Hatton and Malignaggi Set the Table
By Danny Serratelli (May 26, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
Despite the best efforts of the ring announcers on Versus to convince American fans that Paulie Malignaggi was damaged goods and Ricky Hatton spent too much time at the pub and was finished at 29, the stage has been set for a potential blockbuster fight between Malignaggi vs. Hatton. The fights from Manchester were both entertaining as Paulie again showed that in the face of adversity (both a VERY bad hair day, and a bad hand), in front of 50,000 British fans, that he would be resourceful enough to salvage a victory. Paulie's fight would involve a very necessary haircut, an injured hand and the fact that he had to deal with the largest crowd he will probably ever
see, and he gladly accepted the bad guy role.

After coasting for the first half of the fight Paulie again showed that he has the makings of a champion. My unofficial scorecard had Paulie basically sweeping the first half of the fight, only to survive a middle of the fight rush by the solid N'dou and finally a late rally to solidify the victory on 2 of the judge's scorecards. My card read 115-113 for Malignaggi at the end of 12 rounds while the judges awarded Paulie a narrow split decision victory (116-112, 116-113 and 114-115).

Ricky Hatton was admittedly more nervous than usual fighting in front of a huge home crowd and coming off of a knockout loss at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Again, the announcers were hard on Hatton emphasizing how bad he was knocked out and that he was not the old Ricky Hatton. Hatton, to his credit practically swept despite getting hurt several times by a couple of nice combinations and well placed left hooks by the very capable and under rated Juan Lazcano. Especially considering the fact that Hatton was coming
off of the first knockout loss of his life, he did well in weathering the storm and coming back stronger after each Lazcano rally. Scores were 120-108, 120-110, and 118-110 in the end all for Ricky Hatton.

Boxing announcers press and fans need to realize that boxing is tough. Boxing anywhere is not easy, boxing with a ton of money, 50,000 live fans and television all on the table puts that much more pressure on the combatants to perform come fight night. There is a guy in front of you looking to take your head off. Fighters fight through a multitude of problems and injuries and often the public and press are not privy to the information. Champions are not flawless, but they are skilful enough to get as far as they have and they must be very resourceful and know how to rise to the occasion and get the job done by any means necessary under any circumstances. Hatton swept the cards and is criticized while Malignaggi kept his composure and pulled out the W despite several obstacles he had to deal with, they should both be given credit not criticism.

Many fighters do not perform at their optimal level until they are pushed and many fight up or down to their level of opposition, often that is what makes fights interesting. Both of these fighters are good guys and good fighters and that was evident both during their fights and the two honest and candid post fight interviews they both gave. When two guys with top notch skills and champion sized hearts meet in the ring that sets the stage for great fights.

As champions, both Malignaggi and Hatton would bring their A games to a match between the two. As long as Paulie's right hand is in good enough shape to make the fight a reality they match up nicely style wise, and they want to fight each other, so the table is set for a great fight. at 140 pounds.

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