Wednesday, April 29, 2009
LAS VEGAS — Ricky Hatton is so confident of beating Manny Pacquiao that he thinks the only way he will lose is if he doesn’t show up during fight night on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
“Not turning up,” Hatton told the Filipino journalist who asked him what would prevent him from winning against Pacquiao at the MGM Grand.
While Hatton’s response drew laughter from those gathered around him – he was seated on the ring stairs engaging reporters from the US, England and the Philippines in a lively Q&A session – his succeeding answers would reveal that he wasn’t horsing around.
Hatton admits he remains the Hatton of old, one whose ultra-aggressive punching enabled him to steamroll over opponents with ease.
The Manchester native, however, insists he has been fine-tuned a bit for his big fight against Pacquiao.
“I am still aggressive, still a body-puncher and still as ferocious as ever. I don’t think I have changed a great deal. I am just a little bit more polished in certain areas. This is the best Ricky Hatton has ever been,” Hatton boasted. “This is my weight division and I haven’t lost too many rounds at 140. You’re not fighting just the British bulldog now, the British bulldog has learned a few new tricks.”
Hatton might have been jarred a few times in the past at 140 lbs, but Pacquiao had also been under the same situation — and even worse — having been knocked out a couple of times and shaken a few times the past few years as well.
“Generally, my chin has been up to the job and I’ve got a few scary moments in certain fights here and there but I have a decent chin and Manny’s been hurt several times, body shots and head shots in the smaller weight divisions so that gives me full confidence.”
Told that he would immediately revert back to his old ways, slugging with wild abandon at the slightest contact, Hatton believes Pacquiao also is programmed to do the same thing.
“When he gets hit with a shot he tends to psyche himself even more and he gets pissed off with himself and I am hoping that might be his downfall. The same can be said about Manny and myself.”
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