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Friday, March 27, 2009

‘Hitman’ Hatton to go with guns blazing vs Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – As if living up to his ring moniker and new tattoo, Ricky “Hitman" Hatton said he would come to his Manny 2 fight with Filipino ring super star Manny Pacquiao with all guns blazing.

In an interview with British media Tuesday (Wednesday morning in Manila), Hatton bared a “simple gameplan" against the reigning pound for pound fighter: “Attack, attack and attack again," he said.

This relentless offensive from the opening bell on, claimed Hatton, would be too much for Pacquiao to bear. Especially with his vaunted size and power plus his underappreciated speed, coming into play.

“We are both very aggressive and both like to go forward but ultimately my size and power will be a factor. But it's not just a power thing. I'm working on my speed. I think they [Pacquiao camp] see me as a slow fighter and they will get a shock on the night [at] just how fast I am," Hatton was quoted by The Sporting Life.

The Ring Magazine and International Boxing Organization world junior welterweight champion assessed that the tactic Pacquiao utilized in demolishing a “fading" Oscar De La Hoya – box - won’t work against him.

"I'll be keeping the same ferocity I've always had and when he (Pacquiao) feels my strength I don't think Manny will stand about," Hatton said.

"I think he will think he can out-box me like he did Oscar De La Hoya. He might come and have a go early on but with the greatest respect I don't think it would have been hard to out-box Oscar that night. If Manny thinks he can do the same to me I think he will come unstuck," he added.

The 30-year-old Hatton boasted that he's been tremendously improving under the guidance of Floyd Mayweather, Sr., the same trainer on his corner when he dished out what many acknowledge as one of his best performance ever against Paulie Malignaggi.

"We are only halfway through the training camp, there are six weeks to go and I think a lot of fighters would be happy with my speed, sharpness and timing come fight night," the bomber from Manchester said.

"I'm happy with the stage I am at but I just know my boxing ability, combination punches, jabbing and head movement is going to get so much better. I have a nice balance now and the fight can't come quick enough," he added.

During the same chat with the British press, Hatton downplayed the presence of his compatriot and pal Amir Khan in Pacquiao’s Los Angeles training camp. Fresh from his technical decision win over Marco Antonio Barrera, Khan has been summoned to the Wildcard Gym by his trainer Freddie Roach to possibly train and spar with the Pac Man.

But Hatton shrugged this off, believing Khan wouldn’t be of much help to Pacquiao anyway.

“I will be putting pressure on Pacquiao and backing him to the ropes. Amir will be using his speed to move away," the Mancunian noted. "He (Pacquiao) is not fighting someone who is going to move away. Style-wise we are two completely different fighters and I can't see how that is going to benefit Manny in the slightest. I don't think that Amir, as fast as he is, is a good sparring partner."

Hatton and Pacquiao are slated to mix it up for the anticipated "Battle of East and West" bout on May 2 in Las Vegas, with the British bomber’s title on the line. Hatton vowed to not only retain the title but also outclass the man universally recognized as the world’s best fighter regardless of weight.

“If you beat the pound-for-pound number one that is a statement," Hatton said. – GMANews.TV


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