs Paulie Malignaggi: Fight Breakdown and Prediction
It should be a battle of epic proportions. It has multiple storylines and features two very different boxers with distinctly different personalities and fighting styles.
On November 22 at the MGM Grand, Ricky Hatton(44-1) will face Paulie Malignaggi(25-1) to unify Hatton's Ring Magazine 140lb title and Malignaggi's IBF 140lb title.
lets take a look at the fighters:
Ricky Hatton hails from Manchester, England, and is a very popular figure in his country. "The Hitman" gained popularity by not only maintaining an undefeated record for quite some time, but for his fighting style and everyman personality outside the ring. In more recent times, Ricky has come to the U.S. to mixed results. He moved up to 147 to fight Luis Collazo, and looked very average in a decision win. After blowing out an ancient looking Jose Luis Castillo, he took on Floyd Mayweather at 147, and was stopped in the 10th round. He defeated Juan Lazcano in his most recent fight at 140, which is his true weight class.
Hatton has an aggressive, swarming style. He likes to use head movement to work his way inside, and pound to the body and head with hooks and uppercuts. He likes to wrestle and hold on the inside to smother his opponent's work. Hatton has shown the ability to box in the center of the ring when he wants to, and the rumored addition of Floyd Mayweather Sr. as his new trainer should definitely show results in this department.
Paulie Malignaggi hails from Brooklyn, New York. He is of Italian descent and spent several years in his homeland while growing up. He is a brash, trash talking, self promoting sort, who never feels uncomfortable in front of a mic. He earned many fans respect after suffering a broken jaw early in his fight with Miguel Cotto, yet he managed to gut it out and finish the fight on his feet. In his last fight the "Magic Man" defeated N'dou in a rematch of a fight from a year ago.
Malignaggi is the polar opposite of Hatton. He is a quick boxer with good handspeed and a very good jab. He has good reflexes, but sometimes tends to stand and trade despite having very little in the way of power. When he sticks to his gameplan he can make fights very one sided with his stick and move, stick and hold strategy.
This is as even as fights get on paper. Using their fights against Cotto and Mayweather Jr. as measuring sticks, this should be an entertaining fight. The Mayweather fight showed us that Hatton needs to stay at 140 for the duration of his career. At 140, he is stronger and can grapple and wear down opponents with his body attack. He also tends to have problems with guys that don't stand in front of him.
Malignaggi showed us in his fight against Cotto that he will not quit, and can box effectively while being stalked by a fighter who likes to walk their opponent down.
Look for Hatton to show some improved boxing and defensive skills under the tutelage of Mayweather Sr., and look for him to try to box more, at least early on.
As for Malignaggi, his gameplan is transparent. Hatton has trouble with slick boxers than throw effective jabs and give him angles. Look for him to try to stick and move all night long, and keep the fight in the center of the ring. Also look for him to tie Hatton up on the inside.
Hatton by split decision.
I think Malignaggi will look good in spots, landing combinations and moving away without getting hit. I also think Hatton will start wearing him down over the course of the fight, and put just enough hurt on him to convince the judges he's won after 12 rounds. Malignaggi can be really brave once he starts winning, and I think that will cost him in this fight, as he has shown that despite all his slick maneuvers he can be hit, and hit often.
Either way this fight should be a good one for fight fans, and moreso for boxing overall.
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