Forget the title belts.
Ignore the mandatory, thumb your nose at the sanctioning bodies and don‘t worry about who makes what weight class and who doesn’t. Just as long as they come in close, something respectable.
Arturo Gatti vs. Ricky Hatton.
Announce this fight in the morning and you’ll be sold out before you sit down for dinner that night. You can decide later where you’ll hold the fight. Any back alley will do, though the parking and seating would be tight.
Or rope off a section of the parking lot outside a popular bar and make everyone stand to watch. They won’t care. No matter where they hold this fight, they’ll be on their feet most of the time anyway.
Gatti vs. Hatton. Can’t wait.
Make it a catch weight of, say, 143 pounds. That’s about the right weight for both guys. Call it the Blue Collar World Championship. Winner gets a tool belt strapped around his waist and free beer for a year.
As long as we’re imagining this fight, let’s make the fighters weigh-in at noon on the day of the fight instead of the day before. Go back to the old days, how it used to be. Back to when things still made sense. None of this “weigh-in on Friday, fight on Saturday” craziness. That doesn’t make it safer for fighters. All it does is give the promoters another day of pre-fight press.
Weigh in 30 hours before the fight, and a guy who is really a welterweight who starved himself to make featherweight, is back fighting as a welterweight the next day.
Meanwhile, the guy he’s fighting could be a natural featherweight who comes in at 130 pounds. That’s safe? That’s a fair fight? It becomes a contest of who can lose the most weight before the fight and still make it to the scales without collapsing. Who came up with that silly idea?
Oh yeah. The promoters.
And since none of the sanctioning bodies would be a part of this fight, take it someplace where the state commission is weak or dead. Break all the rules and make it a 15-rounder. Five championship rounds instead of two.
If a world championship fight was only 12 rounds 65 years ago, Billy Conn would have beaten Joe Louis for the heavyweight championship of the world.
Besides, 15 is a nice, solid, pleasing number. Twelve sounds three rounds too short, like someone hung up the phone before you were finished talking.
Why did they knock it down to 12 rounds? Again, they say it was for safety reasons. Why don’t I believe that? Maybe they did it because a 12-round fight fits snugly into a 60-minute time slot for TV. A 15-rounder doesn’t. That’s just an idea.
Of course, before we can have Gatti-Hatton I, we have to wait for Gatti to face Carlos “Zab Zapper” Baldomir on July 22 in Atlantic City.
But that’s all right, because while Gatti is getting ready for Baldomir, Hatton could start training for his possible rematch with Luis Collazo, who proved he belongs in the welterweight contender mix following his close loss to Hatton on Saturday.
If they made the rematch, Collazo and Hatton could fight in early August, meaning Gatti and Hatton could be ready to go at it in November.
I don’t care how the two do against Baldomir and Collazo. I just want to see them fight each other.
Gatti vs. Hatton.
All we need is a big parking lot, a couple corner stools, some rope and a brand new tool belt.
And plenty of beer.