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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Purchase Tickets Is Pacquiao on the Money?

The speed, the speed, the speed of Manny Pacquiao will be too much for Ricky Hatton to handle. Hatton will need to look for on early knockout in order to win. As the fight goes on Pacquiao’s quickness and technical skills will be just too much for Hatton to handle. Pacquiao takes this with a tenth round stoppage and maintains his P4P title.

Dan Horgan (Pacquiao)

Speed kills and Pacquiao is fast. Pacquiao will be too quick for Hatton, and although Hatton seems to have improved defensively under Floyd Mayweather Sr., he has a bad habit of resorting back to his hit-and-grab brawling style during fights.

By Rick Assad (Pacquiao)

There may be some dissent, but Manny Pacquiao is the best boxer pound-for-pound plying his trade today. In tight situations, this has helped the 30-year-old Filipino legend, and it will again when he faces England's Ricky Hatton for the International Boxing Organization light welterweight title May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The action will be keen and fierce from the opening bell. Hatton's only blemish was a 10th-round knockout by undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. Hatton gave Mayweather credit, but also admitted that he was desperate and somewhat careless. Hatton's forte isn't defense, and Pacquiao (48-3-2 and 36 knockouts) will take full advantage. Hatton (45-1-0 and 32 KO's) wades in, which will aid Pacquiao, who has faced stiffer competition than Hatton. In seven combined fights against Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao is 5-1-1. Last December, Pacquiao fought an aging Oscar De La Hoya, and the Golden Boy quit on his stool after the eighth round. It won't be as one-sided, but he will prevail. How about the ninth round?

Rene Trujillo

Freddie Roach has been confidently saying that the May 2nd bout pitting Manny Pacquiao against Ricky Hatton will not go the distance. While I respect Freddie Roach and recognize all the success he has had, I believe that this fight will go longer than he's expecting. I think there are two possible scenarios that can play out with this fight. I am usually not one to make predictions so I will just give you the readers the two possibilities on how the fight will go come fight night.

If the Ricky Hatton of old shows up, it might indeed be a short night for the English warrior but not as short as Roach is predicting. Pacquiao will have an easy night of work if Hatton resorts back to his old ways, meaning coming in without any head movement or powerful jabs. The bull rushes may have been an advantage against the Pacman of a few years back, but Pacquiao has become a more controlled brawler darting in and coming back out to avoid any damage of significance. This new and improved Pacquiao was on display against De la Hoya, proving that even though he was the smaller fighter in the bout he was able to do significant damage with his speed and boxing ability. Hatton will need to use the jab coming in along with head movement consistently to be able to do some damage on the inside. Failing to improve on those techniques will cost Hatton the fight.

Nearly eight years ago, Pacquiao had one of his toughest fights in San Francisco against the late Agapito Sanchez. That bout marked one of the very few times in Pacquiao's career that he had been bullied in the ring and the fight eventually ended in the sixth round and was declared a technical draw. The fight was stopped due to cuts suffered by Pacquiao that were the result of intentional head butts. In that fight, Sanchez managed to use dirty tactics to frustrate the Filipino inside the ring. The reason I bring that fight up is because Hatton will have to try and bully Pacquiao around to throw him off his game and rhythm. He will not necessarily have to resort to dirty tactics, but if Hatton is to make this a competitive bout he will have to use his naturally bigger frame to his advantage, something De la Hoya was not able to do. Hatton will have considerable success if he can manage to close the gap with Pacquiao and make it an ugly fight on the inside. If he can consistently give himself room to maneuver on the inside, it will be to his benefit as Hatton can pound the body as he is known for. This strategy in all likely hoods can get the Hitman a win on the score cards, but it will be a complete surprise to this writer if he manages to knock Pacquiao out. And if the Filipino does end up getting knocked out, it will be from a body shot, as we have seen over the years that Pacquiao has a hell of a chin (something that isn't mentioned too often).

Rota EM (Pacquiao)

Speed + Right Hook = Big Problems for Hatton Imagine this, the ideal rotation for an orthodox fighter against a lefty is clockwise, with the addition of the ‘Manila Ice’, where is he going to go? Remember: A Floyd counter put the finishing touches on Ricky back in 07’. Hatton’s stamina is no where near Pacquiao’s, and the biggest obstacle isn’t whether Ricky can avoid Manny’s flurries (because he can’t), it’s whether he can touch the Filipino with his own. Within the last 3 1/2 years Hatton has had TWO solid performances. Manny's got TWO KO victories over Morales alone. I see this fight going past the 6th, but not into the championship rounds. Late round (9th or 10th) KO/TKO for the Pacman.

