by James Slater – According to an article in today’s Manchester Evening News – the local paper of Ricky Hatton – “The Hitman’s” mega-fight with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao is a done deal, and all that has still to be determined is the location and venue of the May fight. Ray Hatton, Ricky’s father and manager, told the paper his son is still extremely hopeful the fight will take place in London, at Wembley. Pacquiao and his team want the fight to be staged in Las Vegas..
According to Hatton’s father, Ricky has also changed his mind about wanting to have just two more fights in 2009, before calling it a day at the very top. Ricky, now that he has re-fallen in love with boxing, after at one time appearing to have grown somewhat stale, says he now sees himself boxing in 2010.
“He said to me that if he wins his next fight, he will be looking at another year,” Ray Hatton said. “A lot depends on your performances and he’s got that hunger back.”
Indeed, the 30-year-old looked as good as ever in winning his debut under new trainer Floyd Mayweather Senior back on November 22nd – when he forced Paulie Malignaggi’s corner to throw in the towel in the 11th round of their big fight. But when Ricky says he will fight on if he wins his next fight, the if grows in size when one considers just who he will be squaring off with next time out. Beating “Pac-Man” will be no easy task, and should Hatton lose, he may well change his mind yet again – especially if he loses badly.
Hatton’s father spoke of how his son has not yet given up hopes of the summer bout being held in London.
“As far as we are concerned the fight is all but done,” Ray said. “We are just fighting our corner in terms of the location. For the British fans we want to have it over here and we are trying to put together a package to show that we can financially equal or better what they can do over there. We are trying desperately, but we cannot afford to lose the fight. Manny Pacquiao is the hot ticket at the moment.”
To this writer, the chances of Pacquiao Vs. Hatton taking place in the UK are slim, but Hatton is sure he will fight in front of a huge, 100,000 crowd at Wembley one day, wanting as he does to fulfil this ambition before he finally retires.
“He will definitely fight in England again,” Ray added. “He said that even if he has to make an extra fight, he will fight over here again.”
Hatton, who has an absolutely huge army of fans, loves nothing more than fighting on home soil in front of them. It seems there is a good chance he will not enjoy the experience against Manny Pacquiao, however.