I heard that they were offering half price tickets to the fight last night. Can anyone confirm this? If I had known earlier, I might have headed down to the new Garden/Shawmut/Fleet/TD banknorthWhatever and taken advantage of that.
What I read was that they offered half-off on the $150 seats to fans who showed a ticket to the rained out Red Sox game. They got 112 takers. The total attendance was a little over 6,200, which is realy not bad for a fight in the lighter weight classes, especially when there's no "hometown hero" involved. The Jose Antonio Rivera-Alejandro Terra Garcia fight last weekend in Worcester drew 4,800 despite Rivera's local popularity.
Anyway, regarding Hatton's future, this being boxing, the real question isn't how good he is, but is he perceived to be marketable after this fight. That and only that will determine if he can get the "big fights." HBO has a much bigger audience than Shwowtime, so most fans were seeing Hatton for the first time. How many of them come away from that fight saying, "I can't wait to see tha tguy fight again." Not too many, I'll bet. I had Hatton winning 114-113, but especially if this were the first time I'd seen Hatton, I wouldn't be excited about his next fight.
At this point, Hatton's best asset is probably his very likable out-of-the-ring personality, because many "casual" boxing fans will pay more attention to that than to Hatton's boxing abilities.
In fact, a lot of hardcore fans are taken in by his persona. I could never figure out why he won fighter of the year in 2005. The fact that Tszyu quit on his stool (though it was actually his trainer who stopped the fight) clouded the fact that the fight was pretty close to that point (105-104, 106-103 & 107-102 all for Hatton; decent lead but not a blowout. Two good rounds and a knockdown would have won the fight for Tszyu), and this was against a 35-year old guy coming off an injury who'd fought once in the previous 2 /12 years and for that matter, just three times since November of 2001 -- once per year. And in Hatton's home arena on top of all that.
After that, Hatton beat Carlos Maussa, a belt-holder, yes. But come on, Vivian Harris choking in his fight with Maussa is the best thing that ever happened to Hatton because Maussa was just a Columbian version of Mayorga. And in fact, Mayorga's better. Maussa didn't even really apply pressure to Hatton in that fight, as Mayorga would have. He just swung for the fences and hoped he connected. Still, it took Hatton nine rounds to get the guy out of there. No way he would have beaten Harris.
Last night just proved that Hatton's a tough cookie and a charismatic guy, but he's not an elite fighter. The question is, will toughness and charisma be enough to get him the big fights? His best move may be taking a rematch with Collazo, hoping to beat him more soundly to "erase" the memories of this one.