17.02.09 – By Alistair Donkin – I am not solely a diehard Ricky Hatton fan. I am a fan of boxing, a fan of the sport of Kings where chance does not often come into the equation, where blood sweat and tears are left in the ring, where the best man wins. If that man is Manny Pacquiao I will not be sad..
I spend much of my time on boxing websites, I study all future fights in extreme detail, I won nearly $2000 on old man Hopkins destruction of hard hitting Kelly Pavlik, picked an old ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley to destroy Antonio Margarito. I look deeply at statistics, study past fights and consider in depth and great details the outcomes of many fights. After reviewing and considering many factors relating to the fight of the century between two battle hardened warriors Hatton and Pacquiao I have come to the conclusion that the answer is simple.
It is not too difficult to pick Pacman from a writer’s perspective. Pacquiao had a marvellous 2008. He not only beat but destroyed the Golden boy himself at an unfamiliar weight class, demolished top 5 ranked strong lightweight David Diaz at his first fight at 135lbs and beat (yet in my opinion not convincingly) number #2 P4P Juan Manuel Marquez. Not bad for a year’s work. An awful lot of writers find it hard to go against Pacquiao against any possible opponent at this time. He is quite simply the man to beat. #1 P4P. Surely he must defeat a brawler like Hatton who was kayoed against a brilliant Mayweather, a fighter of Pacquio’s calibre? I have however always been one to go against the grain. Or not jump on the bandwagon.
Without diminishing Pacquiao’s accomplishments in 2008 I feel each fight should be looked at realistically on a one by one basis considering time and circumstances without getting carried away with names. Juan Manual Marquez, yes a fabulous and extremely talented boxer but he beat Pacquiao. Period. David Diaz was a champion and a brave one but was also cherry picked opponent who was never going to offer any major resistance to Pacmans bid for a piece of the gold at lightweight. He was simply too slow and Pacquiao’s promoter knew this. Oscar dela hoya was a mere image of his former self, was severely weight drained and quite simply couldn’t ‘pull the trigger’ like Freddie Roach correctly spotted.
Ricky Hatton is a rugged brawler from Manchester and an experienced pro in the light welterweight division. Aside from his transitions up to the welterweight division I have not seen anything at 140lbs to suggest hatton can be beaten. Yes he is not a slick boxer, does not have the skill set of Mayweather or Mosley, does flaunt the rules ever so slightly but he is a beast at 140lbs and in his last performance against powder puff Malignaggi he resembled a jack hammer versus a tooth pick. Pacman does not and has not fought at 140lbs. Yes he destroyed De la hoya at welterweight but come on, let be honest? Was that really the de la hoya of old, or a weight drained shadow of his former self? Hatton on the other hand has spent his entire career at 140lbs and has never been beaten. He has beaten seasoned pros such as Kosta Tsyzu, Vince Phillips and a prime Ben Tackie and has rarely struggled at the weight class he calls home and now has the exceptional skills and guidance of Mayweather snr at his side. Pacquiao has the power, speed and southpaw stance to cause Hatton problems but I firmly believe when Hatton get Pacquiao in a corner its game over.
We all know as Freddie Roach among many others state that ‘speed kills’, but what we all need to remember is so can a jack hammer. Power versus speed, power takes this one.
It’s as simple as that.