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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ricky Hatton vs Paulie Malignaggi: Hatton Gearing up to Face Malignaggi

After the defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year, Ricky Hatton, IBO Light Welterweight and Ring Magazine Light Welterweight champion, could not show much improvement in the ring. Since his career-first and so far only defeat, Hatton fought only once when he pulled off a come-from-back victory over Mexican boxer Juan Lazcano last May. However, his lackluster form did not impress the fans. In fact, he had to face stiff competition from Lazcano and the way Hatton fought was really disappointing.

Now, Hatton is going to face Paulie Malignaggi in a high-profile light welterweight bout at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on 22 November 2008. For the bout, Ricky Hatton’s IBO Light Welterweight, Ring Magazine Light welterweight and the vacant IBF Light Welterweight will be at stake. Hatton admitted that he was not at his best against Juan Lazcano, but he showed his illness as excuse of that performance.

Hatton replaced his former coach Billy Graham with renowned coach Floyd Mayweather Sr. and is now being trained under Mayweather Sr. for the upcoming bout against Paul Malignaggi on Saturday night. Under Mayweather Sr., Hatton is believed to have brought some changes in his training and is giving more important on different techniques.

BBC reported:

"Who better to work with than Floyd?" said Hatton. "I've always had boxing ability and working with Floyd has brought it out of my locker.

"I was never going to outbox Floyd [Mayweather Jr], but there should have been a little bit more method to my madness.

"You're not going to see all of a sudden Ricky Hatton up on his toes, jabbing and moving and Ali shuffling and all that nonsense, but you'll see him moving his head and setting up Malignaggi with his jab.

Ricky Hatton is nicknamed "The Hitman" and his aggression in the ring is well documented. Now, his aggression, coupled with some techniques and methods given by Floyd Mayweather Sr., could make him more effective and formidable in the ring. Malignaggi, on the other hand, is just opposite of Hatton in terms of boxing style.

Paulie Malignaggi, former IBF junior welterweight champion, does not have a great power and does not show much aggression, but his ability to produce punches from his hips, excellent movement in the ring and effective counter-punches against aggressive opponents are the main strength. Now, let us see if Hatton can come out of his recent lackluster form in the ring and make a strong come back against Paulie Malignaggi to defend his titles light welterweight titles.

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