Wow! To be honest, I am not overly suprised by the result, but i am suprised by how Mayweather went about it.
In the run up to the fight, the general wisdom was considered to be that Mayweather was a great boxer, but not much of a 'fighter', and had little experience of, or taste for, a toe to toe physical encounter. The same wisdom gave Hatton a clear advantage if he were able to close in and fight in the clinch, as it was out of Floyd's 'comfort zone'.
The first 5 rounds were pretty even, with HBO commentators having Hatton ahead on points by virtue of work rate and aggression. Hatton had caught Floyd off guard in the first round, nearly dropping him with a stiff jab- it was to be Hattons best round of the fight.
After the nip and tuck of the first half of the fight, a few things were clear: 1. Mayweather was as strong as Hatton. 2. His mastery of clinch defense and in fighting was as good as his range-work, and he was happy to play rough. 3. Hatton was feeling the pressure of the occasion, and was feeling frustrated, mainly by the awful refereeing.
From round 7, mayweather seemed to find a second gear (easy seeing as how his clever defence was energy sparing), and he started firing some evil combos as Hatton closed distance. These clearly hurt Hatton, and the ref was close to stopping the fight at one point, of course, hatton just bulldozed on and recovered by instinct alone, but the writing was on the wall from there on, and in the 10th, mayweather deprived Hatton of a brave points defeat with a superb counter hook that sent Hatton to the deck for only the second time in his career. Plucky to the last, Hatton beat the count, but a shot to his temple in the next combo sent him reeling and that was that.
It was only in the aftermath, with the jive talking and hype out of the equation that the level of respect Floyd has for Hatton became clear- he cried with relief/joy at winning, and paid a glowing tribute to Hatton's skill and tenacity. it was clear by the amount of work he had done on his clinch game that he had taken Hatton very seriously all along, and Ricky's sprited performance showed he was right to do so.
It is interesting to realise that whilst the run up portrayed this fight as important for Hattons legacy, it was also obviously important to Mayweather- having underperformed in all his recent fights, and been criticised for losing his taste for the game, he was clearly intent on bringing his best to the ring, and beating his oponent, not just winning the fight.
Again, that he considered Hatton of a calibre to prove these attributes to the world is a great compliment and validation of Ricky's ability.
Two things that took the shine off a hard fought and honest boxing match: 1. British fans booing the American national anthem. Disgraceful. I apologise for them. If you want to be charitable, they could have been booing the singers rendition of it, which would make it understandable, if not forgiveable
2. The referee was awful, and should never be allowed to control any fight of any importance ever again.
Outside of that, the best man won, the loser retained his dignity and earned deserved respect, we got an exciting fight, and they got more money than a small developing country will ever see
From here, Hatton can either go back to junior welterweight and continue to defend his belts in a division where his strength and power are to be feared, or he can stay at Welterweight for a mega-fight with De la Hoya. Whilst that will bring another big payday, and the combined styles will be a war, I dont see any gain outside of financial in the fight. If he won, critics would say that it was due to Oscar's age, and if he lost, then he would damage his record for nothing.
Hopefully, he will be content with securing his light-welter legacy in his own right, not go chasing glory from anothers crown.