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Hatton Calls Out Mayweather

We’re now inside a week away from a great fight to end the year — Mayweather vs. Hatton. Of course, you really didn’t think we could come this close to the fight without some controversies being drummed up, did you? Right on cue was Ricky Hatton, who called Pretty Boy a wussy in so many words:

“I think he’s an insecure person,” Hatton said last week during a conference call. “I think that’s why he surrounds himself with five or six bodyguards. They always seem to be yes men.

“You know, he always needs people whispering in his ear: ‘You’re the man. You’re Number 1. You’re going to do this, you’re going to do that.’

“That’s all a sign of insecurity. . . . If you believe you’re the best, then you don’t need anybody reminding you or reassuring you.”

Hatton would rather roll solo, sipping on some pints. He provides a nice contrast to the flashy Mayweather, who’s been known to make it rain from time-to-time. Funny thing is, I believe that’s going to do Pretty Boy in. While I think Mayweather’s a wildly talented and slick boxer, I’m worried about the Dancing With Stars curse. Anyone who is worrying about improving his 1-2 step rather than his left-right combo doesn’t have his head in the right place. I’m going with Hatton on Saturday night. Be prepared for more pre-fight analysis as the date approaches.

HBO President Rips Sports Illustrated for Lack of Boxing Coverage

Last we checked up on boxing, other than to present you the news of Old Field’s 9th loss, I was sharing with you Unsilent Majority’s great piece on the sports media burying boxing. UM’s premise was simple: Boxing is alive and well, you just wouldn’t know it because places like ESPN have it low on their agenda. Well, Unsilent isn’t the only person who feels that way. While I was handling business the other day, I read an interesting letter to the editor in Sports Illustrated that caught my attention. Here’s what it said:

I am getting a little tired of your using the “save boxing” story line every time you guys decide to cover the sport, as you did in your story on Kelly Pavlik. If boxing is dying, why did our 24/7 De La Hoya-Mayweather reality series average 4.7 million viewers a week over a four-week period? And how did the fight itself do 2.4 million buys? If boxing is dying, why is the anticipation for Calzaghe vs. Kessler, Cotto vs. Mosley, and Mayweather vs. Hatton so great? I think magazines and newspapers that characterize boxing as dying are trying to rationalize their stubbornness in not covering the sport. Boxing fans are out there in millions. You and others are just not serving their needs. We are.

Ross Greenburg, President, HBO Sports

That letter was so well put, I could not have said it better myself. Greenburg completely hit the nail on the head. And I have to give SI credit for not being too embarrassed to publish such a harsh letter; it’s not easy to not only take that type of criticism, but put it on display for millions of readers.

Old Field Gets Ass Kicked Again

Refusing to retire, Evander Old Field continues to soldier on, tarnishing his reputation, and further scrambling his brains, with every fight he accepts. After losing a unanimous decision that wasn’t even close, the codger is now 42-9 in his career. Matter of fact, it’s hard to even remember a time when Old Field was a legitimate player on the heavyweight scene. I don’t know if the man has any family, but at this point, they should step in and bar Evander from ever fighting again. If you think Ali looks bad these days, I can’t imagine what Old Field will look like in 20 years. This is a sad, sad state of affairs for Old Field. And sadly, I have no sympathy for the man.

Oscar De La Hoya to Dress Up as Ring Card Girl?

I’ve seen people do lots of stupid things when faced with some sort of a challenge, but I don’t recall the last time the terms of a bet involved Oscar De La Hoya dressing up in a bikini. I guess when you’re promoting some crap fight between a couple of dudes I’ve never heard of, you gotta break out all the stops. And that’s exactly what Oscar De La Hoya, and fellow promoter Sugar Ray Leonard are doing. From a press release I received promoting the Juan Manuel Marquez/Rocky Juarez card on September 15th at the MGM,

The winners of the bouts will decide the winner of the bet between De La Hoya and Leonard with both decorated fighters agreeing that the loser will provide ring card girl duties between the first and second round of the main event. If it’s a draw with one bout a piece for each side, De La Hoya and Leonard will share ring card duties.

