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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hatton 'tailor made' for Pacquiao, says Roach

MANILA, Philippines – With the way Ricky Hatton normally fights, celebrated trainer Freddie Roach believes the Hitman from Manchester is “tailor-made" for the lightning fists of his ward, Manny Pacquiao.

Speaking at Monday’s press conference at the Imperial War Museum in London, Roach said Hatton’s press-forward style makes him vulnerable to the power shots of the Filipino pound for pound king. Thus, he once again predicted a late-round stoppage in favor of his prized fighter come May 2 in Las Vegas.

"It will be a great fight in the first half but Manny will get to him in the later rounds and will knock him out at some point," Roach said in a report by Sky Sports. "Ricky is very resilient but his come-forward nature will walk him into some shots and that will get him out of there. He's tailor made for us."

Hatton, the defending International Boxing Organization and Ring Magazine world junior welterweight champion, has maintained that he will veer away from his old bulldozing style against the Pac Man and will instead rely on hand speed and punching power. Hatton’s corner, led by Floyd Mayweather Sr., has been working on this change in style.

But as far as Roach is concerned, one can’t teach old dogs new tricks.

"Mayweather Sr is trying to improve that but I don't think you can change Ricky Hatton at this point in his career. Once he gets hit, he'll lose composure and revert to what he does best and that's fight," Roach said.

"Ricky talks about having worked on his defense and head movement but he is what he is. He's been doing this for a long time. They'll have a gameplan coming into the fight but after the first round he'll go back to his natural style. That's good for him in some ways because that's the best shot he's got at beating Manny. If he tries to outbox Manny and fights like Floyd teaches then he'll lose," he added.

In an apparent dig at Mayweather – with whom he’s had a history of bad blood – Roach quipped: "Floyd teaches one way and one way only and that's not suited for Ricky in my opinion. He'd be foolish to try and outbox Manny." -GMANews.TV


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