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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pacquiao the Destroyer Rules Ring

LAS VEGAS -- At the end of the day, it wasn't that Floyd Mayweather Jr. failed to do what it appeared he'd done earlier Saturday, which was steal the thunder from the first big pay-per-view boxing event of the year by announcing his much-rumored return to the ring from a 17-month respite. Mayweather's Saturday afternoon press conference did, indeed, overshadow the junior-welterweight championship bout scheduled Saturday night between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton.

But something transpired Saturday evening that even Mayweather couldn't have anticipated. Pacquiao snatched back everyone's attention, stealing back his own thunder, with a second-round knockout of Hatton that was so devastating it left some observers temporarily in fear for Hatton's well-being. It was nothing sort of Tyson-esque

Pacquiao landed a perfect left hook on Hatton's chin just before the bell sounded. It turned off Hatton's senses and left him lying on his back as if about to be wheeled away on a gurney. It was several minutes before he was revived and brought to his feet. He was later whisked to a hospital for examination.

"I told Ricky don't get discouraged by this because there's nobody out there who can beat this little Filipino," Bob Arum boasted when it was all over. "Oscar De La Hoya on his best night couldn't beat Manny Pacquiao."

It wasn't just Pacquiao's final punch, however, that made everyone take notice. It was his utter domination of Hatton in the five minutes and 59 seconds that Hatton lasted with him between the ropes.

Hatton never had a chance. Hatton didn't even look like he belonged. He looked like the glorified club fighter some boxing lifers suggested he was all along.


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