It would have been different if Steve Smoger, for example, had been the referee. He’d have allowed Hatton to get inside and do his thing. But would it have changed the outcome of the fight? Not at all. Mayweather was a great fighter, one of the best in history, and he always found a way to win.
Hatton wasn’t dealt with fairly by Joe Cortez, I don’t think anyone can dispute that. But I don’t believe it had a bearing on the outcome. There was a feeling before that Ricky might be able to rough up Mayweather but it turned out that Floyd was just as good at the rough stuff. That Hatton was stopped by Mayweather said it all about how hard Ricky tried. He gave everything he had.
I was there with Joe Calzaghe, I stood next to Juan Manuel Marquez in the ring, I was like a kid. Cortez played a big part in that fight but I don’t believe he changed the outcome but I do believe it would have been closer. Mayweather was a great fighter and whatever Ricky did, or was allowed to do, he’d have adapted and found a way to win.
None whatsoever. I gave Hatton no chance from the moment that fight was announced. I was interviewed on Sky Sports beforehand and I said that Mayweather would knock him out. So it proved. The only surprise was that Hatton lasted into the 10th round.
Read Thomas Hauser’s masterful inside account of Mayweather vs Hatton here