By Coach “K” – May 2nd, MGM, Las Vegas Nevada: In the game of Pacman the way you kill the ghosts is you allow them to get close then you jump them, eating them and get stronger. That’s exactly what Manny Pacquaio (148lbs) did when the “East met the West” catching and dropping the bigger Ricky Hatton (152lbs) twice in the first round, then again closing the second round finishing the “Hitman” 45-2, 32Ko’s winning the IBO light welterweight championship and securing his title as the best pound for pound fighter today..
Hatton used the wrong, Roach calculated fight plan coming straight ahead rushing in. He was loading up on wide, wild shots without any head movement continually getting banged in return while charging in. Pacquiao 49-3-2, 37Ko’s remained calm and deliberate under the assault moving early enticing Hatton to chase. The Philippine star took away any thoughts Hatton had of throwing a jab when he began to land his right hook with regularity, rocking his charging foe several times. Hatton scored a couple of left hooks to the body but “Pacman” continued to fight smart staying tight in close, not allowing Hatton to get off. Hatton usually the one to rough it up inside appeared relatively meek and out of sync.
Pacquiao began stepping in then back, firing and landing a solid combination catching Hatton coming in. The “Roach Trap” was set. Pacquiao fainted stepping in then beat Hatton to the punch with a right hook flooring the “Hitman” for the first time as he loaded up his big left.
Pacquiao continued to work his right hook, the same punch that was very successful for Luis Collazzo back in may 2006. A film Freddie Roach surely studied and worked with Pacquiao over and over. Then with about a minute to go in the round Pacquiao ripped another right hook to Hatton’s head leading the way for a crushing left dropping the brawling Brit for the second time.
Taking the full eight count, to his credit, the rugged Hatton somehow made it to his feet. “Pac Man” wasted no time proving it was no lucky punch using his speed and timing firing away with both hands backing Hatton to the ropes. Hatton now coming in hands low, without any of the head movement we saw in training was now a sitting duck. He was eating a full sampling of the Philippine fighter’s potent arsenal. At about the ten second mark of the round, two Pacquiao right hooks, a straight left right uppercut volley followed by a loaded left high to the head put the battered pride of Britain down again leaving just enough time for an eight count earning him Hatton another round.
Hatton always in top condition began round two full steam ahead, banging away with his left prodding us to wonder would we see a Marquez type comeback. The Philippine national treasure, ranked as the worlds best pound for pound fighter would not allow any such thing. Well trained and following his strategic fight plan “Pacman” used the “Roach Trap” reading Hatton’s charging punches luring him into Philippine lefts and rights.
Hatton had a few moments in the second round landing a couple of good left hooks and two clean right hands to the head showing us a glimmer of pulling himself back into the fight when the skilled Philippine tactician lured Hatton into another “Roach Trap” banging away using his superior speed backing Hatton across the ring.
Going into the final minute of the round the East met the West in the center of the ring the two trading shots with Pacquiao’s speed allowing him to win the in fighting, usually Hatton’s forte. The action remained in the middle of the ring and Hatton looked as if he might get through another when the slick pound for pound champion began slowly turning Hatton banging him to the body not allowing him to set and punch. Right after hearing the pounding a of the canvas announcing the closing ten seconds of the round Pacquiao threw two pawing but diverting right jabs drawing Hatton into another “Roach Trap.” “Pacman” bounced moving left firing a cannon left hand finding Hatton’s chin depositing him unconscious on the canvas. It was over! Hatton was out! No Kenny Bayless count, no Marquez comeback. Hatton was out and in bad shape.
Manny Pacquiao proved beyond any doubt he is the worlds best pound for pound fighter today and will be ranked that way amongst boxing’s best ever.
Despite the devastating loss the “Hitman’s” loyal fans continued to sing there praise for the one and only Ricky Hatton. Hatton secured his spot in boxing history in the ring with his high intensity training and entertaining fighting style. Together with his humorous and solid gentleman like persona outside the ring one must consider the whole “Hitman” package. The “Hitman” was great for boxing and lets not forget his only two losses come at the hands of some pretty good talent. “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao who now will inevitably will meet in what will be boxing’s biggest fight in decades, maybe boxing history assuming Floyd can get past Marquez in July.
Having always been a big Ricky Hatton fan now learning of his whopping twelve million dollar payday for the fight I can only hope the “Hitman’s” only boxing future will be as a representative of Golden Boy Promotions Europe. That gigantic number one boxing coach trophy will look just fine in Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym.