Wednesday, November 28, 2012

(Sport) Hatton comeback defeat: no shock, no shame

While there are very few certainties in life, it was quite clear to anybody who knows anything about boxing that it was inevitable Ricky Hatton was going to lose this fight. Hatton didn’t lose the fight because senchenko is a better fighter or even that he is too old to box, but because of his bad boxing habits which would probably end a less punch resistant fighter's career within ten fights.  

Hatton throughout his career and throughout the Senchenko fight refused to tuck and protect his chin, which in boxing, leaves you open to a good jab and subsequent combinations. This is made worse as Hatton has the tendency of leading with his face which is incredibly stupid for a fighter like Hatton to do against fighter like Senchenko who has a decent jab and a serious reach and height advantage.

This is why in later rounds of the fight; Senchenko started picking Hatton off with stiff jabs and slick combinations when Hatton couldn’t keep up the pace of the opening rounds. Hatton could have beaten Senchenko if he looked at his opponent’s weak spots as senchenko, due to his tendency to arch his back when tucking in his chin, leaves him susceptible to a good hook and uppercuts on the inside. If Hatton could have got close, the uppercut would have been open to him all night but Hatton chose to go to the body which Senchenko took notably in his stride.

You could tell Senchenko knew was going win as he came into the ring wearing a Manchester united shirt in venue filled to the brim with Manchester city supporters singing in unison the club’s ‘Blue Moon’ anthem  when Hatton approached the ring. He took a number of Hatton’s shots with a smile on his face probably in the knowledge that the fight was going his in the later rounds, which unfortunately for Hatton turned out to be the case.

Many people may have made their prediction about Hatton winning this fight by looking at Senchenko performance against Paul Malignaggi, who outboxed and outwitted the Ukrainian for nine rounds straight through the slickest use of footwork and hand speed you’ll ever see in a boxing ring. Malignaggi, like Hatton, gave up a major height and reach advantage, but unlike Hatton, Malignaggi is tactically conscious using his speed advantage to earn him a 9th round stoppage to once again become a world champion.

The smarter strategy Hatton should have used if he was serious about become a world champion again would have started with a move outside of the ring by fighting opponents at light welterweight rather than welterweight, where he made his name. at this division he would follow the risky strategy of ‘taking one punch to land two’ as he seemed to able to take a good punch at this level without being ruffled enough to take him a out of his gameplan of stalking opponents every round and unloading the most vicious body punches you ever seen thrown.

However this all changed when he moved to welterweight where fighters at this weight were more punch resistant and hit harder than light welterweights, which the bouts with Mayweather and Pacquiao fight proved beyond reasonable doubt, was a combination that was to Hatton’s detriment.

In sum, Ricky Hatton contribution to boxing will never be in question as most boxers would sell their grandmother and throw an aunt into the bargain to achieve what he has in his spectacular career but as warned in the carnage report article ‘pride comes before the fall'’, pride is  the worst motivations to ever step in the ring.            

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