Mayweather vs. Hatton: Opposites Attack
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is an African American, flashy, trash talking, cocky, slick boxing, defensive minded, "baddest motherfucker" on his wallet carrying (with a $30,000 wad stuffed in it), best pound for pound boxer walking Gods green earth today. He is everything good, bad and ugly about Hip Hop whether you like it or not (he doesnt care either way).
Ricky Hatton is a pale skinned Brit, blue collar worker, beer guzzler, rough, everyday Joe, aggressive, comical, "baddest bloody son of a bitch" on his wallet carrying (with barely enough for beer money...all his money is in the bank), number-one contender to Mayweathers crown.
To say they are like oil and water or heaven and hell would almost be an understatement. This isnt one of those fights where fans dont care who wins. They care almost more than the fighters themselves. You either stand on one side or the other or else risk getting put down in the crossfire.
Basically its as simple as this
You cant help but to love Hatton while you cant help but love to hate Mayweather.
For Mayweather, the fight is one that he is expected to win regardless of how tough his opponent is. When you are the best pound for pound fighter in the world, you can expect nothing less. But if Mayweather does lose, it can result in a dramatic fall from the ranks (and a smattering of cheers from his bloodthirsty detractors). This is almost a no-win situation for the champ. Almost because if he wins he remains the sports biggest draw and he can continue stuffing stacks of $100s in his pockets, backpacks, wallets, fanny packs, walls, mattresses, safes and wherever else he can fit it.
For Hatton, the fight can dramatically change his life forever. As a mega star in his homeland of England (and a virtual unknown here in the states), Hatton is looking to accomplish what no other fighter has done before him defeat the best in the business. With a win, many say that he can save the sport of boxing from the 18 carat ring wearing clutches of Money Mayweather.
On the eve of possibly the biggest fight in both of their careers, HipHopDX sits down with both Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Ricky The Hitman Hatton exclusively to get their respective takes on the upcoming fight.
HipHopDX: At this stage in your prestigious careers, what will a victory mean for both of you?
Mayweather: A victory will add to my legacy, and cement my status as the best pound for pound fighter in boxing, and one of the greatest fighters ever to step into the ring.
Hatton: At this stage victory will mean everything. It will mean I am the pound for pound best fighter walking the planet.
DX: What about a defeat?
M: There is no way I can even imagine defeat. I will win on December 8.
H: Defeat doesn't come into it
DX: Floyd, they say styles make fights and Ricky Hatton is a fighter who comes forward often. He may closely resemble the fighter said to give you the most problems Jose Luis Castillo. Your thoughts?
M: Ricky Hatton is a great fighter and is a warrior like Castillo, but Hatton has never fought anyone like me, not even close. I know he is going to come at me and give me his best shot, and we have been working hard in the gym anticipating a hard fight. Well see how tough he really is.
DX: Do either of you see yourself winning by knockout or going the distance?
M: I think hell hit the canvas at least once, and maybe a couple more times if he decides to get up.
H: I have a game plan. I have prepared for 12 rounds, but I will be going for the knockout
DX: Ricky, how does it feel being an underdog against Mayweather even though you have been undefeated and relatively impressive in all of your fights?
H: I'm not bothered about being the underdog. I was the underdog against Tszyu and look what happened then (Editor's Note: Hatton made Tszyu quit on the stool in the 11th round).
DX: Are you impressed with Mayweathers resume at all?
H: Yes, obviously I am impressed with all that Floyd has achieved in the ring. I respect him as a fighter.
DX: Floyd, as a slick boxer who may not be crowd pleasing to casual fans who only get a rise out of knockouts, do you think that the sweet science that you possess is underrated by casual boxing fans?
M: I think anyone who loves the sport of boxing understands that everyone has their own style. Ive beaten the best fighters in the world. Ive won six world championships in five weight divisions. I am hands down the best in the world today. If you dont love the way I fight, you dont love boxing.
DX: Ricky, you possess a crowd pleasing style that wears down many of your opponents while Floyd is a much slicker boxer as opposed to brawler. Do you think you can make him fight your fight and win?
H: I think I can make Floyd fight my kind of fight because I am going to take him where he doesn't want to go.
DX: Floyd, the casual boxing fan wasnt pleased with your fight with De La Hoya. Sadly, a masterful performance by you may not be the bloody war boxing fans would like. Would you consider ever switching your style to please the casual fan or are you happy with what you are doing in the ring?
M: My style has never changed, and look how many people tuned in see my fight against Oscar De La Hoya. We made pay-per-view history and broke gate records. Oscar didnt get those type of numbers with anyone but me. And for this fight against Hatton, tickets sold out in 30 minutes. Based on that, Im positive that fight fans like what I bring every time I step in the ring.
DX: Ricky, boxing fans who tuned in to see Mayweather vs. De La Hoya may have disappointed with the lack of action in the fight. What were your thoughts when you saw that fight? Did you think De La Hoya had a chance?
H: I tuned into the fight and I thought as the fight went on that Oscar was winning. Its a pity Oscar didn't keep applying the pressure. But I think that Floyd just eventually won it.
DX: Floyd, what will it take for you to become as popular as Oscar De La Hoya?
M: Who said that Im not more popular than Oscar De La Hoya right now? Oscar De La Hoya has never been in a fight that sold out in 30 minutes. Oscar De La Hoya had never been in a fight that sold more than 1.4 million homes. If this fight does what is expected and sells at least million homes, Oscar De La Hoya will have never done that either. So whos to say my popularity hasnt surpassed his.
DX: Ricky, overseas you are a super celebrity while in the states you are not that well known yet. A victory against Mayweather may skyrocket you to the upper echelon of boxing celebrities. How important to you is it to be a celebrity rather than just a fantastic boxer?
H: Celebrity status doesn't bother me. If I could box and earn my living without being a celebrity, that would suit me. I am not a flash harry. There are too many celebrities with all this reality TV. People are getting famous and do nothing to earn it these days.
DX: Floyd, I was in Vegas during your heated exchange at the Black Journalism Conference with Don King and Bob Arum. Youve set off on your own and made what you said to be much more money than with Bob Arum. What do you think boxing needs to be saved as you were very clear that those two are hurting the sport.
M: Boxing needs new faces like myself and Oscar, young, fresh blood, with new fresh ideas to be in a prominent position to make great fights happen. The old promoters have an old way of thinking, and they feel as though they should make more than the fighter makes, when the fighters are the ones risking their lives.
DX: Where do you rank yourself among the greats? Not only in your weight class, but of all time regardless of weight class.
M: Ill let the fans be the judge of that, but my record speaks for itself. Ive won six world championships in five weight divisions. Nobody has come even close to achieving what I have done in nine years.
DX: Not to look past this fight but who is in both of your sights next?
M: Im not thinking about anybody else besides Ricky Hatton.
H: I am not contemplating anything past this fight. Lets see what happens and then I will make my decision.
DX: Be honest, what boxer gave you the toughest fight?
M: My fight against Emanuel Burton was probably my toughest fight to date.
H: Luis Collazo gave me my toughest fight. [The fight against] Jose Luis Castillo I thought would have been a lot tougher. I was amazed in the early rounds how strong I was and how I could move him around.
DX: Any last words from either of you?
H: I cant wait to get into the ring with Floyd. Lets see who is the best pound for pound fighter in the world.