Houston, Texas - What might be junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton's game plan against Manny Pacquiao in their showdown in Las Vegas this May 2nd? To be sure, trainer Floyd Mayweather, Sr. has thought long and hard over what can be effective strategies against the Pacman.
We ask Houston-based boxers and trainer on how they would approach the fight if they were facing the Filipino icon.
Alfonso Lopez (undefeated Texas Super Middleweight Champion)
Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas
* I think this is going to be an excellent fight. Hatton could probably pull off a decision.
* He has to get Pacquiao moving backwards. Manny gets defensive when he is moving backwards. And he only punches when he is stepping forward.
* Hatton needs to take it to Pacquiao. Ricky needs to square up a little but more, and take his right hand out to Manny.
* He'll need to rough him up and push him around. Doing so allows Hatton to wear down his opponent down the stretch. That will not be easy to do for Ricky. Manny is in great shape, and is always in great shape."
Larry Pryor (Light Heavyweight Boxer)
Hometown: Washington D.C. (currently based in Houston, Texas)
* Pacquiao should be able to stop Hatton in the seventh or eight round.
* To beat Manny, Hatton would have to be a great counter-puncher on Saturday night.
* Hatton will be a different strategy in order to defeat Pacquiao. The Brit will have to tie up Manny. Immediately after breaks from the referee, Hatton can throw his combinations.
* Hatton will need to attack Pacquiao early, and inflict blows on his body. He'll have to earn Manny's respect. That will be a tough task for Hatton because Manny is both a boxer and a brawler.
Felix Ramirez (Houston-based Trainer)
* I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Ricky Hatton will win the fight. He is much smarter than before and improved on his boxing ability. He is close to his prime, and is naturally at 140lbs. He is the bigger and stronger fighter.
* Hatton needs to be careful with the explosive Pacquiao. He'll have to make Manny miss a lot of his punches. When Pacquiao is not set, that is when Hatton needs to attack.
* Ricky needs to be overly aggressive in this fight. We have two guys with the same abilities. The bigger and stronger guy will win. Freddie Roach has not fixed Manny Pacquiao's flaws: he is not able to handle counter-punchers. The stronger Hatton can knock Pacquiao out of balance.
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