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Monday, December 29, 2008

Manny Pacquiao ready to box Ricky Hatton

The queue to be Ricky Hatton's next opponent has already started and Manny Pacquiao stands at the front of it. Pacquiao, the WBC lightweight champion from the Philippines, faces Oscar De La Hoya in the same ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 6, but win or lose, it could set up a clash with Hatton.

While a bout with De La Hoya would be higher profile - and he is the favourite for next month's bout - Pacquiao, who has won world titles at four weights from flyweight to lightweight, would be Hatton's favoured choice. He is smaller, at 29 is in the prime of his career and is the main rival to Joe Calzaghe as the world's best pound-for-pound boxer.

He also says that he would be happy to come to Great Britain for the bout. “I want to come to the UK because I've never been there, I want to see the place,” Pacquiao, who has been training with Amir Khan in Hollywood, said. “I'd like to fight in front of a big crowd. I know it would be a great, great fight if it were to happen. I'm very comfortable at 140lb [light-welterweight] so I would be OK to fight Ricky.”

Oddly, Pacquiao thought he would be facing Hatton this year. “When I was told I would be fighting on December 6, I was originally told I would be fighting Ricky,” Pacquiao said. “But now it's Oscar. I wasn't disappointed because I know I have a lot of time to have that fight.”

Joe Ramos, Pacquiao's manager, said he would be happy to start talks after the bout with De La Hoya. “I haven't spoken to the Hattons,” he said. “We want to get this fight out of the way. I think both guys are at their best at 140lb. Let's do it in the UK. I would love to have it in front of another big crowd and I know Manny would love that. Fighting Oscar is a dream come true and fighting Ricky in his home town is another dream in front of a huge crowd.”


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