On May 2nd in Las Vegas, shown on HBO Pay-Per-View, Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton will finally meet each other in the ring. There will have been months of hype and buzz about the fight, including a four part 24/7 series on HBO.
Manny Pacquiao is the dynamo. He has been storming up through the weight classes and toppling every foe he faces. Ricky Hatton is the rebounding champion looking for redemption. He has fought one pound for pound champion before and he got knocked out. He has a chance to fix that stain on his record. How will this fight between respected champions play out?
Meet The Fighters
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao
Height: 5’7″ Reach: 67″
48 (36) – 3 – 2
Recognized Number 1 Pound for Pound
Best Wins: KO3 & TKO10 Erik Morales; TKO11 & UD Marco Antonio Barrera), SD Juan Manuel Marquez, TKO8 Oscar De La Hoya
Last 5 fights: 5-0, 3 knockouts, spanning 3 weight classes
Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton
Height: 5’7″ Reach: 65″
45 (32) – 1
Recognized Junior Welterweight Champion
Best Wins: TKO11 Kostya Tszyu; KO4 Jose Luis Castillo; TKO11 Paulie Malignaggi
Last 5 fights: 4 -1, 2 knockouts, spanning 2 weight classes
Hatton vs Pacquiao Preview
Going into his fight with Oscar De La Hoya, many people were counting Manny Pacquiao out. He had only had one fight above 130 pounds in his career, and that was a stoppage win over the dreadfully overmatched titleholder David Diaz. Meanwhile, De La Hoya had been taking on middleweights and junior middleweights for a decade.
Ultimately, that would his downfall as he drained himself cutting weight and was but a shadow of himself on fight night. Regardless, Pacquiao put on an overwhelming show, beating Oscar to the punch and beating him up, out of the fight and out of the boxing world for good.
It’s easy to forget after that performance that it was but a year ago when the majority of people who saw the fight felt that a fellow 130 pound fighter, Juan Manuel Marquez, out-boxed Pacquiao to an easy decision win only to have the decision be handed to the thrilling, action brawler.
Could it be possible that a win over an aged and weight drained De La Hoya has left the world overestimating the abilities and capabilities of Manny Pacquiao? Surely he can’t keep on moving up in weight and taking out champions indefinitely.
Meanwhile, Ricky Hatton is the underdog in a fight despite being the recognized number one man in the division. His move up to welterweight was a failed venture. He had a scare against Luis Collazo and then was knocked out by then pound for pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather Jr. Since, he looked less than stellar in beating Juan Lazcano and then regained some of his form en route to stopping an overwhelmed Paulie Malignaggi last November.
While the two men are fairly equal in size, it has to be noted that Hatton has spent his career at 140 pounds, whereas Manny Pacquiao will only be in his second fight at such a high weight. The two men share a common weakness: slick, counterpunching boxers. Pacquiao met his in Juan Manuel Marquez and Hatton his in Floyd Mayweather. Neither faces such a problem in one another.
Both fleet of foot and both packing power, their styles are still contrasting. Pacquiao, the southpaw, focuses on throwing his right jab followed by his thunderous straight left. Hatton throws quick jabs before jumping inside to throw hooks to the body. Hatton, also a dedicated clincher and mauler on the inside, holds after he throws punches and thereby keeps his opponents from firing back.
That brings us to the first major question of the fight, will he be able to catch Pacquiao and hold onto him, throwing him off his game? Or will Pacquiao be able to dart in and out as he did against De La Hoya?
The second major question in the fight is how each man will cope with the other’s power. Pacquiao will be facing a legitimately hard punching junior welterweight. While Pacquiao’s power may not be as daunting as Kostya Tszyu’s, it combines with his speed to make his punches an altogether different and more dangerous weapon set for Hatton to face as well.
Hatton vs Pacquiao Prediction
Expect the early rounds to see Pacquiao jumping in and landing a few good 1-2 combinations. He will attempt some flurries but will miss a good deal of the shots, although the crowd will think otherwise. Hatton will have some success, missing most of his powerful body punches but getting a hold of Pacquiao enough to make the rounds close.
As Pacquiao picks up his pace after three or four rounds, he will begin opening up his repertoire of punches beyond his standard jab-left combo. Incorporating his uppercut will prove to be a decisive factor, as Hatton’s leaping inside tactics will leave him vulnerable to Pacquiao’s powerful and quick shots.
By round 5 or 6, Hatton will begin to cut and bruise. He will have begun to be slowed down, but powered on by his rowdy, chanting group of traveling supporters he will still be dangerous and fighting hard. However, Pacquiao’s damage will begin to take an insurmountable toll on Hatton’s body. After soldiering on through rounds of punishment, landing only minimal punches, finally the ref, or the corner, will step in to save Hatton in round 10.
Pacquiao TKO 10 over Hatton
Onto Mayweather vs. Pacquiao we go!