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Friday, April 10, 2009

Cooney's Thoughts - Pacquiao vs Hatton

On May 2nd, 2009 two warriors will collide. In the Philippines come fight time, the crime rate will reduce to almost no crime at all. Hundreds of thousands of fans will be glued to the television sets, the streets of Manila will show a clear reduction in traffic, and the nation's eyes will all be focused on their national hero, Manny Pacquiao. The British fans will have a little something to say, that's for sure. The pub's will be filled with screaming "Hit Man" fans, they will be singing, drinking, banging drums, and screaming for their hero, Ricky Hatton.

There are those who feel as if the speed of Manny Pacquiao will be just too much for Ricky Hatton to handle. I personally have witnessed the awesome speed, and relentless power of Manny Pacquiao, up close and personal. I have been in a lot of boxing gyms, but I have never seen a gym come to a complete a stop when one of it's fighters hits the heavy bag. There is no doubt about the speed and power of Manny Pacquiao, he's proven on more than one occasion what he can do to an opponent in the ring.

Ricky Hatton will be an opponent that Pacquiao must respect. When Pacquiao fought Oscar De La Hoya most people were shocked by the fact that Oscar came into the ring at 140 plus pounds. Just about everybody thought that he would have re hydrated back up to 160 plus pounds, but he didn't. It is some people's theory that the complete domination put on by Manny Pacquiao was due in part by the fact that Oscar was dehydrated, and on top of that, father time finally caught up with him. Some people say that Manny's destruction over Oscar may have been overrated. Ricky Hatton will be fighting at a weight much more optimal for him than the weight that Oscar stepped into the ring at. Also, when Manny Pacquiao destroyed former world champion David Diaz, many people attributed that to Diaz being a "paper champion."

None of these victories can be taken away from Manny Pacquiao, they were clear and they were decisive but could it be possible that both of his last two victories were overrated? Ricky Hatton is a strong fighter, a fighter that will try to bring it right to Pacquiao. He will try to grab him, smother him, and rough-house him in the ring. The question is, will he be able to get inside on Manny without eating 5 punch combinations from multiple angles? In order for Ricky Hatton to be able to pull off this victory, he will have to be able to catch Manny Pacquiao making a mistake. Perhaps if Manny makes a mistake and backs straight up, Ricky will be able to catch him with something. Perhaps Manny will make a strategical game plan mistake, and will let Ricky Hatton get inside on him without making him pay for the real estate. This would be unlikely as well, I am sure Freddie Roach will have something to say about that.

So what can Ricky Hatton do? That's up to his trainers and his team to figure out. Manny Pacquiao with Freddie Roach, and the rest of Team Pacquiao have their game plan, and I am guessing Team Hatton has their game plan.. On May 2nd, 2009 we will all see what's going to happen.


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