Revitalised Hatton back to his best
"He was like a bar of soap," is how Ricky Hatton described Paulie Malignaggi following his impressive victory at the MGM Grand. A bottle of Fairy Liquid might have been more apt. Paulie's hands were that soft.
Which is to take nothing away from Hatton's performance. The Manchester fighter said he'd be back to his best. And he was.
But, with new trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr in his corner, Hatton showed he had a new-found thirst for learning and plenty left in the tank, bouncing, jabbing and moving his head, just as he promised he would do.
Even more encouraging than his technical polish, given his recent propensity to run out of fuel down the straight, was the fact that Hatton was still swarming all over his opponent in the championship rounds.
Malignaggi said in the build-up that he hoped Hatton would "leave his wrestling tights at home". So who'd have thought he'd bring his own?
Malignaggi quickly discovered that against the reborn Hatton, his jab, snappy as it was at times, wasn't going to be enough. It must have been like attempting to keep a pitbull at bay with a bread stick.
And so, with his brittle right hand permanently cocked but rarely triggered, Malignaggi was reduced to ducking and clinching for much of the fight, swaying on Hatton's waist like a drunk on a lamppost.
While Hatton was good, we shouldn't get too carried away. As one wag put it last week, Malignaggi packs all the punch of a peach schnapps. Shandy Bass might have been more apt.
Indeed, so aware were Hatton's fans of Malignaggi's lack of power that, even with around 6,000 of them in the Garden Arena, the fight had become a strangely muted affair by the middle rounds.
Mayweather Sr certainly wasn't getting over-excited. "There were a lot of things I was trying to tell him to do that he didn't do," he said. "He catches on fast - but Rome wasn't built in a day."
Mayweather Sr didn't seem too convinced Rome could be built by next summer either. When asked if he wanted Hatton to fight Oscar de la Hoya, should be beat Manny Pacquiao in Vegas on 6 December, he simply answered, "not really".
Mayweather Sr, who until recently trained De la Hoya, should know what he's talking about. Hatton, however, might find it difficult to say no.
Former six-weight world champion De la Hoya says he would be willing to fight 'The Hitman' at Wembley next summer. Wembley or Vegas, it would mean serious bucks.
But all Hatton fans should cross their fingers for a Pacquiao win in a fortnight's time. Any fight against De la Hoya would have to take place no lower than welterweight, and as Hatton has himself admitted in the past, that's not his domain.
Filipino superstar Pacquiao, meanwhile, started his career at flyweight and has never fought higher than lightweight. And while he is arguably the finest pound-for-pounder boxing today, you'd have to fancy Hatton's chances at 140lb.
As Mayweather Sr said: "There's no question about it, 'Pacman' is the pefect match for Ricky, I'd love to see that fight. But I don't see Pacquiao beating Oscar."
Whatever the future holds for Hatton, the British public should be cheered by his most recent display. Rumours of his demise were greatly exaggerated. It will be good to have him around for a few more fights at least.
I'm not sure if Liam Gallagher knew something about Malignaggi's right hand that we didn't, but he looked like he fancied his chances against him in the ring beforehand.
Posterity will record that Liam is fond of a scrap - and that he doesn't really like Americans - and it looked like he was ready to lay one on Malignaggi as the brash New Yorker jiggled about in front of him. And that's a fight I would have paid to see.
Those watching on TV will have noticed quite a few empty seats at the Garden Arena, and it's true the 17,000 capacity venue was only just over half full.
But while the fight was clearly a hard sell with American fans, the number of Brits in attendance - an estimated 6,000 - should be applauded.
However, four of Hatton's last five fights have been in Vegas, and with the financial situation disintegrating back in the UK, one more next summer might be asking a little too much of his faithful - and my BBC bosses. Have a heart Ricky - make it Wembley...
PS. The Mail on Sunday has reported that Lennox Lewis, who was announcing the fight for HBO, will return to the ring for "$100m". Given the current economic situation, there's more chance of me being made director general of the BBC.