Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Pacquiao needs to watch Hatton’s power

April 29, 2009

The bookmakers and pundits are confidently predicting a win for pound-4-pound king Manny Pacquiao in Saturday’s Las Vegas showdown against Ricky Hatton but I’m not so sure its that easy to call.

I can see their argument though; the Filipino southpaw (48-3-2) is the best fighter on the planet. He has speed, he has power, he has a good chin and the heart of a lion and I’m yet to spot a weakness in his armoury.

He has walked through divisions, claiming world titles in four different weights and with Hatton’s IBO light-welterweight belt on the line, he could make it five in a fight being billed as “The Battle of East and West.”

He was lined-up by Oscar de la Hoya as a suitably big-named, beatable opponent but “Pac-Man” didn’t lose a minute of their one-sided December contest that ended when De La Hoya retired on his stool after eight rounds.

But my only concern for him on Saturday is that he has not had to take a punch at light-welterweight and Hatton’s power could be decisive.

When Pacquiao stopped David Diaz in the ninth round to claim his WBC Lightweight belt last June he admitted that despite dominating the American, he had been hurt by him. Worryingly for Manny’s fans, Hatton (45-1) is by far a bigger puncher than Diaz.

Rightly or wrongly the likeable Hatton has suffered criticism throughout his career for his one-dimensional rugged brawler approach. He was outclassed by Floyd Mayweather in his sole defeat but has never lost at light-welterweight where he has proved time and time again that he is too strong and durable for opponents.

His last outing against Paulie Malignaggi in November was the first time he could show off the skills worked on with new trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. (the father of the only man to defeat him) and it looked impressive as he became the first man to stop the brash New Yorker with an 11th round knockout.

The key to that victory was a telling right hook at the end of the second round which rocked Malignaggi. He realised then that the Briton had too much power for him and the American tried to hold on for the remainder of the fight.

A similar situation could occur again on Saturday as I believe Hatton has too much power for Pacquiao but the Filipino does have the speed to dance away from trouble.

Pacquiao’s revered trainer Freddie Roach predicts a three round knockout: “Manny has speed, power, boxing ability – so I think he will overwhelm Ricky in this fight.”

I can only see him winning on points if Pacquiao does prove victorious but the only thing that I am confidently predicting is a classic.

PHOTO: Light welterweight boxer Ricky Hatton of England is interviewed near an image of Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 16, 2009. Hatton will face Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 2. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus

Comments

12 rounds is a definite I reckon. Who tires first will be the key

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive
 

Only Hatton can win by knockout, he’ll walk through a lot of Pacquiao’s punches, Morales beat Pacquiao in their first fight by pressuring him, the Hitman will do the same

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive
 

POOR HATTON!!!!! swallow the punches hatton….

 

stupid americans look what pacquiao did to hatton… ure researh are lame.. you should look at the athletes experience and heart… hatton only and mainly fought on british ground he fought few experienced fighters… not like pacman who not only fought but defeated every single likeable boxer there is…i bet even mayweather jr will be beaten to a pulp when they fight only marquez can sustain and counter pacman…. and by the way steve marcus you shou;d get fired you write like a 12 year old..

Posted by jophet | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •