By John Martinez, IronBoxing.com: Earlier this week, my colleague, Norman Lucas, and I made a prediction with regards to this weekend’s blockbuster rumble between current Pound for Pound champion of multiple weight classes, Manny Pacquaio(48-3-2-36KO’s) and his new assignment, IBO junior welterweight king Ricky Hatton(45-1-32KO’s).
Their clash will take place this Saturday on HBO PPV live from Las Vegas, NV’s MGM Grand Garden Arena..
Since our prediction first came to light, we have received multiple emails regarding the reasoning behind our forecast.
I believe that on Saturday night, Ricky Hatton will do just enough as a “boxer” to compliment his controlled aggression in order to defeat the Filipino dynamo.
Hatton has much more riding on the outcome of this fight than does his counterpart, Pacquaio. Should Pacquaio lose, his star would not be tarnished. He would still be afforded the right to continue moving on with large purse fights whereas, a Hatton defeat would drop him down to a level that many people currently have the former boxing phenom, Juan Diaz at.
That level is a place where boxers who once shined under the bright lights and glare of HBO’s cameras are now under the scrutiny of not only boxing writers and fans alike, but more importantly, the critique that comes from their own mind’s eye.
A critique that quite possibly makes them wonder if they were indeed ever that good or were they just very protected throughout most of their careers.
Hatton, I submit, will show a keen sense of timing. He gave the public a taste of this during his last outing against former champion Paulie Malignaggi. He controlled the speed of Paulie with a ramrod jab and far better head movement than he had ever shown before.
On several occasions, though he had Paulie hurt or stunned, rather than immediately attack, he patiently took a step back and continued to reset and persist with a sustained plan instead of a brawling debacle.
Christopher Roche, a friend and writer for brickcityboxing, also seconds my analysis of the fight.
“The reason why Hatton will win is twofold.
1) He showed massive will over his whole career. He beat Kosta, and he beat everyone else they threw in front of him, except PBF. Against PBF, he looked better than most did, and he held his own. If it were not for the over-officiousness of Joe Cortez, that fight would have gone the distance, in my opinion. Also, that check hook was a perfect punch that PBF landed, and Manny is not likely to land something like that against Hatton.
2) Ricky showed improvement against Paulie. I have interviewed Paulie three times, and I have seen him fight in person, many times. There are not many fighters faster than him, and Ricky made him look bad. Paulie would hold his own better against Manny than he would against Ricky.
Based on my observations, and Ricky’s improvements, I think Hatton wins.”
Another factor that I believe to be the biggest reasoning going into this fight is the Mayweather issue. Like to hate or Love to hate the Mayweathers as many do, one can not dispute their proven track records of generally batting at or close to 1000.
This fight means just as much if not more to Floyd than it does to Hatton.
If Ricky can pull off the upset, then the victory would be evidence in Floyd’s mind that he is the “best trainer in the world.”
When I asked him what a victory on Saturday night would be for him he said it would mean “I wouldn’t have to climb the mountain again”.
And on a personal level? Floyd said “the world would have to give me my due credit. It ain’t easy taking a brawler and making him a boxer slash fighter in a short period of time and everything that comes with it like head movement, foot placement, angles and so forth.”
“This would be very special to me to have Ricky beat such a great fighter like the Pac is. You got to respect that.”
If you look past the bravado and crass comments from the mouth of Floyd Sr., you will find a boxing aficionado. In said interview with me days ago, he said “with a guy like Manny, you don’t punch through the target, you punch at it” he continued with “along with a steady jab, not a hard stiff jab, but a steady stiff jab, you can blunt the speed of the fighter in front of you. If you do it right.”
Lester Bedford, head of The Bedford Agency Sports Management & Marketing told me “never happen.” Bedford said that it is too “tough to run PacMan out of gas.”
While I do agree with his assessment, | never said that the early stoppage would come from tiring Manny out. I said it would come from the fists of Ricky and the assault that the Englishman would put on Manny.
Manny is a mortal. He is very capable of being beat just like everyone else with two hands and two feet. He has been stopped twice before with the last one, albeit, back in ’99 against a non descript fighter named Medgoen Singsurat.
Floyd believes another key to victory against the Filipino is timing. If Ricky can move just a half step to the side or back, he can counter effectively over the often overcommitted jab of Manny Pacquaio.
“Timing is key here. It ain’t rocket science. All we have to do is keep Ricky’s head right. Make him think, but think naturally. Don’t over analyze the fight. It will come to you and you will know when to slide to the side and double or even triple up the jab.”
“When a man is constantly slinging a jab out that is quick and strong, but not trying to really hurt you with it, it disrupts a guy like the Pac because it throws his rhythm off.”
I tend to agree with this statement. JMM and Erik Morales and even a shopworn De La Hoya whenever he mustered the strength and/or guts to throw the jab, were all able to make the Pac war machine either go backwards or stop for a second or two and reset his feet.
Should this happen on Saturday night, I submit that Hatton will attack with intelligent aggression leaving Manny cut and battered to the body.
The result of this will be Hatton having his hand raised, retaining his belt, and being the NEW king of the mythical Pound for Pound list.
Either way, Lester Bedford summed it best when he told me that this Saturday night’s fight will surely be one not to miss because the fight’s “last round” will be “just like the first”.
I second that.