Boxing


Only 8 Days Away: Ricky Hatton v Manny Pacquiao

24.04.09 - By Tony Pill - Ricky Hatton is arguably facing his toughest test on May 2nd when he squares off with Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is coming fresh off his victory over Mexican legend Oscar De la Hoya up at 147 pounds. The fight was for the ever prestigious pound for pound title, something that Hatton desperately craves for..

The fight hasn't generated as much interest as the Mancunian's meeting with Mr Floyd Mayweather but will have the same intensity as that night in Vegas.

With 68 knockouts from 93 victories between the two, the fight's not going to be for the faint hearted. Both are explosive fighters but not particularly one punch KO artist's.

However, with the Pac Man being naturally the much lighter and smaller man, the Hitman must have that department covered. He's got to take advantage by staying close and to physically take control. Slow his man down with those rib crunching body blows, if he wants to snatch that pound for pound title away.

Freddie Roach, arguably the best boxing trainer around, is a master tactician, and a realist. Having the services of a Mr Roach could possibly be the main key to the outcome. He'll be drilling his man in the gym, to stay on his toes and use his superior speed, twisting and turning Hatton. Not allowing Ricky to set his feet, working his way in and out. If he doesn't abandon the Roach game plan we could witness the little man victorious within a new weight division.

Watching closely from the opposite corner will be the charismatic Mayweather snr. He'll be well aware that most of Pacquiao's career was competed at feather and super feather, two and three weight divisions below light-welter. Go back only six years, 2003 and he was fighting at super-bantam, just shy of 20lbs lighter than what he's proposed to fight at on May 2nd.

It's nearly impossible to compare the De La Hoya fight with this contest. One could argue that the Mexican was too big, with speed conquering size. Although the Golden Boy is one of the modern greats and fought the Pac Man at an astonishing 147lbs, there are many factors to take into account. Firstly the weight issue, many people were in disbelief when their fight was announced, and gave Pacquiao little chance. That should of been the case, but with benefit of hindsight the Mexican drained his weight so evidently and drastically hindered his main advantage, strength.

The fight lies, for both men, with what tactics they intend on using and if they're successful in the execution of them. For the man from the Philippines, it's a hit and move contest, having Hatton chase him around the ring. Making that southpaw stance as awkward as possible, catching him on the way in with that stinging left hand and lightning right hook. But most crucially not to stand toe-to-toe and work with the jab that proved effective in his bout with lightweight champion David Diaz.

But the fight will be in the Englishman's hands, with the obvious physical advantages. If Hatton can manage to use educated pressure and effectively press Manny back and not try and steam roll him. If he's able to utilise his strength and size, the Hitman could be in for a far earlier night than what most expect.

Throw into the mix the likelihood of cuts, don't expect this fight to go to the scorecards.

From every angle this fight could have us in for a memorable night. Maybe even a classic!

Article posted on 24.04.2009



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