Dan Gabel (Pacquiao)

Both fighters are constant pressure fighters, so I don’t see this fight going to the cards. Hatton is a game fighter and a tough competitor, but I believe Manny might be a once in a generation fighter with dynamic game- changing speed and power. Hatton’s only chance is an early flurry and with some knockdowns. Otherwise I like Pacquiao by TKO (if pressed…8th or 9th round)

Ruel Bavar (Pacquiao)


Just a little over a week more before the mega fight. Seems like an eternity. Can't hardly wait to watch this slugfest. I'm expecting a forced toe-to-toe inside exchanges notwithstanding claimed new fighting styles. I still stick to my prediction I made months ago that because of accidental head butts, scorecards by the 7th round, Pacquiao by UD, 70-63.

Albert Alvarez prediction (Pacquiao)

Pacquiao's speed or Hatton's mauling style? In order for Ricky Hatton to win in this one, Ricky would have to be on Pacquiao like bees on honey. Question is, will the referee allow for the British Bulldog to work on the inside? In Hatton's fight against Mayweather, Hatton's plan was to suffocate Mayweather, but Joe Cortez was not going to allow it, Mayweather was then able to operate from the distance he felt comfortable with and nailed Hatton with straight rights. Hatton must close the space between him and Pacquiao fast and must be tenacious with it to smother the incoming lasers’. No doubt about it that Pacquiao's strength is his speed, they say timing beats speed but I say speed isn’t nothing without balance.

Which is why it is imperative for Hatton to lead get in real air tight close and force Pacquiao to fight going backwards, As I for one do not feel that Pacquiao can box going backwards. If you allow Pac-Man to lead he will then have all the balance and angles and will be able to fire off his devastating shots, it's a death wish. You must keep him off balance to take away his arsenal; after all it's hard to be offensive when you have to be on the defensive every second of the round. My gut says that Hatton can get all this accomplished and overwhelm Pacquiao with intense pressure, but my heart says that I am asking too much of Hatton and that Pac-Man along with his speed and southpaw style will be too much and will gobble up the Hitman in 9 brutal rounds. I am picking the Pac-man to find the distance to rock Hatton Manila Ice style. Pacquiao 9th round K.O.

Peter Goldthorpe (Pacquiao)

This is going to be a fantastic occasion as well as a fight with the two best supported boxers in the world and transatlantic rivals will ensure an electric atmosphere, Hatton however will be looking to improve upon his last outing where-as Pacquiao will be looking for more of the same, everybody knows that Pacquiao progresses and get stronger throughout a bout but if Hatton works everything of the jab from the outset not looking for that one big shot which will open him up to the faster Pacquiao to fight his fight could take this fight early into the bout but this needs to be in the first three rounds. But these two and their respective corners will make this intriguing, I however although I am of course rooting for the British fighter I believe that the Filipino will simply have to much for the Mancunian, and I don't see this going the distance on this occasion so I think it will end after the midway of the fight with a stoppage for Pacquiao although don't rule Hatton out!

Steve Hobden (Pacquiao)

This encounter is a real pick em fight. I think we know what to expect from Manny Pacquiao in terms of style. Lots of lateral movement, straight lefts, high output combination punching. But what will Ricky Hatton do differently under the guidance of Floyd Mayweather Snr? He may well be a faster, sharper, more rounded fighter with a better defense than we've seen previously but I think he will have lost some of his strength now that he no longer does the bodybuilding exercises with Kerry Kayes, so I don't believe he will be much stronger than Manny on the night. Also is it too late in Hatton's career to change his style and tweak it effectively to fight the best P4P fighter in the World who just happens to be a southpaw? Hatton has to have success early on, otherwise he may just revert to the Hatton of old and I'm not so sure he will be able to stick to his game plan once the going gets tough.

The Ricky of old often lunges forward with the jab which is perfect for Manny to pick him off with the straight left. But on the other hand Manny tends to hold his hands high leaving his body open to attack. Additionally he also moves from side to side which is perfect for Hatton to unleash a deadly left hook to the body which could prevent Manny from using his lateral movement. I could quite easily make a case for both fighters to win, but I think we will see Manny pot-shooting and out landing Ricky to walk away with a close decision. Hatton's best chance is a body shot as Pacquiao moves to the side but I think Manny and Freddy Roach will have that covered in their game plan. Manny Pacquiao by close decision

Marcelo Ortigoza (Pacquiao)

Since everybody knows Manny “the Filipino Superman” Pacquaio, I’ll delve on the upsides and downsides of Ricky “Hitman” Hatton.

