The Prediction Squad has looked into their crystal balls, summoned all their powers of prognostication, and offered up their thoughts on how PBF/Hatton will go down on Saturday evening in Las Vegas.
Feel free to agree, or disagree, readers, in the comment section.
Jason Gonzalez: Ricky Hatton doesn't a have a chance in hell when he steps into the ring against Floyd "Money" Mayweather. Hatton is undersized and his offense is redundant. "Hook-n-Hold" as Harold Lederman likes to call him. Mayweather is simply too fast and most importantly he fights you with his brain. Hatton's wide punches can be easily countered and keep in mind that Hatton has no defense.
Jose Luis Castillo was successful against Mayweather because he was a good boxer. Hatton is not a boxer. Mayweather has seen every style and has shown the ability to adjust to whatever is thrown at him.
Hatton cuts easily and was nearly knocked out by the light punching Luis Collazo. According to Collazo, "Hatton was not the same puncher that he was at 140 at 147."
If Mayweather's fragile hands hold up this could be a carbon copy of his massacre of Arturo Gatti. But if Mayweather's hands break, Saturday night could look a lot like his scrap with Carlos Baldomir. Either way Mayweather will be victorious by TKO or UD.
Ralph Gonzalez: Will Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton be the man to solve the Mayweather puzzle? I don't think so. As great a fighter as Hatton is, I just don't think he'll be a match for Lil' Floyd's phenomenal speed and reflexes. Hatton has the will
and the courage to give Floyd problems but I see Mayweather Jr. dancing
circles around the Brit. Mayweather Jr. by unanimous decision over a very
lumped up Hatton.
Ronan Keenan: The best way to beat Floyd Mayweather is to back him up. The best way to beat Ricky Hatton is to back him up. Hatton has the style to upend Mayweather, but Floyd likes to fight off the back foot, which will
accommodate the Brit's naturally aggressive approach. Hatton W12.
Mike Lynch: I dearly hope that Ricky Hatton can bring the fight to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. I hope he puts him into a panic mode that we’ve rarely seen and forces him out of his auto-pilot. However, PBF is bigger, taller and plenty longer. His footwork and technique are too sound, in my opinion, for Hatton to have much success coming at him. I’d love to be wrong, but I see a fight short on fireworks and a unanimous decision to PBF.
Raymond Markarian: It will be interesting to see how Mayweather reacts to a pro Hatton crowd. This fight reminds me of an exciting college football game. It's like Boise State vs. Oklahoma in the BCS. Ricky Hatton has the determination of an unproven undefeated Boise State team and Floyd Mayweather jr. has all the weapons of a true powerhouse like Oklahoma. Hatton should turn this into a scrap. Fighting a rough fight is Ricky Hatton’s forte. Hatton will rush , and throw punches from all angles. So that means Mayweather will be tested even more than he was against De la Hoya. But Mayweather is lethal on inside. He rolls his shoulders on defense and throws combinations to get out of tough spots. If Mayweather forces Hatton to back up, this fight will end in a knockout. In Hatton’s first fight at 147, Luis Collazo nearly knocked Hatton down. Why can’t Mayweather? I think there will be a few low blows thrown and maybe a point taken away from either fighter. A hungry Floyd Mayweather jr. would knock Ricky Hatton down and possibly out. My guess is that Floyd still has an appetite. I choose Floyd Mayweather jr. to win in the later rounds by TKO.
Bob Mladinich: No one is unbeatable, not even the seemingly invincible PBF. He talked himself into a hole that he won't be able to dig himself out of. Even though Hatton has always had plenty of motivation, the Curious George lookalike's tasteless antics and chronic vulgarity has given the classy Brit even more drive and determination to win. Hatton will stick to Mayweather like a wet T-shirt and win a unanimous decision. Hatton W 12.
Tim Starks: Truth is, many people who follow boxing closely think Ricky Hatton's a sitting duck. I disagree with them. I think it comes down to this: Guys with skill who never stop punching and put constant pressure on the sublimely talented Floyd Mayweather are the ones who've had the best luck against him. By contrast, guys with negligible skill who never stop punching and put constant pressure on Mayweather get embarrassed. My wager's on Hatton, a fighter in the pressuring style, having the skill to trouble Mayweather. That said, I'm going with Mayweather by close but conclusive decision. I think it will be very similar to his fight with Oscar De La Hoya — Hatton will have some success bulling Mayweather into the ropes, but Mayweather will do enough to win anyway. I expect it to be moderately entertaining, but well short of a rollercoaster ride of spills and chills.
Michael Woods: I'm not predicting because I don't want to be influenced as I'm covering the fight, and subconsciously root for my pick. I'm rooting mostly for a bangup fight, as always, and am hoping Hatton's pressure forces PBF to stay in the pocket more than usual.
Phil Woolever: To me, Hatton shocking Mayweather isn't as much of an improbability as Pavlik stopping Taylor was. That said, Mayweather remains probably the best trained, most consistent fighter I've ever seen, and Pavlik may have snatched all the Boxing Gods' magic there was left for the year. Picking against Mayweather is always a longshot to me, but I have a feeling Hatton will make it a great event, with about a 30% chance of victory.
Read more from Tim Starks at: mvn.com/boxing