Fight News

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hatton and Mayweather - will they fight?

Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather - will they fight? Ricky Hatton's taunts may have had the desired effect and tempted Floyd Mayweather out of retirement.

After Hatton's stunning fourth-round stoppage of Jose Luis Castillo at the weekend, the IBO light welterweight champion challenged Mayweather to a multi-million-pound super-fight.

Both fighters are unbeaten, but Mayweather had previously insisted last month's victory over Oscar de la Hoya would be his final bout.

Now, Mayweather's adviser Leonard Ellerbe claims Hatton's jibes have paid off.

"He got Floyd's attention. Now we're calling his bluff," Ellerbe told the New York Daily News.

"All he has to do is make a deal and he'll have his chance to back up all that talk. All that's standing between him and Floyd is air and opportunity.

"We can make the deal this week. He's very, very disrespectful. He's trying to promote himself off Floyd's name.

"When we make the deal, we'll show the world why he's the most overrated fighter of this decade.

"Floyd has never taken any fight personally. But he's taking this personally. Floyd is going to kick his butt."

Ellerbe revealed Mayweather was far from impressed by Hatton's performance against Castillo at the Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas.

He said: "He said he only wants to fight the best - then sign the contract. Floyd's going to show all his fans in Britain just what a phoney he is."

This fight would be massive...let's hope it comes a reality.

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Ricky Hatton delivered a performance of vicious efficiency to hammer Jose Luis Castillo to fourth-round defeat in Las Vegas and secure his place in the pantheon of his generation's pay-per-view superstars.

Hatton swung a crushing body shot into the ribs of former lightweight champion Castillo, who crumpled to one knee on the canvas where he was counted out by referee Joe Cortez.

It was the emphatic victory Hatton needed to underline his status as the world's best 140lbs fighter and open the door to a possible future fight against Floyd Mayweather.

Mayweather had twice struggled to outpoint Castillo but it was a different story for the Manchester 'Hitman', who had looked intent on securing a headline-grabbing win from the opening bell.

Hatton had been desperate to deliver such a thrilling performance after admitting he struggled in his two previous Stateside fights against Luis Collazo and Juan Urango.

In contrast to that pair of slippery southpaws, Castillo brought both the winning record and the attacking force which Hatton required to enable him to shine.

Castillo's awesome first fight against Diego Corrales two years ago was hailed as one of the most ferocious of all time and he came out with his own pay-per-view potential boosted despite defeat.

And despite also failing to impress when he narrowly outpointed Herman Ngoudjo in January, there seemed little chance of a significantly better Castillo not turning up in this fight.

Castillo had had plenty at stake. He entered the fight under a financial cloud after being hit with a big fine for failing to make the weight for a projected third fight against Corrales.

And his own promoter Bob Arum had preceded the contest by warning that this fight could realistically represent Castillo's last chance at forcing his way back to the top.

Hatton's win caused uproar amongst his thousands of travelling fans who had roared him into the Thomas & Mack Center ring with Wayne Rooney and Marco Antonio Barrera in hot pursuit.

Within seconds of the opening bell it became apparent there would be few backward steps as both men roared from their respective corners and clinched in the centre of the ring.

Castillo briefly touched down during the opening exchanges but referee Cortez ruled a slip and the frantic action resumed with Hatton digging two right uppercuts to Castillo's chin.

Finding better range with his punches, Hatton had chiselled an early advantage and a clean left hand in the final seconds of the round cemented his lead.

Hatton had described his intended tactic as "educated pressure", and it was certainly paying off as he continued to beat Castillo to the punch and land the significant blows in round two.

Castillo landed his first heavy shots of note early in the third and cranked up the pace towards the end of the round with a left which seemed to stun Hatton and sparked a furious exchange before the bell.

It was living up to every column inch of its pre-fight billing but Castillo's increasing reliance on his left hooks to the body got him into trouble with Cortez for hitting low.

When the action resumed Hatton swung his own left hook to the body which caused a delayed reaction in Castillo, who grimaced and sunk slowly to the canvas where Cortez's count reached 10.

As he left the ring Castillo admitted: "He got me good, it was the perfect shot. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't get up."

Hatton felt he had come into the fight better prepared than he had for any previous encounter.

He told Setanta Sports 1: "I trained for 12 rounds of pain tonight. I told everybody that I've never had a training camp like it before and I think it showed.

"I think I tried a bit too hard and Billy (Graham, trainer) told me to slow it down and take it easy.

"I went into that ring tonight a very frustrated man. I've been up against two world champions in two weight divisions (in previous fights). Sometimes I have tried too hard to put on a show and that has got me in trouble in the past."

Hatton added: "I expected Castillo to do those low blows to be honest, he has always thrown a lot of low blows. He does it all the way through the fight and I wanted the referee to cut it out."

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ibragimov wins WBO heavyweight title

Russian challenger Sultan Ibragimov outpointed America's Shannon Briggs to claim the World Boxing Organisation heavyweight title. Shannon Briggs lost his WBO heavyweight title on Saturday when the American suffered a unanimous points decision defeat.

Now all the heavyweight belts belong to natives of former Soviet republics. Ibragimov, the 2000 Olympic silver medalist, is 20-1-0. If he wants to fight in the United States next, the best scenario for Ibragimov is to meet Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine, the IBF champ and generally considered the best of the heavyweight titleholders. Kazakstan's Oleg Maskaev (WBC) and Ruslan Chageav of Uzbekistan (WBA) are the other heavyweight champions.

Briggs earned $1.8 million in what could be his last big payday. Ibragimov got $600,000. This seems like peanuts compared other heavyweight title fights. As the saying goes...If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

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Some heavyweight boxing news: Vitali Klitschko's camp are trying to arrange a bout with former title challenger Jameel McCline for his ring comeback in September.

Man, this division needs another Mike Tyson, otherwise it'll just decline into nothing.

Vitali Klitschko - the former heavyweight world champion (35-2), who has not fought since making his only title defence against Danny Williams in December 2004, announced in January that he was coming out of retirement.

Vitali and Wladimir should just beat each other up for a few rounds.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Calzaghe Vs. Kessler - Another Boxing Superfight?

Boxing Promoter Frank Warren says Joe Calzaghe will go to Denmark and fight Mikkel Kessler in a blockbusting world super-middleweight showdown.

Earlier this week, Warren agreed to an offer made by Kessler's promoter, Mogens Palle, but has so far heard nothing back from the Dane.

"It's not a done deal until it's signed but we've accepted," Warren told BBC Five Live. "It's now up to Palle to send a contract."

Long-term WBO super-middleweight king Calzaghe had been linked to a fight with his WBC/WBA counterpart following victory over Peter Manfredo Jr in April.

Both fighters - neither of whom have tasted defeat before - were keen to secure home advantage, but Calzaghe is so confident of victory, he is prepared to sacrifice a partisan crowd.

"Joe doesn't mind fighting in Denmark," said Warren. "He feels he will beat Kessler anywhere and I believe that's the case as well.

"It's a great fight. It's the two best super middleweights in the world. It's probably one of the most competitive fights at the moment in boxing.

"I just hope that Palle backs up his offer. We sent him an e-mail on Tuesday along with a fax confirming what the terms were and we've not heard from him since.

"I'm hoping it's not all nonsense. He's been talking a lot about fighting Joe with Kessler and we've called his bluff. I don't believe he ever thought that Joe would go to Denmark."

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