UPSIDES: He is dangerous because he is fighting at his natural weight at 140-147 lbs (Junior Welterweight) where he was undefeated in his 43 outings. With this, there is a presumption of his impregnability -- as what Fort Knox is known – against the punches of smaller opponent Pacquaio who should be exploiting his prowess at his natural weight at 135- 140 lbs (Lightweight).

But Pacman has fought bigger guy named Oscar de la Hoya at 147 (Welterweight), you probably asked?

The Hitman sneered on that on his almost unintelligible -- to us Filipinos – Mancunian- accented-English: “Oscar was just “shot” at the weight. He weighed 147 pounds for the first time in twelve years and on the night of the fight he was still 147 pounds which shocked everyone. You could see in his legs, eyes and face that he was not the great Oscar we loved and enjoyed watching. I don’t know how he dropped the weight but he looked drained and consequently the win flattered Pacquiao.”

In this win, he added that Manny has false impression of himself on that victory. He even commented that another bigger opponent in David Diaz was the weakest Lightweight Champ the Filipino pugilist has defeated.

He opined that on the May 2nd 2009 tussle Pacquaio will have a jolt of his life as he will be fighting a different strategy – far from the old Ricky people used to see when he was under his former long time ciggie-chomping trainer Billy “Not the Preacher” Graham.

He said he has more tricks to show after he was trained by his trash-talkin’ and poem-quoting trainer Floyd Mayweather, Sr.

New approaches like more jabs, defenses, and head movements will be unloaded at the dais.

DOWNSIDES: From the time he fought big guys like Juan Urango, Luis Collazo, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. I saw already the cracks taking its toll to his body – priced he paid to his God –May-Care-Forward-Style aggression that took away his rhythm.

In the first two fights, he struggled tremendously that many believed he lost to Collazo. In the mentioned 3rd fight, he became a target-paper from the talented all-around boxer Pretty Floyd – probably the conqueror of the Pacman as what Sugar Ray Leonard was to Roberto Duran in their rematch.

But you ask: Hatton has fought elite lightweight boxers in knock-out artist Kostya Tszyu and Jose Luis Castillo -- who many experts said had defeated Mayweather, Jr. in their first fight, and gave us a breathless war of attrition when he fought for the first time Diego “Chico” Corrales that became a Fight of the Year?

My dear Procopio, both of those fighters were damaged goods as what those U.S made Vietnam –vintage Huey Bell military helicopters cum Flying Coffins are as hands me down from Uncle Sam to the no-choice and financially-constrained Philippine government.

Like Castillo who threw his towel at the 4th Round, the rusty Tyszu has not fought for two years thus he raised the white-flag – like the drained de la Hoya – at his stool at the 11th Round as a result of the ceaseless pressure from the English man.

But Hatton-huggers my protest, Ricky baby defeated Paulie Malignaggi as what he and trainer old Floyd crowed?

Gee whiz man, Paulie was fighting as an amputee with his left hand doing the yeoman job for him after the 1st Round until the fight was stopped at the 11th round.

Paulie – who is known to have a brittle hand like a polvoron (powdered biscuit) from Goldilocks in his past fight – was sleek and effective by imposing on Hatton a Mayweather, Jr. fight in the first round until he became economical by fighting his left hand only.

As a believer of the power of Pacquaio’s left hand than what Floyd Jr. right can do, I predict the Filipino knocking-out the Mancunian hero on the 2nd half-of-the-round.

By Rizwaan Zahid (Pacquiao)

The one we’ve been waiting for a while is almost here. The fight which has been rumored since the bell of De La Hoya and Pacquiao is just over a week away and what’s the most intriguing part of this fight is that each fighter has a whole nation behind their back. It’s hard to remember any fighter that has had as much country support as Hatton or Pacquiao. Even the Puerto Rican’s following of Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto cannot compare with the Philippines backing of Pacquaio and the way the fans of England - Manchester specifically - follow Hatton.

Onto the fight…

Floyd Sr. has only trained Hatton for one fight thus far and beating an elusive Malignaggi who actually had his hair cut was quite impressive. No fighter can change styles overnight, but we did some glimpses of a jab and more head movement, something which the Hitman hasn’t shown that much before. We all know how much Pacquiao has developed over the years and this will be one of Ricky’s toughest fights, but Pacquiao has never fought anyone that will put this much pressure on him, especially to the body. Ricky’s relentless attack has not been matched by Morales, Barrera or even Juan Manuel Marquez. Hatton is also the naturally bigger guy, walking around at over 160-170 pounds.

