UK press is doing a lot of talking about Ricky Hatton being in line to fight Oscar de la Hoya since Floyd Mayweather, Jr., has "retired" and absolutely will not be fighting Oscar in September.
Thankfully, it's not going to happen, according to Oscar himself.
"I'm a naturally bigger guy in a different weight class, so I would rule it out. Ricky's doing a tremendous job at 140 pounds ... that's where he belongs. I wouldn't advise him to go up to 147. Those few pounds make a big difference."
If that reads as a diplomatic way of Oscar saying, "How are we going to sell that fight to anyone but the UK fans?" then you're reading it the way I am. It'd be a no-doubt massive live draw if they fought in England, and would surely do a good crowd in Vegas or Los Angeles over here, but come on. You can't convince anyone that Ricky Hatton has a hope in hell against Oscar de la Hoya at 147-150 pounds. He has no reach, he's too small, it's just not in the cards. We all know for sure that 140 is Ricky's cap, and that Ricky also isn't the same fighter he used to be, anyway.
But how about a fight with Manny Pacquiao? Manny wants it.
"After (David) Diaz, I want to fight Ricky Hatton. That will be a good fight. I'm 150 pounds right now. My sparring partners have always been 140 to 150 pounds. It's not a problem for me. And I'm not getting any younger, so why not?"
Now that's a fighter's attitude. "Why not?" If Manny looks good at 135, then that'd be my attitude, too. Why the hell not? Hatton-Pacquiao would be a global attraction of the first order. Arguably the two most passionate, vocal fanbases in boxing would clash. I'd just love to read some of the disgusting, vitriolic message board banter from their fans (I'm not lumping all fans of either man together, but we've all been to the crass boxing boards, so you know what I mean).
And it would be a good fight. Why not!
All that said, it doesn't sound like there's any plan for Hatton to forego a fight with Paulie Malignaggi this fall/winter. The best news is that we will not see the physical mismatch that is Oscar-Ricky.