Be Careful what you ask for...
Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, knocks out Ricky Hatton, of Great Britain, in the 10th round of their WBC welterweight boxing title fight at the MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
You may remember the post I had up here regarding Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton's destruction of Juan Luiz Castillo some months back. It was an amazing performance, not just in the ring, but in the stands as well, where thousands of Hatton's British boxing fans, who made the journey across the pond in support of their idol, had turned foreign soil into home court advantage. At that point, Ricky was the King of the Light Welterweight division and it is where he should have stayed. He could have continued his unblemished record and retired at some future point an undefeated champion. Instead, he called out Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather and ended up a defeated chump.
"There was more action in those four rounds than you'd have had in Floyd Mayweather's last half dozen fights.", said a laughing Ricky Hatton in the Castillo post fight interview. Unfortunately, Floyd was watching the fight at home. After that, a retired Floyd Mayweather is said to have instructed his manager to "Make the fucking fight."
Be careful what you ask for, indeed.
I knew before the fight that Ricky was biting off way more than he could chew and Mags will tell you I pretty much called it earlier in the day. 9th or 10th round knockout by Mayweather. I knew Mayweather was too accurate a puncher. I knew he was also an under-rated puncher and I knew that unless Hatton got a lucky shot in, ending the fight, Floyd's precision would eventually wear "The Hitman" down.
Nevertheless, I tuned into the $55 pay-per-view event hoping that Hatton would shut the classless, arrogant Pretty Boy down. Hatton is like a bulldog after all, and Floyd had never fought anyone with Hatton's tenacity and aggresive style. Hatton had more than a chance to win if he could keep Mayweather bottled up in a corner and unload on him, as he has done to all his previous opponents. On the other hand, Hatton has never faced the quality of opponents that Mayweather had, so there was an unknown variable thrown into the equation. So I was hoping that Hatton could do what had never been done before, shut the Pretty Boy up. What changed my mind and loyalty happened before the fight even started though. It was the obnoxious behavior of the thousands of British fans when our National Anthem was sung.
They came with a brass band and a big bass drum. They sang and beat that drum constantly from the middle of the preceeding preliminary fight until they exploded when Hatton entered the ring to his trademark song, Blue Moon. They roared with derision when Mayweather entered to Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The USA". All well and good. Support your man and deride his opponent, fair enough. It's what happened next that turned me into a Mayweather man.
After standing quietly through the British National Anthem, which was sung by has-been Rock Star "Sir" Tom Jones, (Sir?), American fans' were shocked when their British counterparts booed so loudly that you couldn't even hear Tyrese Gibson sing the Star Spangled Banner. Maybe they're still upset that we are no longer "the colonies", (after all, we did dump a bunch of their beloved tea in Boston Harbor), or maybe, as some have suggested on British boxing sites, it's just what Euro's do to each other at international sporting events, but either way, "that shit don't fly here". By drowning out our National Anthem the Brits spat in the eye of every American and at that point, dam near every American wanted to shut them up. We Americans are fanatically territorial, as evidenced in all our sports. Just try to get into a Cowboys/Eagles football game in Philly wearing a Dallas jersey and see how far you get. Yet Hatton, with his down home, good ole boy charm had managed to bridge the international gap... until his fans ruined it for him. You just don't disrespect me in my own "house", son. Not if you don't want a good asskicking to follow.
Even Hatton was not above classless antics, when, after being docked a point for hitting behind the head, he bent over and in a stupid display of emotion, wiggled his ass at Floyd Mayweather. I hope he and his fans enjoyed the moment because he would be made to pay for it in the same fashion I described above, with a good asskicking.
While Mayweather was clearly the superior fighter throughout the early rounds, his dominance really began to show in the 8th round. By the middle of the 10th, it was over, with Hatton trying to get up off the mat, his face bruised and his eye leaking blood... and, if only for a moment, that goddam drum finally silenced.
I am not going to describe the action, tune in to HBO next Saturday and you can watch it for yourself. There are also countless other articles which do better justice to the round by round action than I ever could. My point here is an issue of "class", and Hatton and his fans showed little of it.
In the post fight interviews, Mayweather showed his true colors by endlessly showering praise on his vanquished opponent. The most we could get from Hatton was a weak apology for losing and mumbled excuses. Sure, Mayweather acted obnoxiously in the pre-fight lead-up, but, hey, the name of the game is putting asses in the seats and someone has to play the role of villian. A role Floyd is emminently suited for. As his post fight compassion for his vanquished foe clearly showed though, it was a role to sell tickets, nothing more.
So you see, in the end, it was the Brits and Ricky Hatton who showed little or no class. You don't go into someone's home and insult the host. You don't behave like obnoxious, rude drunks. It's not your house, after all. And all the singing and all the drum beating couldn't lift their man to victory over a clearly superior opponent. To paraphrase an old English nursery rhyme, "All the Queen's horses(asses) and all the Queen's men, couldn't put Ricky together again" And to paraphrase the Brit's own Ricky Hatton sing-a-long, (sung to the tune of Walking In A Winter Wonderland"):
There is one Ricky Hatton!
Now yer done Ricky Hatton!
Try talking yer smack,
From flat on yer back!
Mayweather's the Champion Of The World!
And Ricky, be careful what you ask for...you just might get it!
Now limp your tired, sorry, loser asses back across the pond, Brits. History has repeated itself and the mighty British Empire has lost to the "Colonies" once more.
Oh, and take that goddam drum with you.
(Yes, I am once again crossing the picket line, but, hey, this was too important to me to pass on - sorry!)
Here's a little treat for those of you who missed it! Enjoy! Note: Every time I post a video, YouTube deletes it. My guess is copyright infringement or maybe a bunch of pissed-off, hung over Brits are complaining, wah, wah. Well as long as they keep deleting them, I'll keep finding new ones!