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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hatton supremely confident of victory

Ricky Hatton believes that not only will he prove too strong for Manny Pacquiao when they meet in Las Vegas on May 2, he also believes that he will prove too fast for the Filipino.

Pacquiao is universally regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, his blistering handspeed having seen him win world titles at four different weights.

Pac-Man was at his mesmerising best in his last outing, at welterweight against Oscar de la Hoya in December, when he quite brutally and quite shockingly outboxed The Golden Boy for eight one-sided rounds before his naturally bigger opponent eventually quit on his stool.

In Hatton, Pacquiao is again going up against a man with obvious physical advantages, this time at light-welterweight.

Many are of the opinion, though, that Pacquiao's fast hands will enable him to do to Hatton what he did to De la Hoya.

However, that is not a view shared by The Hitman.

"Most people are looking at the fight as power and strength versus speed, but I don't see it that way. I'm not looking at it that way,” the Mancunian revealed.

”I am the bigger man and I am the stronger man and I am the harder hitter, not to be disrespectful of Manny's punching power - he can knock anybody out. But I think I do have the advantage in that.

"But also I think my speed is underestimated. A lot of people thought Paulie Malignaggi would outspeed me and it was the opposite. Now I've had a longer training camp and I believe I'm even faster now."

Hatton added: "I am aware of the dangers - if Manny wins this fight, Ricky Hatton will be the first to walk over and shake his hand. But I just think I've got too much in my armoury now."

Indeed, he believes that he is the superior boxer in this money-spinning match-up in Sin City.

"Manny fights the same way all the time. He's effective at what he does but he's not a versatile fighter,” he argued.

"I don't think Manny is the most elusive. He comes very square-on and he's there to be hit.

"If he gets hit he's going to get hit by the biggest man he's ever faced," said Hatton, 30, who has been beaten just once in 46 fights.

"I don't think Manny has fought at this weight before. With respect to Oscar, he was fighting a punching bag that night."


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