MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao is preparing for everything that Ricky Hatton might throw at him on May 2, including his possible "roughhouse tactics."
Aside from his patented aggressive, move-forward nature, Team Pacquiao noted that Hatton has had a history of grabbing and then punching during the clinch, pushing and head butting, so they are working on ways to neutralize this.
"We’re preparing for that style (Hatton’s possible roughhousing), that’s what we’re focusing on right now," Pacquiao said in an interview with Asian Journal.
According to celebrated trainer Freddie Roach and assistant Nonoy Neri, the pound for pound king is working on his jabs to complement his hand and foot speed against Hatton’s relentless attacks and possible roughhousing.
“It’s important when Hatton comes forward, Manny needs to throw that jab then move to the side," said Neri, who had watched all of Hatton’s previous fights to prepare Pacquiao for any “dirty trick" that the “Hitman" might employ.
Roach added that the lightning fast bombs and constant movement would do the job for the Filipino superstar. “"He has to land those combinations and go side to side. It’s all about footwork," he said.
Pacquiao is well aware of the importance of keeping Hatton, who has vowed to pressure him on fight night, at bay.
"The jab is very important in this fight," said Pacquiao. "Hatton is not too fast so the jab is very effective in this fight."
A natural at junior welterweight where he’s undefeated so far, Hatton boasted that in addition to his size and power, his improved speed would surprise Pacquiao come fight night.
But Roach twitted the fighter from Manchester. "Speed is a God-given gift. You can improve it if you relax, but talk is talk, we’ll see on the night."
Roach and Neri remained firm on their belief that Pacquiao would run over Hatton in their “Battle of East and West" showdown in Las Vegas.
"All Manny has to do is fight smart. Hatton is easy to hit," said Neri, who expects that early in the fight, Pacquiao’s vaunted left hook would finish off Hatton.
Roach went further by saying Pacquiao would literally draw blood from the “Hitman."
"You know how Manny usually wears white shorts. I already told Manny to wear red shorts that night. There’s going to be a lot of blood, and it won’t be from Manny," said the WildCard Boxing Club boss, who had predicted a 3-round KO for his prized ward. –GMANews.TV
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