Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hats Off To Hitman Hatton, Hattersley Hero

Hello My Friends,

In a departure from my usual postings, and as a tribute to one local sporting hero whose roots lie firmly in an area in which I will be working a lot over the next two - three years, I would like to congratulate Ricky Hatton on winning his latest fight (his first in Las Vegas to break the spell of unsuccessful bouts there involving previous British boxers such as Honeyghan, McGuigan andBruno).

Ricky Hatton (left) and Juan Urango
Hatton (left) shipped some solid blows against Urango
Ricky Hatton recaptured his IBF light welterweight title with a gruelling points win over solid Colombian Juan Urango on his Las Vegas debut.

All three judges scored the fight 119-109 to Hatton at the Paris Hotel, but that did not reflect an extremely tough night for the Manchester fighter.

Hatton, 28, started brightly but had become ragged by the middle rounds as Urango's strength began to tell.

But Hatton was rarely troubled and clung on down the final straight.

"I have done what I had to do to win it," said Hatton, whose last four fights have all been world title challenges.

"The way the two of us fight, it was always going to be tough. He takes some shifting - he is very strong.

"The first six rounds felt too comfortable. Maybe I took my foot off the gas, but I don't think it was boring by any stretch.

I was always dominating, the whole fight - but he was always in it
Ricky Hatton

"You know the way I fight - I've shown it over and over again. I think I showed another side, that I can box.

"I was always dominating, the whole fight - but he was always in it."

Hatton, now undefeated in 42 professional fights, was roared on by an estimated 3,000 British fans but the encounter failed to live up to the hype.

He looked sharp in the early exchanges, bouncing in and out of range and landing with a series of uppercuts.

And he followed up with a big right hand in round two as the static Urango struggled to get close.

But there were warning signs for Hatton in round three as Urango landed with two solid right hands before the 'Hitman' hit back with a booming right in round four.

Jose Luis Castillo
Castillo has won 54 of his 62 fights

But Urango, previously unbeaten in 18 fights, began to home in on Hatton's body in round five and rattled the challenger with another hurtful right hand.

Hatton stepped up the pace again in the sixth and seventh, putting his superior ring-craft to good use and tying Urango up on the inside.

But Hatton was fading badly by round nine, Urango finding the target with another left to the body as Hatton's punches dried up and he continued to spoil.

Hatton's corner looked concerned ahead of the 10th and the final three rounds were little more than a wrestling match.

Urango, though, landed with the cleaner punches, including another energy-sapping left to the body and a wicked right to the head that stiffened Hatton up.

However, Hatton, by now running on fumes, managed to stay out of trouble in the final round and was the deserving winner, although not as emphatic a winner as the scorecards suggested.

Hatton is now set to face Mexico's Jose Luis Castillo in the summer after the former two-time lightweight world champion defeated Cameroon's Hernan Ngoudjo on the undercard.

Castillo, 33, failed to impress on his light welterweight debut and could only manage a split decision over his game, but limited, opponent.

Bullied in clinches and occasionally wobbled by Ngoudjo, Castillo claimed a 115-113 verdict on two judges' cards. Chuck Giampa favoured Ngoudjo by the same score.

Well Done Ricky and it was brilliant to see his close friends and family whooping it up in Vegas baby!

Make Good Choices people

From Your Friend The Energy Angel


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