“I can’t think of a better way to top off a night of “Fireworks” than by seeing Oscar climb into the ring during the Marquez vs. Juarez fight dressed as a ring card girl. I know I’m not the only one who wants to see that,” said Sugar Ray Leonard, Contender Series Host.

So yeah, it depends on the outcome of two fights. I’m just hoping Leonard’s guys win. Hmm, Oscar in drag as a ring card girl? Twoeightnine is going to have a field day with this one. I’ll say this much though — Oscar will have a tough time looking sexier than this guy.

UPDATE: The fight has been called off due to an infection on Marquez’s hand.  Hmm, maybe Oscar thought twice about his bet huh?

UPDATE II: You may be looking for alleged photos of Oscar De La Hoya dressed up in drag.  De La Hoya’s people are claiming the photos are fake.

Oscar De La Hoya Does Not Listen to his Wife

Instead, Mr. De La Hoya follows his heart and passion. Oh yeah, and the green. Despite making a boatload of it in his most recent fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., which was publicized like no other, Oscar says he’s not hanging it up. That is contrary to popular belief, and contrary to his wife’s wishes.

“I went back home and watched the [Mayweather] fight with my wife, and alone,” De La Hoya said. “I didn’t feel like the loser, not from what I watched. I pressed that fight, but Mayweather’s a master at what he does. He’s slippery.

“And not for a second did I think I wanted to retire after that fight. I’m leaving doors open. I had a discussion with my wife about it, and I told her I wanted to erase that fight from my record books. I know there are good arguments on both sides of me retiring, but I want to leave this sport with exciting fights, fights where the fans are looking at the faces of both guys afterward and knowing, ‘Those guys were in a heck of a fight.’ “

I’ll say a few things for Oscar. For one, he loves to fight, and that’s great. Secondly, and most importantly, the guy shows up at the box office. He takes all the big fights and never backs down. Regardless of whether or not he’s doing it for the paycheck, he still gives fans what they want to see — a marquee fight. This is a good day for the sweet science, to be followed by a better day when Oscar announces an upcoming opponent.

Nobody Wants Their Ass Kicked by a Senior Citizen

That apparently is one of Bernard Hopkins’ mottos. He’s 42-years-old and proud. In the reality of today’s sports, he’s one year younger than Vinny Testaverde, two years younger than Roger Clemens, almost three years younger than Evander Holyfield, and six years younger than Julio Franco. Dude’s practically a spring chicken. But in the following video that was passed along to me to promote the upcoming Hopkins/Winky Wright fight on Saturday, it shows the manlove between Bernard and UFC champ Randy Couture who’s 44-years-old. The video — “Bernard Hopkins is…The Bionic Man”

Dude, if that doesn’t send you memories of Ivan Drago, then I don’t know what does. Well, except for all the muscles…and steroids (so far that we know of).

Mayweather, Hatton, Oh, It’s On

When the email crept into my inbox, I was startled, yet excited. Why would Mayweather take the bait? He said after beating De La Hoya — and receiving a monstrous pay day — that he was done. Not like I believed it, but I figured it would take another huge drawing fight to bring him back to the ring immediately, not just some trash talking. Which from the sounds of things, was all it took to get it done. Mayweather says he’ll beat Hatton all the way back to England (which sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?)

“Ricky Hatton has talked nonstop about fighting me for the last two weeks,” said Mayweather. “He has disrespected me and my accomplishments in the ring, and I take that very seriously. I’m going to give him the opportunity to step up and fight the best in the world. I don’t think this punk will take the challenge.”

“Now that Hatton has opened up his big mouth, he might start to think about what he has been asking for,” continued Mayweather. “Does he really want to step into the ring with best fighter of this era and embarrass himself? Being the coward that he is, I doubt he’ll get in the ring. We’ll see what his excuse will be this time.”

Hatton won’t be dodging — he has no reason to. He’s looking to make a name in the U.S., and he’s a skilled fighter. For Ricky, it will be a big pay day. For Mayweather, it’s undoubtedly a challenge. And some money, but not Oscar De La Hoya type. I don’t know why Pretty Boy’s eager to fight Hatton; Hatton is dangerous, Hatton is tough. Hats off to Floyd for showing interest. He’s leaving no room for doubt amongst boxing aficionados by fighting some of the best competition around. Now, we just await the official announcement…