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.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Loic Remy joins Chelsea: Striker adds artillery to Diego Costa's firepower
Leicester vs Arsenal player ratings: Who was the star man? Wes Morgan? Leonard Ulloa? Alexis Sanchez?
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Tottenham vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? Raheem Sterling? Alberto Moreno? Or new-boy Mario Balotelli?
- 1 Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: We are currently recruiting ...
£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Infrastructure Engineer, VMware (VCP, NetApp,...
Salary/Rate: £32,000/annum: M&E Global Resources Ltd: Description/Main Duties ...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...