South Florida's Juan "Iron Twin" Urango will defend his title this Saturday in Las Vegas. HBO will broadcast the bout at 6:45 pm. The cable network, and a number of news sources, are billing him as a straw man opponent for Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton, a limey with a 41-0-0 record. An eliminator between Hatton and the Mexican Jose Luis Castillo is already being drooled over.
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Urango's last contentious victory -- over the Tunisian-Austrailian stick-and-move artist, Ben Rabah -- will bear almost no relation to the upcoming fight against the tenacious Hatton. Urango is telling reporters that he looks forward to the slug match.
Vegas odds have it seven to one that Urango will be hammered into the mat like a railroad spike. But some are arguing that Hatton will have a hard time at his age shedding weight (he vacated his title to move up to welterweight) and that his last victory was dubious at best. Leaving nothing to chance, Urango's manager (Tortuga -- "the turtle") has changed his voicemail to play a healthy portion of the "Rocky" theme song. "We're the underdog B," he told New Times by phone from Vegas. -Calvin Godfrey