Today in The Times Ricky Hatton reflects on his fight with Kostya Tszyu. Hatton is, The Times says, the boxer who conquered the world, but did not let his newfound fame change him. The eminently likable Hatton even marvels at his own effort against Tszyu: “normally, in a 12-round fight, you've got to pace yourself but because of the nature of that fight, I don't think I did. So I'd never been that tired before. And I think the only reason I could keep it up was because that was my moment, my heart just willed me on, just enabled me to keep going.” There is no fight I'd rather see in 2006 than Ricky Hatton vs. Floyd Mayweather. The question is, can the sport do the right thing and make it happen?
Jermain Taylor made a homecoming appearance in Arkansas. “Whoever comes to Little Rock, I'm knocking him out,” Taylor said. If Lou DiBella's recent comments are any indication, Taylor is going to get his wish. Winky Wright wants Taylor, and wants him right away, but DiBella is stalling. “I've spoken with HBO already, and I agree with them that it's not a pay-per-view fight right now. It needs to be built up,” says DiBella in USA Today. Ross Greenburg of HBO told ESPN's Dan Rafael, “'I'm tired of reading articles saying boxing is dying. It's not, but it's time for us to put our money where our mouth is and do what we do best as storytellers. We want to show the that this sport is ready for a rebound. We know the market is there. We're not saying we're the saviors of the sport, but we love a great fight and we know sports fans do, too. I see the sun starting to peek behind the clouds.” Nice spin by Greenburg. “Dying” is a subjective term, but the fact is that this sport does have serious credibility issues with the average sports fan, and without the average sports fan boxing loses many potential boxing fans. The road to recovery is paved with making the best fights. And that does not mean making a fight when it is deemed by the suits to be a “pay per view” fight. It means make the best fights right now. Isn't that what Winky just said?
The Associated Press reports that Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker is making his return to boxing as a trainer. Out of jail and drug problems reportedly behind him, Whitaker is training Dorin Spivey. Whitaker believes that under his tutelage Spivey has “title fight” potential.
English cruiserweight David Haye believes 2006 will see him crowned as a world champion. TheSweetScience.com's own English correspondent, David Payne, has pegged the big-punching Haye as one UK fighter worth keeping an eye out for.