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Thursday, April 30, 2009


Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao is predicting a "war" when he challenges Ricky Hatton for light-welterweight gold at the MGM Grand on Saturday night.

The swift handed Filipino southpaw, 48-3-2 (36 KOs), is bidding to win a world title in his sixth different division in Las Vegas in a contest that looks to be a battle between speed and strength.

Despite being a firm favourite with the Vegas bookmakers, Pacquiao is far from complacent and expects a hostile encounter with the Mancunian.

"I know Ricky Hatton is prepared," said Pacquiao. "I respect him...He's a different kind of fighter than I have been fighting before. He's a good fighter and a strong fighter.

"He has a lot of energy and throws a lot of punches. Everyone knows the style of Ricky Hatton.

"He always comes forward, throwing a lot of punches. It's going to be a war. Oh yeah, it's going to be a war. We're going to make it one.

"I'm confident I will win though. I've trained for eight weeks, sparred more than 150 rounds. I'm ready to fight. When the bell rings, I stop being so nice."

While the fighters were both respectful at their latest press conference they left it to Hatton's trainer Floyd Mayweather Snr to do the trash talking, which he did in typically poetic style.

"After this fight, Pacman will never be the same," Mayweather said. "Hey Pac, it's over, so quit wishing on a four-leaf clover.

"You will be uncrowned, with your head down, on your chest, knowing that Ricky Hatton is the best.

"I hope you know, you have got to go, it's going to be Hitman Hatton by KO."

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said only that Pacquaio is in the best shape he has seen and the camp went well.

"He didn't talk because he's got nothing to say," Mayweather said. "He knows I've forgotten more than he will ever know.

"As for Manny, Ricky will whip his (rear). Ricky might not put it as blunt as I will but whatever he says it means the same thing."

Hatton joked: "Whatever he said, that's what I'm saying."


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