Boxing: Punch-perfect Hatton batters Oliveira
Monday 13 December 2004
It took Ricky Hatton about 30 seconds to beat Ray Oliveira on Saturday night at the ExCel Centre in London's Docklands, but just for the fun of it he kept hitting him until the 10th round.
Oliveira arrived in Britain last week with a justifiable reputation for unique resilience and on Saturday night he certainly earned every cent that he was paid because from the opening seconds until he sunk to his knees after 98 seconds of round 10 he took a horrible beating.
For Hatton it was defence number 15 of his World Boxing Union light-welterweight title and it could very well be the last time that he puts the increasingly meaningless bauble on the line when he steps through the ropes. Hatton is now unbeaten in 38 fights and he knows that he has no more chances at the box office against people that are tough but have very little chance of upsetting him.
"Everybody knows that I want a real fight or one of the other world titles that are out there. And the next time I box I am confident that it will be a unification showdown,'' said Hatton. Sadly, Hatton and his promoter Frank Warren have made the same bold claim too many times during the last few years.
However, their words have not been idle threats and there is truth that both Warren and Hatton are desperately keen to end the run of entertaining but predictable fights and finally meet either the International Boxing Federation champion, Kostya Tszyu, or the World Boxing Association incumbent, Vivian Harris, early in the New Year.
The stumbling block, as it always is in this wonderful business, will be the amount of money on offer. On Saturday night over 11,000 people packed the cavernous and soulless arena to witness Hatton's often punch-perfect display against a man who in 58 previous fights had never been stopped and had only been dropped twice. Hatton added to that figure in round one by dropping Oliveira and in round 10 he dropped him again and that time the American decided to take the full count of 10 on the one knee.
There were some hardened cynics gathered at ringside that remain unconvinced about Hatton's credentials to move to a higher level and they cite his apparent susceptibility to short right-hand counters. Hatton dismisses the wary and claims that if he gets the fight he wants and the fight that would surely put 20,000 bums on seats at the MEN Arena near his house in Manchester he would not make any sloppy mistakes. He is probably right but that does not mean that either Tszyu or Harris will accept his offer.
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Manchester United combined XI: No place for Yaya Toure... or any United defenders
Sami Khedira transfer news: Arsenal can win the Premier League if they sign Khedira in January, says Perry Groves
Paul Scholes: At last! Some credit for Sam Allardyce
EXCLUSIVE: F1 heading for eastern revolution as new team emerges from Romania
Impressive Kurt Zouma may save Chelsea millions by replacing John Terry
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EAST MIDLANDS MARKET TOWN - A new and exciting...
£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: An Academy based in Thetfor...
£115 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad are currently work...
£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...