It's hard to imagine that Ricky Hatton won over very many American fans in his pursuit of the WBA welterweight crown against Luis Collazo on Saturday night at the "new" Garden. (I refuse to call it by any of its other corporate names).
Hatton looked more like a wild street brawler than a highly trained professional boxer. There was very little skill on display during his quest for Collazo's title. The Manchester, U.K. native looked sloppy and overanxious as he threw wide, looping punches that left him wide open and quite vulnerable. A better boxer -- such as Oscar De La Hoya or Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- would have picked him apart. Hatton's defense -- or what passed for it -- looked awful. If we're grading on aggressiveness, determination and a dogged pursuit of one's opponent, then he looked, well... aggressive, determined, and dogged. His opponent, Collazo, hardly gave a better account of himself. Mostly he looked confused and at times exasperated.
Both fighters were guilty of far too much holding. The bout looked more like a wrestling match than a contest between two skilled, world-class boxers. There was an outrageous amount of hugging going on, to the point that it appeared the pair were slow dancing. Ultimately, it was a very disappointing match up. Quite deservedly, we who watched had a right to expect more from a championship fight, and the combatants who participated.
Hatton was very lucky to have been granted a decision, and his record remains unblemished. Though he can now call himself a champion, what amounted to a horribly disappointing, and amateur looking, contest should have been declared a draw.
Copyright © 2006 Sean M. Kennedy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author's consent.