Hatton edges out Collazo, struggles at welterweight
BOSTON --- Ricky Hatton, 41-0 (30 KOs), England, 147, won a close, unanimous 12-round decision over Luis Collazo, 26-2 (12 KOs), Brooklyn, 147, Saturday in a bout that raised as many questions as it answered about Hatton’s future success as a welterweight.
Hatton started at the opening bell applying pressure and caught Collazo out of position only seconds into the bout dropping him with a left hook. If anyone thought the knockdown was an indicator of things to come, Collazo had other ideas.
Collazo unwisely abandoned movement early in the bout, electing to trade. This tactic allowed the ever-hustling Hatton to capture three of the first four rounds including a 10-8 opening frame.
Starting in round five, however, Collazo began mixing sharp counters from his southpaw stance that forced Hatton to slow his headlong charges. Collazo, though not known as a big puncher, gained respect from Hatton. The respect gave Collazo some distance in rounds five and six which he won.
Hatton redoubled his efforts in round seven and again outworked Collazo, occasionally scoring with right hands to the head and an assortment of body shots. He won rounds seven and eight.
It was then Collazo’s turn to pick up the pace in rounds nine and ten. Although closely contested, the rounds were clearly Collazo’s based on clean punching.
Hatton gutted-out round 11 by sheer force of will. Backing up Collazo, Hatton simply delivered a high-volume of punches, though, again, Collazo never appeared hurt.
In the final round, Collazo blasted the still-charging Hatton and hurt him with a series of right hooks and straight lefts. Hatton nearly went down. The Englishman was able to clinch and in fact closed with a furious finish. Had it not been for his close, a 10-8 scoring of the round would not have been out of the question.
Scoring of the bout was 115-112; 115-112; and 114-113 all for Hatton. JEBoxing scored the bout 114-113 for Hatton.
Dangerous bouts at 147 await Hatton. Collazo is certainly a top 10 fighter, but likely a notch below the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosely, and Oscar De La Hoya. Would this bout have been different if one of those names replaced Collazo? It’s hard to know but there is the sense that Hatton, who is an above average puncher at 140 --- but not devastating --- is merely average at 147. He retains his strong desire and willingness to combat every second of every round.
After the bout, Hatton seemed at least willing to consider moving back to 140 where he most naturally fits. Miguel Cotto and others await at 140 and big money would accompany. Naturally Hatton would gain major pay-per-view money by taking on Mayweather et al. at 147 but the risk may not justify such rewards.
Ricky Hatton has some decisions to make.