Since my producer, Jon Hait, is just back after a two week whirlwind international vacation with exotic models, and since Jon not only has to do some TV work with me after this weekend’s Ricky Hatton vs Jose Luis Castillo fight, and more importantly since he has to spend hours editing these columns I do, I have decided to make this a very short column. I will only dissect the Hatton, Castillo fight and that’s it.
Ok here goes. First off, I hope Castillo had no weight issues leading into this, we will know by the time you read this. Both fighters are coming off less than scintillating performances. In his last fight here in Las Vegas January 12, Hatton scored a unanimous 12-round decision over a tough but somewhat limited and inexperienced Juan Urango. On that same card, Castillo struggled but pulled out a split decision over Herman Ngoudjo, another opponent with limits and lack of quality experience.
In terms of experience, both Hatton and certainly Castillo have it. Edge to Castillo because of names like Mayweather twice, Corrales twice, and many other top fighters and former champions he has faced. Big fight experience they both have it. Castillo more of it, with two fight with Diego and two with Floyd, but it doesn’t get any bigger than beating Kostya Tszyu before twenty thousand Brits. It’s even.
Castillo is age 33 and began his career in 1990. Hatton is 28 and turned pro in 1997. Castillo has had 63 fights winning 55 with 47 KO’s. Hatton has a spotless record of 42-0 with 30 KO’s. The youth advantage will be a very big edge for Ricky who has not had all the wars that Jose has had.
Boxing ability, both can box, slight edge to Castillo. Punching power, both can punch. Hatton can really bang to the body, but does not have devastating one-punch power. Castillo does, and we know what it is, the left hook, which he is capable of knocking Hatton out with at any time during this fight. One-punch power edge to Castillo. Defense, well both can be hit. Hatton is trying to move his head more these days. Castillo’s problem is he has really slowed down. Defense at this point in their careers is about even. In terms of Chins, well we know Castillo has can take a great punch, but of his seven losses, five have been stoppages. Hatton has never been stopped, but has been down, I believe only once, but has been hurt a few times. The edge here would go to Hatton again because of his youth and the fact that Castillo may be in the same neighborhood as Erik Morales meaning he may be a spent fighter.
Intangibles, well they both have plenty of reasons to win particularly the future big paydays for both especially Hatton. As for Castillo a win here could do a do a lot to help him restore his reputation that has been seriously tarnished following the weigh-in debacles of the past. Castillo is also in the twilight of his career and this could be his last shot at the big time boxing stage, which translates also into big time paydays. Given his age and where he is at in terms of his career and given his popularity overseas, Hatton win, lose or draw will still have more big paydays, but he has yet to lose and really doesn’t know how to lose at this point which is a good thing for any young fighter. Hatton also is a smart guy and a smart fighter as he demonstrated to me on our TV show in the in ring segment, but he doesn’t think to the point where he makes for a boring fight. In fact he is just the opposite as he is one of the most exciting fighters in the game do to his tremendous aggression.
This aggression along with the boxing skills that he does possess and his youth will carry him through with a late round stoppage or decision win over Castillo. This should be a very exciting fight all the way through.
I know I promised that I would only comment on this fight but I do want to at least mention Paulie Malignaggi and his win over Lovemore N’dou. While Malinaggi will never be an all time great, do to his total lack of punching power; he is a good quality fighter, fun to watch and a good kid. And although he likes to hit and not get hit, which is the idea, he still has shown big time heart when he survived 12 rounds with Miguel Cotto despite having broke bones in his face. Zab Judah couldn’t do that. Malignaggi is a lower case or poor man’s Hector Camacho, but I like him and he will be an entertaining fighter for as long as he chooses to fight. I will review Hatton vs Castillo next week on fightnews.com and don’t forget to check out inthiscornertv.com for plenty post fight video as well.