World Boxing News is reporting that British superstar Ricky Hatton has stated that he wouldn't mind coming to New York to fight Paulie Malignaggi in a rematch of their 2008 encounter. Currently Hatton is in the midst of training for his comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko, but took a little time to discuss the potenital bout and its location. Here's what he had to say:
"I thought Paulie's fight with Cano was very close, but I thought he won the fight and 114-113 was probably about right. If I get the performance I'm expecting against Senchenko on November 24th at the Manchester Arena, then I'd love the chance to fight Paulie again either at Madison Square Garden or the new arena in Brooklyn. The New York boxing fans and the 'Hitman Barmy Army' from the UK would make the Big Apple bounce!"
I'm sure Hatton had to like what he saw Saturday night from Malignaggi. The slick boxer from Brooklyn struggled to take a split decision from the exciting, yet limited, Pablo Cano. I'm sure that performance had to whet Hatton's appetite for a rematch just a little bit. It's also not out of the question, however, that Paulie could have been looking past Cano, and also perhaps felt a lot of pressure fighting in his hometown.
The thought of the fight being in New York is interesting. One might would think with Hatton being the main draw he would prefer it to be held in England. Nevertheless, despite his insane domestic popularity, he has ventured to the United States several times in the past in an effort to expand his fanfare. Incredibly, his fans travel more than the Harlem Globetrotters, and show up in droves to watch him perform no matter where he goes off to.
It could really be a great spectacle with thousands upon thousands of British fans showing up in New York. In fact, even if it were in New York (either Madison Square Garden or Barclays) and not England, there would be more Hatton fans than Malignaggi ones.
Either way, Hatton has some business to take care of first at welterweight with Senchenko. If he is successful, I would not be surprised if this happens in the spring.
Their first fight, four years ago, took place in Las Vegas, NV. Thus far, it is Hatton's final victory as his next opponent was a prime Manny Pacquiao. Hatton looked good during the bout, constantly pressuring Malignaggi while landing the harder, cleaner blows. Ultimately, Buddy McGirt, then Malignaggi's trainer, threw in the towel much to Paulie's chagrin. At the time a rematch would have seemed like an extremely silly and unnecessary venture. But oh how time can change things.