It was supposed to be the coronation of Ricky Hatton as the No. 1 pound for pound fighter in the world and Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s biggest test to date.
Of those two bold pre-fight predictions, only the latter was rendered to be true.
The fight at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Arena on December 8, 2007 was an entertaining one, but it was brought to an abrupt end with a TKO in the 10th round.
Both boxers were undefeated prior to the fight. While Hatton had won more fights with a record of 43-0-0, Mayweather was ranked as the No. 1 pound for pound fighter in the world by Ring Magazine and had a record of 38-0-0.
Hatton was a light welterweight champion, Mayweather was a champion in the heavier welterweight division.
The fight gained attention in both England and the USA because of the nationality of the two boxers and friendly rivalry between the two nations. The rivalry was symbolized by Mayweather’s entrance music, Bruce Springsteen’s "Born in the USA."
Despite the fact that the fight was in America, Hatton arguably had the more fervent support.
At the weigh-in fans of the Hitman booed Mayweather and chanted the song “Hatton Wonderland,” a song which the Pretty Boy covered in the pre-fight build up.
Fans were buoyed at the weigh-in by a surprise confrontation between Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins.
His support however, was not without controversy. Nor was it enough to help Hatton win. A small selection of British fans also received some harsh criticism when they booed the U.S National Anthem.
The fight itself got off to an interesting start, but after a shaky opening round where Hatton nearly knocked Mayweather off his feet, the Pretty Boy was never really challenged.
Mayweather pummelled Hatton’s body with a continuous stream of body punches throughout the bout, a move which was supposed to be the Brits’ forte.
In the sixth round Hatton tried to fight back, but was deducted a point after he forced Mayweather to ropes and hit him on the back of the head.
A barrage of jabs to the Hitman’s head in the ninth round proved to be the beginning of the end for Hatton and in the 10th Mayweather’s punching power was finally enough to defeat the Briton.
In the post-match interview Hatton joked: "What a fluke that [Mayweather’s win] was."
Hatton continued with a more serious reply saying,
He is very good at making you miss. He was better inside than I thought. He caught me. It was working, but I didn't quite stick to the game plan. I was a little gung ho. He wasn't the biggest welterweight I've seen, but I felt the difference. I knew what the tactics were. I wasn't quite good enough to apply it tonight.
The Pretty Boy himself described Hatton as “the toughest competitor I ever faced."
I was throwing body shots, and he kept coming. I see now why they call him the 'Hitman.' But then I threw the check hook. They teach us that in northern Michigan in the amateurs and he walked right into the shot. He never saw it coming.
After the fight, Hatton tried to rebuild his career and successfully defeated Juan Lazcano and Pauli Malignaggi before suffering an embarrassing defeat to Manny Pacquiao, thus bringing an end to his career.
Despite the triumph, Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired, only to return two years later. The Pretty Boy has defeated Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosely and Victor Ortiz since his return to boxing, but a dream clash against Manny Pacquiao seems a distinct uncertainty.