RIcky Hatton knows what it's like to move up in weight to face Luis Collazo. He did exactly that in 2006, barely winning a debatable decision before wisely dropping back down to 140 pounds for his next fight. It's because of this experience that Hatton feels the need to warn that it will be a difficult task for his countryman Amir Khan to successfully move up and defeat Collazo on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather - Marcos Maidana on May 3.
In a report by Mancunian Matters, Hatton states that the fight will be very tough for Khan and that Khan will have to fight more disciplined if he is to win.
"i just think it's a horrible fight for Amir. There are easier fights he could have had, but that's why we love him. My advice for Amir is, if his team thinks he will go to war like he has done in the past, it's going to be a very, very tough night for him. He's going to have to be disciplined. If he uses his speed and boxing ability I think he will win. But if he goes to war, which is what he tends to do, he's got a big heart and he likes to get stuck in, he could come a cropper.
"100 percent I give Amir credit for taking the fight. Collazo's a southpaw, he's big, he's fast, he's just beaten Victor Ortiz in two rounds – a great win – and I'm a bit shell-shocked. I'm sure there are other welterweights he could have gone in with who are world class but not big punchers.
"When I fought Luis Collazo, back when I was young and fresh, my chin was as solid as a rock. Only a few fights before I'd fought Kostya Tzsyu and I'd walked through everything he threw at me. I was always a very physically strong light-welterweight and I had a good chin.
"Collazo's an all-rounder. As a light-welterweight, I was able to throw people around a little bit at 10 stone – even Kostya Tszyu at the time. But when I went up seven pounds, the first time I went in with Collazo at close quarters and I just tried to nudge him, he didn't move. And I thought, 'Jeez,' this is different. You'd like to think Amir will beat him if he sticks to his boxing, but if he goes to war it would be the worst thing he could do."
Hatton is able to bring some great perspective here because he did exactly what Khan is attempting to do. The difference could be that Hatton and Khan are very different fighters. Hatton was an aggressive swarmer who attacked the body and tried to bully his opponents. Khan is, at least when he is at his best, more of a classical boxer who uses a jab to set up his offense and double as his defense.
When Khan sticks to boxing and doesn't try to be brave, he can be awfully effective. But can he be disciplined enough to pull it off? I don't think Collazo is as big of a puncher as the KO of Victor Ortiz suggests, but one doesn't need to be Rocky Marciano to hurt Khan.
Do you agree with Hatton that this is a horrible fight for Khan?