Friday, December 07, 2007
There's Only One Ricky Hatton
I have been waiting for tomorrow for over a year. I waited and hoped and prayed that it would come, and tomorrow it's finally fucking here.
Tomorrow night, we shall be privy to watching a pugilistic duel that will be one for the ages... and hopefully Ricky fucking Hatton will leave Floyd Mayweather's black ass in a bloody mess on the canvas.
It is a fight that is very nearly out of the movies. We have Floyd Mayweather, the loud, pompous fighter who pops off at every oppurtunity, telling the world how wonderful Floyd Mayweather is and how he is annihilates all challengers. Consistently bejewled with endless bling and trailed by a posse of hanger ons, the man is the absolute epitome of the joke that boxing has become. The issues with his ex-boxer father, the senior Floyd Mayweather, and his trainer and Uncle Roger Mayweather, are a well documented triangle of anger and hate that makes him even more ridiculous and petty.
Normally prima donnas like him don't last long in any sport- they cause too many problems and end up out in the streets. What saves Mayweather from this fate is that he may unfortunately be one of the best fighters that has ever lived. He is the finest counter-puncher in boxing, perhaps in boxing history, and his hand speed and reflexes are simply amazing. The man was born to fight, and his split second reactions to everything flying at him are proof that being in the ring was simply in his genes.
As impressed as I am by him, as a fan of boxing, I must be honest and say that I'm tired of him. I'm tired of the boisterous bullshit, the never ending shit talking, the family drama.
My message for the Pretty Boy: No one gives two shits that your father and your Uncle don't get along, Floyd. The world of us regular working folks are rife with family discord, and we don't even have your money to comfort us. We know you're fucked up- you're a fighter. That's not a career normal people choose. So please, for once Pretty Boy, spare us the crap. Shut up and fight. And please, lose.
And then, there is our boy Ricky Hatton. He trains in an old red brick steel mill in Manchester that's been converted to a boxing gym; his trainer is tattooed and toughened up by a hard life in England's ghettos (which are far, far, far tougher than you think they are). He howls every time he slugs the heavy bag, moving and swarming around the rocking black cylinder like a wolverine fighting a bear. He is the man, our working class hero that everyone expects to lose. He is Rocky, Micky Ward, and the '68 Jets all rolled into one, our body punching hero with the heart of a lion. Though he's a massive underdog, there are those of us that have faith in our boy, the Hitman from Manchester.
Ricky grew up in a family owned pub, and his garrulous nature stems directly from the old wooden barstools he learned life on. Anyone can watch him train, for the gym isn't his- it's the same old gym he's always trained in, and he is the local hero that the children come to watch, that the old women bake treats for and bring to the gym. He accepts them all with dignity, holding out some baked thing to the camera and saying, "This is how you know you've fucking made it."
He swears constantly, and they have to drag him out of the bar to get him to train. He is the man who is more comfortable on the local dive's barstool than in the Las Vegas lounge. While Mayweather wears fancy 3 piece suits and mountains of gold, Ricky wears a t-shirt and smile. He, my friends, is just like us.
Now, my message for Ricky: Go out there and do it. Do it for us. Do it for the regular working guys who punch in and out every day, whose eyes close prematurely in the night because of ten hour days in the cold. Do it because there are those of us in America who haven't given up rooting for the underdog, and haven't given up thinking that the impossible can, in fact, be achieved. For tomorrow, Ricky, you are Jim Braddock. You are the garrulous lad from the pub, the young tough who needs to prove to us, to make us believe again that we should never surrender, no matter if the odds are against us and all the bets are in. We will be praying for you, Ricky. FUCKING DO IT.