LAS VEGAS -- Oscar De La Hoya doesn't see the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton light welterweight showdown on May 2 (May 3 in Manila) going the distance. He picks Hatton to be the man left standing when the end comes.
“I’m gonna go with my guy,” said De La Hoya, who was sent into retirement with a savage beating by Pacquiao last December. “I believe in Ricky, I believe in my trainer that I have for many years, Floyd Mayweather Sr.
“I respect Manny Pacquiao, I respect Freddie Roach. Great fighter, great trainer, but I’m gonna go with Ricky Hatton.”
Owing to the explosiveness and ferocity of both fighters, De La Hoya said the megabuck bout, dubbed the “Battle of East and West”, won't reach the full 12 rounds.
“I don’t see it going the distance. Not early, but maybe late. I know who (will win) but it’s not gonna go the distance.
His choice of Hatton is expected because De La Hoya, the only boxer to win world titles in six divisions, promotes the British “Hitman.”
His choice of Mayweather Sr. over Roach is likewise expected because when he bowed to Mayweather's son and namesake, it was Roach who worked his corner.
For another, it was Roach who bared that “Oscar can no longer pull the trigger.”
Interviewed by Filipino sportswriters after the press conference of the “Battle of East and West,” De la Hoya, however, justified his choice by saying Mayweather Sr. is technically better than Roach, a three-time Trainer of the Year.
Having been battered into submission by Pacquiao in eight rounds, De La Hoya, of course, is in a position to give Hatton some advice on how not to suffer the same fate.
“I’ve given advice to Ricky Hatton already,” said De La Hoya, who is now concentrating on handling his Golden Boy Promotions.
“Obviously I’ve already been there with Manny Pacquiao. I’ve experienced his speed, I’ve experienced his punches, so obviously the advice that I’ve given him I’m sure he’s gonna use.”
De La Hoya maintains he holds no rancor on Pacquiao, a 2-1 favorite in betting lines in this entertainment and gambling capital.
“No it’s not revenge. Ricky Hatton is gonna face him for the first time. Like I said, this is nothing personal. Obviously I’m the promoter here along with Top Rank, and you know Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao are gonna do their job and may the best man wins.”
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