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Monday, April 27, 2009

Hatton’s strong left biggest threat to Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Ricky Hatton is known for his powerful left hand and his his next protagonist , Manny Pacquiao, is well aware of this.

"He (Hatton) is a good and strong fighter. I know he has a very strong left hand and I have to take care of that and focus on that," Pacquiao admitted in an interview with

Thus, the reigning pound for pound king from General Santos City and his camp have prepared strategies on how to negate such threat from The Hitman.

"I've studied a lot of techniques for him," Pacquiao said, although he refuses to spell out how he plans to neutralize Hatton’s left.

For Ring Magazine and IBO light-welterweight champ Hatton, though, Pacquiao has a lot more to worry than his strong left.

"I am the bigger man and I am the stronger man and I am the harder hitter, not to be disrespectful of Manny's punching power - he can knock anybody out. But I think I do have the advantage in that," the Mancunian told in a separate interview.

Also at his disposal, Hatton offered, is his underrated speed, now further enhanced after a long training camp under Floyd Mayweather Sr. to enable him to keep in step with the Pinoy speedster.

“I think my speed is underestimated. A lot of people thought Paulie Malignaggi would outspeed me and it was the opposite. Now I've had a longer training camp and I believe I'm even faster now," he said.

The 30-year-old Mancunian claimed he would not be a standing target for Pacquiao’s bombs, contrary to what his detractors say.

“You can have the fastest hands in the world but if you don't throw them at the right time you don't get the desired effect. I think it's all about timing, making your opponent miss," he said.

"One thing I've always been is very fast, very explosive and very quick to move in on my opponents. Kostya Tszyu tried to keep the fight at distance but he couldn't hold me off him, although Manny is quicker. As fast as Manny moves back I believe I'll be able to move in just as quick," he added.

Hatton tangles with Pacquiao this Saturday in Las Vegas (Sunday in Manila) and he plans to emerge with both his IBO 140-lb belt and Pacquiao’s mythical P4P crown firmly on his hands.

“I've got fast hands myself now, along with the power and the pressure, and there's no reason I shouldn't be confident of winning this fight," he said. "But I am aware of the dangers - if Manny wins this fight, Ricky Hatton will be the first to walk over and shake his hand. But I just think I've got too much in my armory now."

For Pacquiao, there’s an extra motivation in going up against Hatton: Prove he can beat an Englishman as well, aside from his regular Mexican preys like Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez, and Latino-Americans like Oscar De La Hoya and David Diaz.

"My motivation for this fight is that I want to prove to everybody that it’s not only Mexican fighters I can beat, but I can also beat different fighters," Pacquiao was quoted in a separate report by “Especially this fight, I'm fighting an English boxer. This is my first time fighting an English fighter. I have to focus to do everything in the ring."

Pacquiao is also seeking a world title in a fifth weight division. –GMANews.TV


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