by James Slater – Over the weekend, a news story was published in The Daily Telegraph that reported how Ricky Hatton’s assistant trainer Lee Beard predicts a stoppage win for “The Hitman” in his mega fight against Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd. Beard even said which round he believes his fighter will score the KO or stoppage in – the 6th..
Naturally, such talk will be seen as nothing more than the usual bravado a fighter and/or his team members are expected to have when approaching a big fight. However, Beard says he has made his prediction based on a number of “mistakes” the Filipino great has been seen to make in a number of his more recent fights. According to the article, the assistant coach has also been present “a couple of times” when “Pac-Man” has been training in the gym. Here too, Beard claims he saw Pacquiao make mistakes his fighter Hatton will capitalise on come May 2nd.
“In this fight, I believe that Manny will make the same mistakes as normal and Ricky will capitalise,” Beard is quoted as saying. “If Ricky does get his shots off when these mistakes are made, [then] this fight could be a lot easier for Ricky than people think.”
An easy fight for Hatton!? This, of course, is very interesting. The assistant trainer did not reveal what Pacquiao’s mistakes were/are, but it seems he meant what he said, as opposed to merely bluffing about the whole thing and that in fact he saw no obvious errors the southpaw dynamo makes in the ring. No fighter is flawless, obviously, but has Beard spotted some things errant in Manny’s style that no-one has before?
Beard also added in the article that Hatton has been doing extremely well in camp, and that sparring has also been going very well – with Ricky sparring guys from the 130 to 135-pound range. Allegedly, Hatton knocked one of these fighters clean out during a session of sparring; with a single punch!
The experts are somewhat divided when it comes to picking a winner from this light-welterweight showdown. In no way is Pacquiao an overwhelming, can’t-lose favourite. Yes, “Pac-Man” gets the nod from a few more experts than does Hatton, but this fight is definitely one that could go either way. Though he has looked quite awesome in his last few fights – especially last time out against Oscar De la Hoya – it must not be forgotten that Pacquiao will be the naturally smaller man come May 2nd, and that neither he nor anyone else is unbeatable.
It’s been a while since Manny lost a fight – back in March of 2005, to Erik Morales – but he has yet to win a fight at 140-pounds. If Team-Hatton have indeed “seen something” that they plan to use to great effect in less than three months time, the super-fight we are all looking forward to just might be a bout that gives Manchester, England’s finest boxer his career defining victory!
It goes without saying, however, that Team-Pacquiao will leave no stone unturned when it comes to pre-fight preparations themselves.