The Sweet Science – Analyzing the Data for the Mayweather v. Hatton Fight
Is this the return of the Sweet Science?
Sorting through the data on these two welterweights prior to the fight is one thing – records, opponents, controversial decisions, disputes. Then there’s the hype – who likes their pints and whoppers, who likes bling and expensive cars. I gave up trying to figure out all the various “sanctioning bodies” like the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBO, NABC, and the IBF founded by a guy who didn’t get to be president of WBA, so he left, founded his own boxing entity. No one took it seriously until Larry Holmes relinquished his WBC title to fight for and win the IBF title. Then “Mr. I’ll-go-start -my- own- thing” got sent to jail for tax fraud and racketeering. (I hope Holmes got something for the credibility he lent the organization.)
Tonight’s WBC Welterweight Championship Fight
For tonight’s fight, forget the rest of the alphabet soup: we’re going to focus on the the WBC. This is the sanctioning body for the Welterweight title that Mayweather is defending. What do we know about Floyd Mayweather and Rickey Hatton? They are both accomplished fighters. Some of what we learn tells as much about the sport as it does about the fighters.
At weigh-in Friday afternoon Hatton weighed 145; Mayweather, 147. Mayweather is the current champion and favored, but I’m unsure what the actual odds are. Betting records were being set even two days ago, so I’m sure fortunes were made and lost on the weight of each fighter, over/under, the differential as well as the total. But that’s not where the real action is, just think about this: Golden Boy Promotions (Oscar de la Hoya) can write a check for 10 mill to Mayweather just to show up. And guess who gets first crack at the winner? Don King is never far from a big event and has one of the undercard fights tonight. Oscar may be a Golden Boy, but the WBC has had its share of corruption charges, lawsuits and accusations of fraud. Shocking, I know.
Weighing the other data we have, on the boxers:
- Fitted for boxing gloves as a toddler? (Mayweather)
- First put the gloves on at 10? (Hatton)
- Family of fight champions (Mayweather)
- Family of footballers, fighters and Irish bare-knuckle fighters (Hatton).
- Both are undefeated, both have been voted by Ring Magazine as Fighter of the Year (Hatton the first Brit to be so honored in 2005; Mayweather in 1998).
- Mayweather was also World Boxing Hall of Fame’s Fighter of the Year in 2002.
- Hatton was honored MBE by the Queen.
- Mayweather is practicing for Dancing with the Stars.
- Both are known for speed, both can take and deliver punches and both can go the distance.
Hatton’s home town is known for two separate serial murder events, but Mayweather saw his own father shot in his yard by an uncle and saw his mother struggle with drug addiction. But then, Hatton says when his Mom walks into the kitchen the Rice Krispies don’t say “snap, crackle, pop” they say “shut the f* up, she’s coming!” Both are fighting for some larger glory, I suppose…who knows how to factor such things into our predictions.
Tale of the tape:
- 43-3-0 (31 KOs)
- 145 lbs.
- 29 years old
- 66” reach
- gloves on at 10, too short for kickboxing, his first love
- Junior Welterweight 140
- First Brit to be named fighter of the year by Ring Magazine in 2005
- Wins v. Jr Welterweight Champions Tszyu, Maussa in 2005
- Moved to Light Welterweight in 2006 fought Castillo (the famous liver punch)
- Fights in “entertaining, crowd-pleasing fashion” inside fighter
- 38-0-0 (24 Kos)
- 147 lbs.
- 30 years old
- 72” reach
- Fitted for gloves as toddler
- Reigning Welterweight champion
- Has been champion in five weight classes
- Known for speed, timing, reflexes
- More of a purist’s boxer – doesn’t like to take hits, outside style
- Olympic Bronze, ’96 (first American to win v. Cuban in 20 years)
- Amateur record: 84-6
- Father Floyd Sr. fought Sugar Ray Leonard
- Uncles Roger and Jeff also champion fighters, Roger currently trains Floyd Jr.
Who will win?
I always like an underdog, but the thought of loaded Brits in their Union Jack attire, singing God Save the Queen…I think I gotta go with Mayweather. He seems to be a real disciplined student of the sport, learning what he can from each fight, in each weight class. Plus, there’s something about a fighter that has both Wayne Newton and 50 Cent in his posse.
The certain winners will be the WBC and Don King, Golden Boy and Oscar de la Hoya. The rest of us are just paying them for some entertainment.