Hatton continued his frenetic pace into the 2nd round and a shell-shocked Tszyu, who was known to be a slow starter took some punishment from uppercuts on the inside from a very busy Hatton.
Tszyu finally found his rhythm – and his class – in the 3rd and continued to do so in the 4th by taking both rounds. However, Tszyu – looking every bit of his 35 years against the younger, fitter Hitman, gasped with gaping jaw as Hatton roughed up his opponent.
In the 5th, with Tszyu seemingly taking control, Hatton took two huge right hand shots, but walked through as if unfazed by Tszyu’s arsenal. This could be a pivotal moment in the fight as Tszyu would realise that he was in for a long night, and he certainly wasn’t going to have it all his own way.
Hatton reminisced on the 10th anniversary of the fight, “I knew if I could get through 4 or 5 rounds I’d be in with a real chance,”
The 6th belonged to the Champion, with Tszyu landing the more precise shots. In rounds 7, 8 and 9 the rough fighting literally hit new lows with several low blows from Tszyu, one of which caused Hatton to take a knee, which was answered by a deliberate low blow from the challenger, which Doubled over Tszyu, who needed a full 90 seconds to deal with the shot(and no doubt gulp down some much needed oxygen).
Hatton had in the middle of these shenanigans, landed a huge right hand body shot in the 8th, that caused Tszyu to visibly wilt.
Hatton knew his chance was upon him and recalled “When that happened I knew to put the foot down. I could take chances and I could also take a punch much better at that stage of my career.”