Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hatton to turn down fight with Erik Morales – News

By Sean McDaniel: Former International Boxing Federation and WBA welterweight champion Ricky Hatton (45-2, 32 KO’s) is being offered a fight with Mexican boxing star Erik Morales (49-6, 34 KO’s), according to the Manchestereveningnews. It seems that Golden Boy Promotions is eager to put Hatton in with the aging Morales, who recently staged a comeback last month beating Jose Alfaro by a 12 round decision after having been away from boxing for three years.

However, Hatton is expected to retire soon and will likely turn down the fight with Morales. If Hatton would take the Morales fight, he would fight him in the summer in July, and then face Juan Manuel Marquez at the end of 2010. This would be the ideal case for Golden Boy, but it’s highly unlikely that will happen. The MEN reports that Robert Diaz, the matchmaker for Golden Boy met with Hatton a week ago, talking to him about a comeback fight.

In choosing the 33-year-old Morales instead of a younger fighter like Amir Khan, who badly wants to fight Hatton, Golden Boy would be putting Hatton in a situation where he would easily find some initial success with his comeback before facing Marquez later in the year. Morales, once a slender, fit and highly talented fighter, looked nothing like his former self in beating Alfaro last month.

Indeed, Morales, a former super bantamweight, featherweight and super featherweight, fought Alfaro at welterweight and looked thick around the midsection with visible fat around his sides. Morales looked nothing like the fighter that beat Manny Pacquiao by a 12 round decision in 2005. Morales’ work rate has slowed down dramatically, and his hand speed has dropped off as well.

Although Morales ended up beating Alfaro by the scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112, I had Alfaro winning the fight easily, nine rounds to three. The contrast between the youthful Alfaro and the older looking Morales was startling. Not only did outwork Morales by a wide margin in every round, but he also had the better energy, superior movement and cleaner landing shots.

Morales fought as if he was stuck in a pile of mud all night, just standing in one place and not throwing a lot of punches. It was surprising to me that Morales got the win given how dominating Alfaro looked in that fight. Hatton, if he was able to take off all the weight that he’s put on since being stopped in the 2nd round in his last fight a year ago by Pacquiao in May, should easily beat Morales if he were to have the desire to fight him.

Hatton would be the bigger and stronger fighter and would probably end up stopping Morales. Personally, I wouldn’t want Hatton to take the fight. He has nothing to prove and a fight against a thick-looking Morales would likely be panned by critics. If Hatton did make a comeback, he would be better off facing a younger guy that can fight a little.

It would look bad Hatton being served up Morales as fodder for him. An ideal opponent would be Khan, but it appears that Hatton doesn’t want to fight him for some reason. It would be a winnable fight because of Hatton’s power and Khan’s weak chin.

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