By Christopher Roche – Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao take to the ring tonight in the aftermath of what could very well be the fight of the year. Last night’s Carlos Abregu vs. Irving Garcia Showbox main event was an absolute barnburner. I hope that that bout will serve as a harbinger of great things to come tonight.
Tonight’s Hatton vs. Pacquiao bout also takes place on a weekend where many odd storylines are shaping the news.. For example, today’s Kentucky Derby favorite, “I Want Revenge”, was a late scratch from the field. On top of that, the New York Yankees actually showed some heart last night and hit the ball with runners in scoring position, on their way to overcoming a five run deficit to defeat the Angels.
In addition to those two stories, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., will likely announce his intention to return to the ring against Juan Manuel Marquez in July. Finally, the fact that the fight of the year may have taken place last night, adds to the circus-like weekend in sports.
Given the oddities of this weekend, I will not be at all surprised when Hatton defeats Pacquiao. Hatton is a man who willed himself to 43 straight victories, with admittedly sub-par training techniques and yo-yo dieting. Last year, after his win over Juan Lazcano, Hatton fired Billy Graham, and he brought in Floyd Mayweather. Hatton made the decision to step into a world-class training regime, and he looked tremendous against Paulie Malignaggi. Hatton’s results will only get better, and his first long training camp with Mayweather will serve him well. Hatton will win in fairly convincing fashion tonight.
Abregu vs. Garcia
Abregu, a heralded Argentine prospect, who is partially represented by Carlos Baldomir, found himself on the floor early via a vicious right hand. Garcia, of Puerto Rico, showed technical proficiency, as he looked to surprise the fight world. However, Abregu gathered himself together and came back to rock Garcia shortly after the knockdown. The bout sea-sawed until the fourth round, when the round of the year was staged.
At the start of the round, both men looked as if they had gone ten rounds already, but Garcia had the upper hand early in the frame. Garcia spun Abregu around with a left-hook, and Abregu found himself on the canvas for the second time. Despite the vicious-looking nature of the knockdown, Abregu rose and steadied himself.
As the cobwebs cleared, he began to hone in on Garcia. In the final fifteen seconds of the round, Abregu unleashed a vicious assault, and the defenseless Garcia slumped down in the corner, as blood gushed from the bridge of his nose. The referee stopped the bout as the bell sounded, which would have ended the round. From bell to bell, the fourth round sizzled, and Abregu came away with the victory. Abregu, 26, moved to 27-0, 22 KO’s, while the 30 year-old Garcia dropped to 17-4-3, 8 KO’s. The bout took place at welterweight.