|Doghouse Boxing Decides Ricky Hatton vs Paulie Malignaggi
Compiled by Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (Nov 22, 2008) DoghouseBoxing.com
Tonight, live HBO Boxing 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, the "Magic Man" Paulie Malignaggi 25-1 (5) takes the "Hitman" Ricky Hatton 44-1 (31) in a scheduled twelve round junior welterweight bout.
Malignaggi, who is known for his flash and brash style, looks to send home the Englishman with another L on his record, but Hatton, who is an aggressive slugger, aims to earn himself a win in the MGM Grand since losing his last go around in the US.
Who wins this heated throw down? Doghouse Decides!
I've been mulling over this fight for days trying to pick a winner, and it's not getting any easier today. The questions for Hatton are is his chin shot, and are his best days behind him? For Paulie, I'm left to wonder if he can keep the Hitman off of him for 12 rounds, and will he break his right hand?
The motivation here is high for both fighters. If Hatton wins, he's very nearly assured a shot at the winner of Oscar and Manny. Should Paulie win, he may finally get the widespread recognition he's been so urgently wanting.
Miguel Cotto severely disfigured Paulie's face, and he wasn't able to stop him, so I doubt that Hatton will be able to. Paulie's nearly non-existent power won't be able to stop the fight within the distance either, so we can count on 12 rounds here. I'll bet the over, and I'll take Paulie by a fleet footed decision.
I don't like the idea that Ricky Hatton is working with Floyd Mayweather Sr. He will not beat Paulie at his own game and Paulie should open up an early lead on the cards. Ricky will resort to what he does regardless of what Floyd tells him by the middle rounds and he will start to go after Paulie. Ricky will let his hands go, and if he can't land clean punches, he will hit Paulie anywhere he can in an attempt to slow him down and rough him up. The good thing about Hatton is that he won't go through the motions, if he feels he is falling behind he will step up the pace and go after Paulie. That is when the fight will become very interesting, because Paulie will not catch him cold when he does that like Mayweather did.
If Paulie can continue the pace, and continue to out slick Ricky he will be OK. Paulie for all is resourcefulness and toughness will not be able to keep Ricky off of him like he has done with many lesser opponents if he doesn't have both of his hands working for him. This will be a very good, hard fought fight between 2 tough guys and the fans will get their money's worth on regular HBO. Paulie Malignaggi by majority decision
Personally, I don't think Hatton has another war in him. Never again will we see the Ricky Hatton who beat Kostya Tszyu, but then again, Malignaggi isn't Tszyu. Power wise, Malignaggi is the exact opposite of Tszyu, so a war shouldn't even enter Paulie's mind. Paulie's assets are his speed, and that's what he should use all night long. Malignaggi's pop (or lack there of) won't be enough to hold Hatton off if he tries to fight a war. If he knows his role as the boxer, not the puncher, I can see him winning. Ego has been the demise of many, and if Malignaggi put his in check, he can win. Do I think he will keep his ego in check? Actually I do; which is why my pick is Malignaggi by Decision.
Hatton/Malignaggi prediction: I think Malignaggi will give Hatton problems at the beginning of the fight. His tricky style will give Hatton and Floyd Sr. fits for the beginning of the fight. But Malignaggi doesn't have the power to get Hatton to respect him and the Hitman will eventually find his opponent in the latter rounds. As the fight goes on Hatton will wear Malignaggi down with his body attack and take over the fight. It will be ugly, with some clinching, but Hatton will get the job done and will win a decision.
Paulie's no fool (although some fans might think he is!!) and he's not going to waste a vacated title on a championship shot he's only going to manage a "C" grade in. Honestly, I didn't think Paulie would go as far as he has from the beginning. His guts and skills have taken him only so far, though. He's a very good, brave boxer but he's also so hampered by his hand issues. I can't see him going on for 7-10 more years at this rate so he's going to make the most of what he's got by being elusive and patient. I don't see Hatton being patient at all. Paulie won't hurt him and he'll probably piss off Hatton but that impatience and edginess is what Paulie has to capitalize on. After 12, it's Paulie by UD over Hatton.
I am so not counting out Paul Malignaggi in this fight. The slick Brooklyn native has a special trait that flies in the face of his hand problems and lack of KO power. It's fearlessness. It's not just his attitude and the way he portrays himself; but his actual actions in the ring. He doesn't give a damn about taking as many shots as it takes to get that one or two shots or a quick combo in. Combine that with a hint of doubt in World Junior Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton's game and you've got a fight full of surprises. Malignaggi's plan is to take the pressure out of the pressure fighter and teach 'The Hitman' a boxing lesson. I'm counting on Paulie to do just that. But can Hatton accept his first actual decision loss if he sees it coming? And how dirty will he get in order to circumvent Paulie's strategy? Enough, I would reckon because I see Paulie beating Hatton via disqualification in the ninth or tenth round; as a result of repeated fouling. There. I said it.
Paulie Malignaggi should win this one by UD. Let's hope that is what happens, otherwise we'll have to endure a) Floyd Mayweather coming out of retirement to beat the hell out of Hatton again or b) Oscar De La Hoya going to England to beat the hell out of another small fighter.
Ricky Hatton's stock has tumbled since his embarrassing knockout defeat to Floyd Mayweather. Not only was he knocked out, but his head was sent flying into a turnbuckle on his way down. In front of over 50,000 fans in his homeland, what was supposed to be a spectacular return was a shaky performance against faded Juan Lazcano. Now he takes a calculated risk against Paulie Malignaggi. Malignaggi has excellent speed, footwork, and boxing technique. His only deficiency is power, as displayed by his measly five knockouts, and the tendency to be hit with clean shots from time to time. But if he can bring out a performance as he did in June of 2007 against Lovemore N'dou, it could be a massive upset, similar to when Hatton discarded legendary champion Kostya Tszyu years back. Life is a vicious circle that nobody can avoid. The question is, has Hatton reached the end of the line?
Benny Henderson Jr.
I have went back and forth on this scrap, but now that the fight is actually here, I guess I have to go ahead and make the pick. Well, I see Paulie using his foot work, firing off his jab and, patting away to a decision victory. I don't see this being a very exciting fight, but a win is a win and I see Paulie doing just that to earn the victory.
Questions or comments,
e-mail Benny at: CrazzedTrucker@aol.com
Visit Benny's: Fighters of Faith - Gospel Gladiators
Benny's MYSpace Visit: Myspace.com/bigdog1975
© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2008