This past Saturday was MMA light, as the UFC, Bellator and other bigger promotions took the weekend off, but boxing stepped into the forefront with several high profile clashes. Former two time world champion Ricky Hatton, still perhaps the most popular boxer in England, failed in his comeback attempt against Vyacheslav Senchenko despite being a 4 to 1 favorite. In a match where he was a slight underdog, Robert Guerrero took the Unanimous Decision over former titleholder Andre Berto, thereby paving his way to bigger fights. Let’s take a look at both fights….
Hatton started out boxing well, and was in fact ahead on some of the judges cards when the end came. By the middle rounds, Senchenko had Hatton’s face swollen, and in round 9, he landed a body shot that Hatton could not recover from.
Shortly after the fight, Hatton again retired, but there is always a possibility we will see him again. He is England’s biggest draw, as this comeback showed – he drew 20,000 plus fans to this last fight, seeling out the MEN Arena before an opponent was even announced.
But Hatton is done as far as high level boxing is done. Since he is so popular, my betting goal was to sit and watch as he won a few fights, and then pinpoint the underdog who would beat him. But Senchenko stopped this comeback before it started. Kudos if you caught this underdog! I still think you might see Hatton again, possibly in a lucrative bout against fading Amir Khan, another darling of the British fans.
In Andre Berto’s case, he looked very sloppy from the get go, and he hit the canvas twice before making a bit of a better showing in the later rounds. Guerrero firmly established himself in the 147 lb weight class, as this is a quality win.
Guerrero will lobby for a major fight, and he has been calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr for more than a year. Whether this win is enough to propel him to those lofty heights remains to be seen, but Guerrero dispelled talk that he is a blown up lightweight by getting the job done.
Berto is still just 29 years old, but with this loss coming off 14 months of inactivity and a positive drug test, Berto has left more questions than answers.
Up next for fans of boxing is Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez 4, which is certainly a bout that will decide what fights we see in the first half of 2013!