Boxing: Hatton Can Make History against Collazo
Bunce, Steve, The Independent (London, England)
It has been a difficult six months for Ricky Hatton but the frustration will end tonight in Boston.
Hatton will challenge the American Luis Collazo for the World Boxing Association welterweight title at the TD Banknorth Arena in a fight that has been on and offsooften that many in the business stopped caring a long, long time ago.
Hatton has tried his best to stay calm and gain the extra 7lb needed for his move from light welterweight to welterweight, but the endless months of uncertainty, debate and legal dispute have without doubt undermined what is, in many ways, a bold and brilliant move on his part.
Last June, Hatton won the International Boxing Federation light welterweight title with one of the finest performances by a British boxer in many years, forcing Australia's idol Kostya Tszyu to quit at the end of an 11th bruising round.
Five months later, Hatton added the WBA version at the weight to his collection when he knocked out Carlos Maussa in round nine of a bloody and entertaining brawl in Sheffield.
At the time Hatton was the undisputed light welterweight champion of the world and seemingly untouchable, but he quickly started to suffer defeat away from the ring - in the courtrooms of America and, far more importantly, in the offices of the sport's governing bodies.
It was inevitable that Hatton would not be able to keep everybody happy and because of his bitter relationship with his former promoter, Frank Warren, there was always the risk of something serious going wrong at some point.
Several fights against high-profile boxers were mentioned but it is now clear that nobody in America was serious about risking their titles or their reputations in a fight against Hatton.
Fighters only take risks if the men behind them have secured an awful lot of money and clearly Hatton's
minders were not throwing anywhere near enough money at the men their boxer wanted to fight.
However, Collazo was found and he is an ideal opponent for a boxer switching to a heavier division. …