by James Slater – According to today’s edition of The Sunday Mirror, the eagerly awaited fight practically all of boxing wants to see, in Manny Pacquiao Vs. Ricky Hatton, is very much a done deal for May 2nd next year in Las Vegas. The paper states that “Pac-Man” will fight “The Hitman” on May 2nd at either The MGM Grand or The Thomas and Mack Centre, and that both boxers and their managements will finalise the details before Christmas. The news article also states how Hatton will begin training for the mega-fight on February the 1st, after he has enjoyed his traditional family cruise..
This is great news, of course. Not only are Pacquiao and Hatton two absolutely huge names, they are also both coming off great showings; Pacquaio against De La Hoya and before that Hatton against Malignaggi. The Filipino is almost universally looked at as the best fighter on the planet, pound-for-pound, while the Manchester warrior is recognised as the best in the world at 140 pounds. Now the two will meet at light-welterweight and fans all over the world will be tuning in to see who prevails.
Hatton told the paper how he has wanted this fight for some time.
“Manny has been at the very top of my radar since he beat Oscar De La Hoya,” Ricky said. “I went in with the best fighter in the world in 2007 when I lost to Floyd Mayweather Junior and I will do the same when I get in the ring with Manny. Every boxer wants to prove himself against the very best and that is what I have done again and again.”
Naturally, Hatton feels he will do better against the current P-4-P king than he did against the man who formerly held the mythical crown. And with the match taking place at Hatton’s natural weight of 140, as opposed to the 147 he met “Money” at, Hatton’s loyal followers feel their hero has a great chance of winning. Interestingly, though he has conquered at lightweight and welterweight, the just turned 30-year-old southpaw has never boxed a 140-pound rival before. There is no reason to believe Manny will have any problems fighting as a light-welter, but Hatton may think he has a slight advantage having boxed most of his career in the weight class.
One thing is for sure; this fight will not be boring. Hatton looked perhaps better than ever in stopping Malignaggi in November, and Pacquiao shocked the world with his blazing fists and sheer energy and explosiveness when doing the same to De La Hoya. Both guys became the first to force their respective opponents to be pulled out of a fight, and as such both Pacquiao and Hatton received much praise.
If either of the two popular fighters manages to emerge with a stoppage win in May, the praise they get will be even bigger. Both men will be coming to war, and the mid-ring explosion figures to be spectacular. 2008 has been a fine year for the sport, the lower weight divisions especially; fights like Pacquiao-Hatton look set to make 2009 even better!
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