Pac Man wins and Iím Eatiní Crow!

Ricky HattonBy Coach Tim Walker Ė On Saturday, May 2, 2009 boxing fans were treated to an amazing show of speed, power, timing and ring generalship when Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2 with 37 KOs) took on Ricky Hatton (45-2-0 with 32 KOs). After considering every variable of this fight, going thru three or four scenarios per round, evaluating both fighterís resumes and talking with other people I consider informed on the finer points of boxing I came to a prediction. I openly stated how I thought the fight would play out. Let me remind you:

I felt the fight would live up to all the hype. The feeling out period would be short if at all. I didnít feel that Hatton could be taken out easily but wasnít sure that he was ready for the aggressive southpaw style of Pacquiao. I felt that the Pac Man, on the other hand, was a wider puncher and would be more susceptible to getting caught trying to land his own punches. Thus my prediction was Hatton by mid round knock out! Man was I wrong!

I figured there would be a bunch of speed, power, great positioning and ring generalship in this fight. I was right about that. What I didnít figure is that it would be possessed by only one fighter, Manny Pacquiao. My view of the fight began to change when I watched the weigh in. My instincts about the fight began to shift a bit. Still, having already openly predicted I couldnít go back and change my pick. What I noticed was that Hatton looked virtually skeletal and frail while Manny looked thick and ripped. I started getting the feeling that maybe getting to 140 pounds was too costly. Cutting weight is one of those little nuances that general boxing viewers wonít understand. One or two pounds too much and you can lose the fight before the first bell dings.

If you have ever read my work then you know I make every effort to be even-handed and I donít make excuses for fighters. It doesnít matter if you just started boxing, are a seasoned vet or should have stopped fighting 2 or 3 fights ago. You lace Ďem up, you go in the ring, you take your lumps and deliver as much pain as you can. Having said that, here is my take on things as they stand now.

Manny Pacquiao

A lot of us moved Manny into the number 1 spot I think prematurely. His resume is outstanding and he looked excellent against Oscar Dela Hoya but I also considered the fact that Oscar agreed to go down to 147 pounds for that fight. A weight that Oscar had not attained since facing Arturo Gatti in 2001. I felt the weight loss was too much and possibly affected Oscarís performance. But the Hatton bout was at 140 pounds. A weight that was very normal for Hatton. Hatton even stated that he had no problem making the weight. It was amazing how dominate, quick and powerful Pacquiao was against Hatton. When comparing how Pacquiao and Mayweather faired against Dela Hoya and Hatton it is worth noting that Pacquiaoís performances were better.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

If you havenít heard, Floyd Mayweather is back. If youíre a true fan then you know he never really left. Still, Mayweather hasnít fought since his tenth round knockout of Hatton in December 2007 and he has never lost as a professional. At the time of his departure he sat atop the Pound for Pound rankings. The reality for Floyd is the bar of accepted achievement is higher than it is for most other fighters. His record is impressive but itís the names that we donít see on it that makes fans dismiss his claim of being the best boxer on the planet. For every Castillo there is a Sosa. For every Dela Hoya there is a Gatti. What arenít on his resume are names of any of the other fighters in his division currently considered upper level. No Cotto, Mosely, Margarito or Williams. I will stop there because that is how high the bar is set for Mayweather. I canít mentally gauge the uproar we would hear if Mayweather announced he was fighting Berto, Clottey or Forrest. But it isnít only this that plagues Mayweather. His detractors find ways to dismiss his victories regardless of his performance by claiming that his opponent wasnít that good, was too old or something similar. He is scheduled to face Juan Manual Marquez, considered Pound for Pound #2 in the world, in July and his detractors consider it a mismatch. Wow! I spoke with one fan who said even if Mayweather beat Pacquiao, Cotto and Mosely he still wouldnít look at him as an all time great. Again, wow! That is his cross to bare I guess.

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather

This fight is inevitable. Itís got to happen. But it doesnít only need to happen for Mayweather it must also happen for Pacquiao and for boxing fans all across the globe. Pacquiao is in a new league known as the 8-figure payday club and there are only a few matchups that will offer him that kind of money. A fight with Mayweather is one of them. The other 8 figure fights for Pacquiao and Mayweather are possibly Cotto (unless he loses to Clottey), Mosely, Margarito (once reinstated) and possibly Williams (if he fights at 147 again). I fully expect to see Pacquiao/Mayweather by the end of 2009. Having said that, based on Pacquiaoís recent performances and activity I canít put Mayweather ahead of him in the Pound for Pound rankings. Stating this as clearly as I possibly can, ďPacquiao is legitimately the Pound for Pound #1 boxer in the world!Ē Maybe the king of the hill (Mayweather) didnít get knocked off the hill but a New King (Pacquiao) definitely built his own hill on a firmer resume.

Coach Tim Walker

I made a bet with one Eastsideboxing.comís readers and to pay my debt, ďI, Tim Walker, though thoroughly experienced in boxing really didnít know what the hell I was talking about when I picked Ricky Hatton to beat Manny Pacquiao. I was an idiot savant and you sir are the Man!Ē Itís all in fun.

Article posted on 04.05.2009

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