Pacquiao is fighting a legit 140 pound fighter. Even most of the fights he had at 130 were against fighters who made most of their career at featherweight before moving up. Morales, Barrera, Marquez and Larios had fought most of their career at 126 and under. He had an impressive showing against a limited David Diaz, who was a legit lightweight, and then fought Oscar De La Hoya who looked like he had the fluid sucked out of him. Ricky on the other hand has fought natural 140 pound fighters and twice at welterweight. Both fighters should start quick, but expect Pacquiao’s speed and stamina to take over and possibly win on cuts, or via close decision. But I wouldn’t, nor should any, be surprised with a Hatton stoppage later in the fight. It will be a test for both to say the least.

Either way, it has fight of the year written all over it.

Carl Hewitt (Hatton)

Pacquiao has an edge in speed, but not as large of an advantage as most are led to believe. Hatton will more than make up for that small speed deficit with a smothering, mauling style that should sap Manny's strength and make him more susceptible to Hatton's power later in the fight. Pacquiao should have his moments early, but Hatton is probably too physically strong for Manny at this time. And Ricky's improvement under Mayweather, Sr. will be even more evident than it was in the Malinaggi fight. I like Hatton by UD.

Huwebes Fernandez (Pacquiao)

I would definitely pick Manny Pacquiao over Ricky Hatton because as Freddie Roach said, "speed kills", and Manny Pacquiao is much faster than Hatton, though Mayweather taught Hatton some improvement in his basic and defensive skills. Hatton will be in a surprise once he gets a taste of a straight left hand courtesy of the PacMan. So it's Manny Pacquiao by 6th round knockout for me.

Dr. Baio (Pacquiao)

After this past Saturdays big fight pinning Taylor vs Froch, I hope the Brits are ready for another great fight. Our foreign travelers were warmly welcome to the US with a Froch win over Taylor, but the coming Saturday Thrill all be leaving with their heads down. So enjoy the feeling of victory on American soil while you can.

My pick for Saturday May 2, 2009 is None other then Manny Pacquaio by UD. Ricky may be bull strong and a new man under Floyd Sr., but Manny has showed us what it means to be a true champ with his wars against Marques. We all saw what the sly Marques did in his last fight against Diaz. This gave us a great view of what Manny went through. He is a true camp. Plus, he is hungry.

Hatton has made is money through big fights and TV deals. Pacquaio still yurns for that and while show us what hunger and skill can do over strength.

Cesar Zuniga (Pacquiao)

YES, it’s only a week away and no one can stop talking about the mega fight between Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. With a fight of this magnitude, it is safe to say that each fighter does posses the keys to win. Yet, what aren’t so clear are the answers to the important questions surrounding this battle of extremely aggressive and well loved fighters. Such As:

Can Hatton Match Pacquiao’s speed?

How will Pacquiao handle the bigger man’s punches?

Has Floyd Mayweather Sr. made the necessary changes to Hatton’s Defense?

And the list will go on. Let us take an even deeper look and break down the individual categories and the favorite in each.

SPEED: (Pacquiao) Even though Hatton is no slouch, Pacquiao possesses the world class speed that is rare to find a comparison to.

POWER: (Hatton) It’s not quite sure how Manny’s power will be felt at 140, and Hatton is one of the elite punchers in the division.

SIZE: (Hatton) Ricky should be the bigger man in this fight even if it’s not by much.

CHIN: (Pacquiao) Both fighters’ have good chins but they have been stun before, and Hatton was knocked out by Mayweather Jr. who is not known as a KO artist.

EXPERIENCE: (equal) With more the 80 fights between them, both are coming in confident.

CROWD: (Hatton) With the kind of ruckus crowd the English are capable of bringing across the ocean it would not be a surprise to see a majority of English Flags and “Blue Moon” Singers.

VERSATILITY: (Pacquiao) With Freddie Roach at his side Pacquiao has become a good patient boxer and not just a left handed puncher. Can Hatton change his style during the fight if needed?

WILDCARD: (Pacquiao) This is Hatton’s second fight with Mayweather Sr. Even though Hatton showed signs of an improved defense, his first fight was with Paul Malignaggi who has no where near the power Pacquiao has. Hatton is also prone to cuts and with little head movement and a questionable defense it might be a long night of Pacquiao head shots.

Based on this break down one could give the slight edge to Pacquiao. If you ask this writer who he feels will win this fight, he is not picking the underdog in this one. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will raise his hands at the end of a late 10th round TKO and remain the world #1 P4P best fighter.


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