Boxing: Maussa the barrier to Hatton £3m pay day
Saturday 26 November 2005
More than two months of frustration will end at about 10.15 tonight when Ricky Hatton does exactly what he does best as the first bell sounds for his 40th professional fight.
Hatton split with his promoter and one-time friend Frank Warren in early September and tonight's fight at the Sheffield Arena against Carlos Maussa, the current World Boxing Association light-welterweight champion, has been the subject of legal arguments in London and New York for 10 weeks. Seldom has a planned fight attracted so much publicity for all the wrong reasons - most of it being a distraction for Hatton - and still taken place.
Hatton will defend his International Boxing Federation light-welterweight title tonight and challenge for Maussa's bauble in the type of encounter that is increasingly rare, both in Britain and on the international scene. Both boxers have a lot to lose in defeat, but, thankfully, the flipside and glory in victory have made the unification encounter a reality, even if the lawyers tried their best to stop it happening.
Maussa is a strange fighter, with a style that defies definition and a pedigree in the ring that lacks depth, but back in June he beat the highly regarded Vivian Harris to win his WBA title. Maussa was a late, late replacement on that night and possibly caught Harris, usually such a slick and careful operator, by surprise.
Hatton has described Maussa's ugly and ungainly style as a "nightmare", but also acknowledges that the Colombian is heavy-handed and much more difficult to fight than he looks. Maussa would probably have been called "awkward" in the old days and that seems a fair description.
In the Harris fight, Maussa performed most of boxing's conventional moves incorrectly, yet still managed to dominate and win against a boxer with a textbook style. "Maussa fights like he doesn't know what he's doing. His arms and legs are all over the place, but if he starts to find his range he is clearly dangerous,'' Hatton said.
In June Hatton overcame tremendous odds to beat Kostya Tszyu to win the IBF title and finally, after 38 straight wins, including 15 now forgotten defences of his World Boxing Union title, established himself as a real fighter in America. His new standing, and the existence of two superb fighters at his weight in Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather, means he is near to a big fight and a purse of more than $5m (£2.9m) next year. He and Dennis Hobson, his new promoter, knowhow much of a risk it is to fight Maussa, but they also realise that winning the WBA belt would give Hatton an edge at the negotiating table.
Latest in Sport
Australian Open 2015: Serena Williams vs Dominika Cibulkova match preview
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal personally stepped in to block Adnan Januzaj's loan move to PSG
Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Juan Cuadrado battle; Douglas Costa wants move; Paul Pogba possible
Chelsea vs Liverpool match report: Branislav Ivanovic seals classic semi-final with extra-time header to send Blues to Wembley
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant (ACCA / CIMA, ...
£11 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A 10 year old girl who has profound an...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development Manager ...