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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hatton’s 'Hitman' tag accurate - Roach

LOS ANGELES -- For Freddie Roach, Ricky Hatton’s “Hitman” tag is accurate. But not in its usual connotation.

“‘Hitman’ is an accurate ring name for Hatton because o n May 2, Hatton is going to get hit, man, and a lot!” Roach told publicist Fred Sternburg after supervising another gruelling training session for Manny Pacquiao at his Wild Card Gym here.

Pacquiao, the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, and Hatton will dispute the Briton’s International Boxing Organization light welterweight crown on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

So convinced is Roach that Pacquiao will stop Manchester City’s favorite son that he said in an earlier interview that he was willing to bet his house for a knockout victory by Pacquiao.

“I told Manny I would be disappointed if the fight lasts longer than three rounds,” Roach said.

Roach believes his rival trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., will fail in his attempt to alter Hatton’s brawling style.

Pacquiao is scheduled to throw the ceremonial pitch in the San Francisco Giants-San Diego Padres Major League Baseball tussle at the AT&T Park in San Francisco on Tuesday and will be honored later during the celebration of Filipino-American Heritage Night.

Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum has rented a plane to fly Team Pacquiao to San Francisco in the afternoon and return the group to Los Angeles the same night.

Meanwhile, Mexican Raul Martinez, knocked down four times by Nonito Donaire Jr. in Manila on the way to a TKO loss, picked Pacquiao to win over Hatton.

“It will be a good fight, but I think Manny will get him (Hatton) out,” Martinez told Manila-based sportswriters at the Los Angeles Airport Monday night (Tuesday in Manila). “He’s simply too strong.”


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