10 years ago today Floyd Mayweather Jr faced the UK’s Ricky Hatton in a fight billed as “Undefeated”. December 8, 2007, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, WBC & The Ring welterweight champion Mayweather Jr. and reigning Ring light welterweight champion Hatton faced off in a battle of America vs Great Britain.
The media had billed it as a fight between the two countries so much that it prompted Mayweather to enter the ring to Bruce Springsteen’s classic ‘Born in the USA’.
Hatton was able to compete with Mayweather in the early rounds. In the 1st round Hatton caught Mayweather with a left jab which knocked Mayweather off balance. His constant pressure appeared to make Mayweather uncomfortable at first, but soon gave way.
In the third round, Mayweather landed a right that cut Hatton above the right eye. In round six, referee Joe Cortez took a point away from Hatton after he threw punches at the back of Mayweathers’ head when he was forced under the top rope.
Hatton was able to hold his own, until round six, after Hatton got worn down from the movement of Mayweather. Mayweather sensed the exhaustion of Hatton, and pursued Hatton’s punches with stiff, damaging counterpunches.
Mayweather was clearly in control before rocking Hatton in the 10th round. He knocked him down with a left hook, and Hatton was badly hurt. He didn’t look as though he knew where he was when he got up, but referee Joe Cortez let the fight continue.
Mayweather wasted no time jumping on him again, landing a flurry of punches, including another left hook that sent Hatton staggering backward and down again. Cortez called off the fight at 1:35 without a count at the same time the white towel was thrown from Hatton’s corner.
Mayweather commented post-match that:
“Ricky Hatton is one tough fighter. He is still a champion in my eyes and I’d love to see him fight again. He’s one of toughest competitors I’ve faced. I hit him with some big ones but he kept coming and I can see why they call him the ‘Hitman’.”
When asked recently about Mayweather, Hatton said:
“After every single fight I’ve had, it was the only fight where I’ve sat in the changing rooms, bit down and thought to myself ‘wow, he was good, just his defence, his movement and just how clever he was, He knew when to put his foot on the gas a little bit, when to soak it up a little bit, let me blow myself out, let the storm blow itself out a bit and then put his foot on the gas. I would go as far and say a genius, absolutely great.” Hatton said.