Hatton-Malignaggi: Crunch Time For Hatton; Big Break For Malignaggi

Mike LevyContributor IOctober 8, 2008

On November 22nd, Hundreds of Brits and boxing fans will clamor into the MGM Grand to watch one of the most popular names in boxing try to resurrect what he had before encountering Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The hard hitting orthodox from the United Kingdom, Ricky Hatton, will defend his IBO light welterweight title against Paul Malignaggi, a quick, tough, yet soft-handed fighter from Brooklyn, New York. Hatton is a 2-1 favorite as of right now. 

Both fought on the May 24th card in England when Hatton fought underrated fighter Juan Lazcano and Malignaggi fought Lovemore N'Dou. Hatton looked rusty, slow, and was caught a few times in the, what seemed like, close fight. But the pro-Hattoncrowd and quite possibly judges were enough to give Hatton a unanimous decision win.Malignaggi on the other hand, decided to make the worst decision he's ever made in a boxing ring: wear dreadlock hair extensions.

Besides suffering a broken hand early in the fight, he embarrassed not only himself, but boxing in general with his choice of hairstyle. The hair extensions cost him a few early rounds because they would get in his eyes and blind him. By the eighth round, Malignaggi's trainer had to cut the extensions off. Lucky for him it didn't cost him the fight as he won by split-decision.

This fight signifies either the start of the Ricky Hatton comeback or the emergence of Paul Malignaggi into the mainsteam of boxing. Not to say Malignaggidoesn't deserve a shot at "the Hitman" because he's gone 12 rounds with Miguel Cottoand it was his only career loss.

Yet hand problems and his cocky attitude may have kept him from the mainstream credit some people think he deserves. None the less, you can guarantee two things: you'll hear the ode to Ricky Hatton throughout the crowd (there's only one Ricky Hatton) and that this fight will be great.