Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hitman Hatton unifies belts, looks toward mega bouts

SHEFFIELD, England (Hallam FM Arena) – Junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton, 40-0 (30 KOs), England, 139½, stormed through Colombian Carlos Maussa, 20-3 (18 KOs), 140, to unify the IBF and WBA belts, scoring a resounding ninth-round knockout. Hatton charged from the opening bell toward the awkward Maussa. His bull rushes allowed him to land solidly to the body of the twisting and turning Colombian. Unfortunately for Hatton, the tactic also permitted a clash of heads that opened a gaping rip over his left eye. In some boxing jurisdictions the bout would have been stopped at that point due to the severity of the cut and the fact that it was pouring blood. Nonetheless, Hatton crowded Maussa and never pulled back from the fight. Maussa engaged in his usual free-swinging style and was able to land some to the body, but it did not slow Hatton. In round two, a less serious cut developed over Hatton’s right eye, again appearing as a result of a clash of heads. Hatton punished Maussa to the body and slowed him considerably with each succeeding round. Maussa, who had captured his belt in an upset of Vivian Harris in June, had no answers to any tactic Hatton tried.

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