Boxing

Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton - "As Good As Off"

by James Slater - It seems as though all fans of good fights will be feeling mightily depressed/angry in the next 24-hours; as the match-up that has been in jeopardy for some time now - in Manny Pacquiao Vs. Ricky Hatton - looks like it is off. As we know, money issues have been being discussed for the past few days now, and it seems these issues will not now be settled. According to a news article that has appeared on today's Telegraph.co.uk, the fight will be off unless a deal can be reached within the two fighter's camps today (Wednesday the 21st). If a late-in-the-day agreement is not reached (and it doesn't look good), a UK press conference will be held on Thursday of this week so that Team-Hatton can officially announce the May 2nd fight as being off.

A Hatton camp insider told The Telegraph earlier this morning that, "It really does look like it is off."

Also in the article is news of what promoter Bob Arum has had to say about how things have transpired recently.

"Hatton's people have been very patient, "Arum told Inside Sports.ph. "They have told [Richard] Schaefer that tomorrow morning (London time) they are calling a press conference announcing that they are calling off the fight."

Arum reportedly also said to Pacquiao's lawyer, Franklin Gacal, that he "has to have a signed copy of the contract by 6.00 PM Manila time. If I don't have it faxed to my house I can't stop these people [Hatton's team] from pulling the plug."

Though the Top Rank promoter apparently changed the 50-50 deal "Pac-Man" was not happy about to a 52-48 deal in the Filipino's favour, the deal is still not going ahead. Arum, who has done all he can to get this fight on, is at a loss right now.

"I don't know what these people [Pacquiao's team] want anymore," a fed up Arum said. "If it won't happen, it won't happen. I have no idea what Plan B is."

So there it is, it looks like, unless an eleventh hour deal can be reached, the super-fight will not happen. Hatton, as has previously been reported, already has another opponent lined up for the summer, but it's not clear if Pacquiao has. But who really cares about who the two hugely exciting fighters will face instead of each other? The fact that the best possible 140-pound match-up that can be made right now is not going to be made, is nothing short of distressing.

We'll all have to wait and see what's said at tomorrow's planned press conference to be 100% sure, but it's a good bet fight fans the world over will be looking for something to kick moments after tomorrow's announcement is over.

Article posted on 21.01.2009



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