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Monday, December 29, 2008

Pacquiao-Hatton ‘in Las Vegas May 2’

MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao is headed for a showdown against fellow brawler Ricky Hatton in a duel that will most likely take place on May 2 at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas’ Thomas and Mack Center, Internet reports bared Sunday.

Meanwhile, from his cushy retirement perch, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is considering fighting the Filipino ring hero in a bout, where the “Pretty Boy” hopes to “beat his [expletive],” the boxer’s confidante revealed.

Pacquiao, the reigning World Boxing Council lightweight champion, will be gunning for a fifth weight crown against Hatton, who holds the International Boxing Organization junior welterweight belt.

“My guy is on board,” Pacquiao promoter and Top Rank chief Bob Arum told Steve Lillis of England’s News of the World. “I think Ricky’s on board and I am very upbeat.”

Steve Kim of said the match is a “done deal.”

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions that handles Hatton’s fight, also said that the fight has been virtually green-lighted.

The bout between Pacquiao, boxing’s acknowledged pound-for-pound king, and Hatton, the beer-guzzling “Hitman” of Manchester, was nearly sidelined by Mayweather’s sudden interest in coming out of retirement.

A report by ESPN’s Dan Rafael, however, made it seem like the Pretty Boy is waiting for a snowballing clamor for Pacquiao-Mayweather before making a final decision.

“Floyd has given Team Mayweather the green light to... evaluate the biggest fights for him, to come back to him and present it to him,” Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s best friend and adviser, told

If Pacquiao beats Hatton to polish a pound-for-pound crown he validated with an eighth-round TKO of Oscar De La Hoya last Dec. 6, fans and experts are expected to mount a call for a bout between the Filipino and Mayweather, the former pound-for-pound king.

And that could be big enough to lure Mayweather out of retirement.

“If Floyd considers something, it would be the biggest thing,” Ellerbe told

He said Mayweather thought De La Hoya’s conqueror was “an excellent fighter and it was a tremendous win.”

But Ellerbe said that Mayweather issued a little warning to Pacquiao.

“Floyd said, ‘He’s a good fighter, but I’ll beat his [expletive].”


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