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Hatton vs. Marquez, Malignaggi's victory, and the shape of the 140lb landscape!

There have been reports as of late that former junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton will be making his comeback next year against lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez. Many question Hatton's decision to continue fighting, taking into account the way he looked on the canvas after he had fallen prey to a brutal knockout by pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao this past May.

Hatton insists he has an itch to return to the ring. Marquez believes Hatton is the fight he needs in order to move in a positive direction with his career, following the one-sided loss to Mayweather this past September. Both combatants know that they must win this fight in order to get rematches with the two common opponents who have defeated each of them - Pacquiao and Mayweather.

Where does former IBF junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi stand, following his impressive unanimous decision win over Juan Diaz?? In the post-fight interview with Max Kellerman, Malignaggi made it clear that he would like to face Marquez, with the winner getting a fight against Hatton. Now that Hatton and Marquez have a mutual interest as well as a verbal agreement to face one another, at least according to Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez, Malignaggi may be forced to look else where for the time being.

How about a Junior Welterweight Super Six Tournament?  What say you, HBO?

This commentator believes a tournament, not unlike the Super Six Tournament currently unfolding at 168lbs on Showtime, would be appropriate for the 140lb division which appears to have grown deeper over the past couple of years. HBO has been hinting at a tournament, involving four fighters in a total of three fights that would practically mirror the middleweight world series that took place in 2001, but considering the depth of talent at 140lbs right now I do not believe such a condensed competition would be sufficient enough to reveal the true crème of the crop. There are certainly more than four titleholders and top contenders whom I believe would qualify in this proposed junior welterweight Super Six.

WBO champion Timothy Bradley, who unanimously out pointed Lamont Peterson this past weekend, is an obvious selection.

WBA kingpin Amir Khan of England, who just stopped Dimitriy Salita in less than a round almost two weeks ago, would be a worthy addition to the tournament.

Current IBF titlist Juan Urango, whose only losses have come against Hatton in 2007 and WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto this past May in a welterweight title bout, is another viable candidate.

How about power punching brawler Marcos Maidana, the interim WBA titlist, who forced young Victor Ortiz to say No Mas in what was a barbaric knock down, drag out of a battle this past June?

Undefeated Devon Alexander, who currently holds the WBC strap, has a couple credible wins in his young career over former world champions Demarcus Corley and Junior Witter.

Stylistically speaking, there are a number of fascinating match ups that can be made between this diverse group of boxers, brawlers, and speedsters respectively. As you can see, Malignaggi would match up well with any of the world's best at 140lbs. Whoever were to emerge victorious from such a tournament would bare a legitimate claim the throne of world's best.

Let Hatton and Marquez face each other, in what would be a hot ticket across the pond in the United Kingdom. Perhaps Ortiz, who stopped Antonio Diaz over the weekend and is still rebounding from the loss to Maidana, can face the winner of Hatton vs. Marquez. Whoever wins between those three guys can challenge the winner of the tournament.

photo courtesy: John Booz /