Pacquiao, Witter and Malignaggi All Looking Towards Hatton

ricky hatton13.12.07 - By Matthew Hurley: Yesterday morning, in an interview with the Philippine radio show ‘Sports Chat’, Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach hinted that a future bout against recently deposed welterweight challenger Ricky Hatton could come about.

“They’re talking about Manny as a future opponent for somebody like Ricky Hatton down the line,” he said.

Roach went on to add that the talked about fight between his fighter and Oscar De La Hoya was nothing more than conjecture.

“I don’t believe Oscar can go down to 147. I’m not that sure if that will work out. But against Ricky Hatton, who’s maybe just as popular in his home country, it will be a huge fight for everybody. That makes the Marquez fight that much more important to Manny.”

Pacquiao is set to face off against Juan Manuel Marquez in a rematch of their thrilling draw on March 15th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Hatton meanwhile is set to take some time off before he returns to the ring. The Manchester fighter will drop back down to his natural division at junior welterweight where a possible showdown with WBC champion Junior Witter could be in the works. Paulie Malignaggi, the IBF champion, is also being mentioned as a possible opponent. The ‘Magic Man’ fights Herman Ngoudjo on January 5th at Bally’s Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

The loquacious Malignaggi has been talking up a fight with Hatton since even before he won the title against Lovemore N’dou in June of this year.

“The more I see of Ricky, the more I think he’s scared to get hit and that’s why he fights the way he does,” he said to after Hatton lost to Mayweather. “There were opportunities for him to throw punches and he chose to hold. It seems that the guy holds first and hits second. It gets ridiculous to watch. I’m sure Ricky’s a nice guy and a nice person, but as a fighter I can’t respect him. I would love to fight Ricky Hatton. I’m definitely ready for it whenever he wants to step up to the plate.”

Whether he respects Hatton or not Malignaggi will have to play the waiting game just like Junior Witter because Hatton, though intent on resuming his career and getting back out in front of his rabid fans, is also looking forward to a month or two of rest and his favorite indulgence – Guinness and fatty foods.

But Malignaggi, as is his wont, will continue to verbally jab the man he believes will bring him the biggest pay day of his career.

“Madison Square Garden makes perfect sense,” he says with a smile. “He can get his second loss and everybody would be happy.”

Article posted on 14.12.2007

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