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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hatton plots path to grand finale at Wembley

The Hitman is planning to put the final punches to his career with a last hurrah in his native Manchester this winter and a grand farewell at Wembley next summer.

Ricky Hatton envisages giving his home town the treat of a slugfest against Hispanic dangerman Juan Manuel Marquez followed by a revenge victory over Floyd Mayweather Jnr in our new national stadium.

This is an ambitious project in itself since Marquez has just become the second most vaunted boxer on the planet, courtesy of his demolition of highly rated Miguel Cotto while Mayweather, as he comes out of retirement, has to be lured into a re-match of his stunning ruination of Hatton’s unbeaten record.

It is complicated still further by the prerequisite of Hatton wresting the mythical crown of best pound-for-pound fighter in the world from Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas this Saturday.

This will not be the easiest segment of the trilogy which Hatton is plotting as his exit.

Not for nothing has Pacquiao risen from poverty in the Philippines to supremacy over the universe of prizefighting.

The Pac-man, as his countrymen revere him, is not physically the biggest rival the Hitman has ever faced - having come up from light-featherweight to end Oscar De La Hoya’s career at welterweight - but he is potentially the most dangerous.

Where Mayweather broke the aura of Hatton’s invincibility with an intelligent strategy which set up a lethal finish, Pacquiao will go after Manchester City’s favourite fan with
both fists blazing.

Yet even if the Pac-man denies the Hitman his perfect and hugely enriching ending,
Hatton will depart boxing’s world championship stage with his legacy enhanced.

Hatton says: ‘Ideally, I will beat Manny and go on to cement the pound-for-pound title
by defeating the second man in line to the succession as my farewell to Manchester.

‘What more incentive would Mayweather need to come to Wembley? Our re-match would make history as the first boxing match in our new great stadium.’


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