31.03.09 – by James Slater – It’s likely Ricky Hatton will have more than a few fight people agreeing with him, but Manny Pacquiao is not one who shares the view of his upcoming opponent when he says “Pac-Man’s” win over Oscar De La Hoya last December was something of a fluke. Both Hatton and Pacquiao were in Los Angeles yesterday, attending a promotional event to further sell tickets to their May 2nd super-fight, and Hatton spoke out about his 140-pound rival’s huge win..
Hatton began by telling those gathered that Manny’s win over De La Hoya last year, in effect, means nothing – so weight-drained and weakened was the former “Golden Boy.”
“Any win against Oscar is a magnificent one. Is that the Oscar De La Hoya we have come to love? I don’t think so,” Hatton said. “And only Oscar can say what happened on the scales. He looked a shell of the Oscar we know. I don’t think it was hard to beat Oscar that night.”
It’s likely Hatton will be hoping what he says is correct. For what Ricky may be banking on is the hope that Pacquiao, as great as he is, has not yet proved he can handle himself against a fully strong fighter who boxes above lightweight. Did Manny’s welterweight win over De La Hoya flatter to deceive?
Hatton will certainly be the bigger man in the ring on May 2nd, but he feels the fight will be as much about his own speed as it will his southpaw rival’s.
“A lot of people are seeing it as size versus speed and a lot of people thought Paulie Malignaggi would out speed me and that wasn’t the case and that was only after seven weeks with my new training team,” Hatton said. “We’re even quicker again. If you could see how fast I’m performing, there’s not that big a gap there. Ultimately, I think size will play a big factor. He [Pacquiao] has dangers in other areas, like his speed and footwork, but I’m boxing a lot cuter than I was a few years ago.”
Pacquiao said he thinks the fans who feel his win over De La Hoya is tainted believe Hatton when he says Oscar messed up the weight.
“That’s what people believe. Maybe they were rooting for Oscar and maybe they were fans of Oscar,” Pacquiao said. “It’s hard to make reasons or alibis after the fight. It’s not good.”
According to a report on ESPN, yesterday Hatton weighed approx 150 pounds and said he was, “feeling very good.” While Pacquiao tipped in at approx 148, and said that training with Freddie Roach was, “going well.”
Hatton finished off by speaking about how he began camp for this fight quicker than for previous bouts.
“We started training camp earlier, started sparring earlier, started running earlier,” Hatton said. “It’s just because of the size of the fight. It’s a fight I massively believe I can win. A boxer can’t get any higher if he’s the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Whether or not Hatton will actually supersede Pacquiao as the reigning P-4-P number-one is something fans have been discussing on this web site, but what is certain is the fact that Hatton will have scored his carer-best win if he can prevail on May 2nd.