Ricky Hatton vs Paulie Malignaggi heats up
By Frank Lansky, BrickCityBoxing.com (Sept 16, 2008) Doghouse Boxing
Fans are calling it the "Manchester Mauler vs. the New York Flash", "England vs. the United States", "Brawler vs. the Brooklyn Boxer", and I also overheard one saying "the Prince vs. the Toad", now that's classic. This is simply a clash between the two best 140-pound fighters in the world. However, no matter how one describes the match-up between the pride of England, Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton, and Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi, fans can be sure that the Saturday, November 22 junior welterweight world championship unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena will be one of the
most intriguing and exciting fights of 2008!

The countdown has begun for fighters, fans, press and the media, tickets are almost sold out for this one, with nine weeks left until fight night.

There was a press conference this weekend in Las Vegas and Hatton was a no-show, his team saying he was sick. But Malignaggi was there and looked in great shape. Malignaggi has been training hard and sparring as of late with no signs of his hand being a factor. This is put up or shut up time for "The Magic Man", to prove to the fans, the media and whoever else that still might doubt that this kid is a real world champ. We do not know how much longer Malignaggi can fight with his hand injuries but we are all looking forward to an all-out performance by "The Magic Man". After all, he did step up against Miguel Cotto and the first Lovemore Ndou fight big time and showed the heart and skills of a warrior.

Who's to say that if Malignaggi beats Hatton, he won't get a chance to redeem his only loss against Cotto, who's coming off a big loss? That would an exciting bout. Okay, let's shift gears towards "The Hitman". A lot of fans think he's a shot fighter and way overrated and others believe he's great, either way he's still a tough fighter and has the will to win. Here are some keys for this upcoming fight: Will "the New York Flash" be able to keep the "Manchester Muscle" away for 12 rounds and put on a boxing clinic like he has in the past? Or will Hatton overwhelm him by the later rounds?

Will the referee allow Hatton to hold, grab, and wrestle all night long? Can Malignaggi catch Hatton with a check hook coming forward, like Mayweather did? I recall Hatton being hurt against Juan Lazcano and Jose Luis Collazo. Will Hatton slow down Malignaggi with his vicious body attack? Is "the Magic Man" showing signs of slowing down with his speed or is he catching "the Hitman" at the right time? Are there going to be cuts that force a TKO? Is Hatton going to be lost without Billy Graham in between rounds, looking and listening to Floyd Mayweather Sr instead? Are Malignaggi's hands going to hold up and can his hair stay up? Or will this so-called candidate for fight of the year turn out to be a glorified wrestling match?

We will have to wait and see with nine weeks to go, for this upcoming battle in Las Vegas! Get your tickets now or watch it live on HBO. Don't miss it, I'm definitely not. Hope to see you ringside!

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