On Sat. November 22, 2008 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, Ricky Hatton will be facing Paulie Malignaggi in a junior welterweight clash.
Many believe that Ricky Hatton is taking this fight for a safe and easy win, but Paulie Malignaggi and his corner feel he has just the right style that will help him come up with an upset win.
Malignaggi (25-1, 5 KOs) is a fighter who lacks no confidence and he has held championships. In his mind, he should be one of the top boxers of this century. "The Magic Man" has the same swagger that Prince Ahmed, Hector Camacho, and Hector Camacho Jr. brought to conferences and to the ring.
The one thing he doesn't bring like those guys, is the ability to knock opponents out.
With only five knockouts in 26 fights, Paulie doesn't have the explosive style that fans are drawn too. He also doesn't cause a big threat to opponents that have had their jaw tested like Ricky Hatton did against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The threat he does pose, however, is stamina, speed, and endurance. He is a skilled boxer with a quick jab and fast head movement that can throw any fighter off.
Paulie Malignaggi also proved he can take a punch when he faced Miguel Cotto. Although he lost the fight, Malginaggi courageously took head and body punches from a strong Cotto and ended the fight on his feet, showing amazing heart and confidence.
You couldn't help but notice that Paulie Malignaggi believed he was in the right place at the right time at that moment, fighting the best.
The stakes are high for Ricky Hatton (44-1, 31 KOs) in this fight. Will he make a comeback or a departure like long time former trainer, Billy Graham, did leading up to this matchup? Hatton found a new trainer in Floyd Mayweather Sr., but the big question is what will be the out come of the merger?
Hatton had a great run with Billy Graham in his corner, with their father and son-like relationship.
They only saw one defeat and that was against the aforementioned Floyd Mayweather Jr., which was expected, since many claim he as the best pound-for-pound at the time.
"The Hitman's" bully-type style has worked against many opponents, and has stopped big time fighters such as Kostya Tszya and Jose Luis Castillo. Fighters who were willing to stand toe-to-toe with him.
However, when he has gone against fighters who relied on boxing ability and not strength, Hatton struggled.
He barely came out with the win against Luis Collazo because of the slick movement and jab Luis fought with, and last I checked Paulie Malignaggi was just that type of fighter.
Ricky could have worked on his jab and head movement with Mayweather Sr., but your not going to get that much change of style from a veteran fighter like Hatton.
You’re most likely to see frustration in Hatton's corner when Floyd Sr., is screaming for the jab and for Ricky Hatton to move side to side. Especially if Ricky can't find the rhythm or the posture he needs to throw that jab.
Hopefully if Mayweather did change Hatton’s training method, it was the conditioning and stamina to go 12 rounds.
My prediction is Ricky and Paulie will do what they to best.
Paulie will jab and move as much as possible and try to get into Ricky Hatton's head. His conditioning and experience with fights going the distance will give him an advantage in the late rounds.
Ricky Hatton may try to jab and show some boxing ability until he realizes he will need to immobilize Paulie to get some affective contact to happen. Ricky Hatton will need to bully and wrestle Paulie to be effective, if he makes it a boxing match he's setting himself up for defeat.
Style will make the fight. The winner will be the one that can make it his type of fight a brawl or a hit and miss.