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Hatton stops Castillo in four rounds!

On Saturday night, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV, World Jr Welterweight Champion Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton retained his title with a fourth round knockout of Former Two Time Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo. Hatton dominated the action for the first three rounds, rounds that were fought in close quarters for the most part. Hatton appeared to be the physically stronger fighter of the two combatants, as he out muscled Castillo in the inside and managed to land some brutal body shots. The fourth round spelt Castillo's demise as Hatton landed a vicious left hook to Castillo's liver, putting the Mexican down for the first time in his career.

As referee Joe Cortez reached the count of ten, Castillo had been cleanly knocked out for the first time in his long career. Castillo has previously been stopped on cuts, but this marked the first time that Castillo went down from a punch and could not manage to beat the count. The body shot was so devastating that Castillo did not even try to get up. Hatton raised his unbeaten record to 43-0, 31 KOs, while Castillo, who has probably seen better days, dropped his record to 55-8-1, with 47 KOs.

There are a number of fighters in the surrounding weight classes would love to get a shot at "The Hitman". World Lightweight champion Joel Casamayor, Former WBA Jr Welterweight Champion "Vicious" Vivian Harris, and newly crowned IBF Jr Welterweight Champion Paulie Malignaggi (fresh off his title-winning victory over Lovemore N'dou last weekend in Uncasville) are just a few guys calling out Hatton. Hatton, however, has entirely different intentions. He mentioned that he would love to get a crack at Pound for Pound King "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather, who currently resides in Las Vegas.

Is the Hatton finally ready to challenge Floyd, or is he bluffing knowing that Mayweather is officially retired (or to put it more realistically, vacationing)???? Hatton turned down the Mayweather fight on a number of occasions, claiming that he was not yet ready for the challenge. Last year he opted to go up to welterweight to face Luis Collazo, but he damn near suffered the first loss of his career against the bigger and slicker Collazo (who was soundly defeated by "Sugar" Shane Mosley this past February). Mayweather, whos last fight was fought in the 154lb weight division against Oscar De la hoya, is classes above Collazo in terms of slickness, ring generalship, and boxing skill.

Knowing all of these facts, I do not see a Mayweather vs Hatton fight coming to fruition anytime in the near future. We all know Hatton would love to make that kind of money, but does he really want to go through that type of hell or embarrassment in the ring? Hatton would be much better advised to concentrate on cleaning out the 140lb weight division before he opts to once again move up in weight. After all, the previous move was not as successful as he assumed it was going to be. More realistic options for Hatton would be Malignaggi and Harris (should Harris get past WBC Jr Welterweight titlist Junior Witter).

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