On the British Pug and the Battling Pinoy
By JD Camacho, DoghouseBoxing.com (May 2, 2009) Photo © HBO - PPV  
With the first mega match-up of the year looming, I decided to call-up a friend of mine for a good old-fashioned boxing talk about the big fight. Here’s the transcript:

AJ: Well, I want to bring this up first. After the fight with De La Hoya and Pacquiao, they asked Freddie Roach, ‘What did you see training Oscar that made you so confident Pacquiao would win the fight?’ I mean, ya he did mention not pulling the trigger and all that stuff, but he said he found that when he
worked with Oscar, he was not good at cutting off the ring on his opponents and that Pacquiao would be able to box without being cornered. Hatton, on the other hand, has quick feet, he’s sharp, and he’ll be able to corner him.

JD: Exactly. Um, I do think that Hatton has not improved his defense as well as he would have liked to – at least as evidenced by the Malignaggi fight. There was a sequence late in the fight where it was the same sequence that happened against Mayweather and happened against Lazcano. He feints to his right, feints to his left, and then leaps in with a screw-shot and he gets caught with a left hook. Malignaggi doesn’t have any power, but it’s not out of the question for Pacquiao to hit him late in the fight if he dives in like that.

AJ: I agree, but on 24/7 I saw Roach try and work on Pacquiao stepping backward. I haven’t seen much of Pacquiao stepping backward, fighting backward. We’ve seen very little of Pacquiao moving backward and throwing good punches. I’m not saying he can’t do it, I’m just saying we haven’t really seen it.

JD: I did like what Pacquiao said on 24/7. He said he was practicing in-fighting, and that was the first time I had heard anyone actually talking about that. All you hear from Roach is how he’s not gonna touch his body, Pac’s not gonna fight on the inside, he’s not gonna languish on the ropes. I had a sneaking suspicion that they weren’t even practicing for that, but Pacquiao said they are and I think that’s a good thing. I’m not sure how much it’s gonna matter, though.

AJ: Manny Pacquiao, in his last two fights, fought Diaz and De La Hoya - who combined to land about three punches.

JD: Ya.

AJ: Three.

JD: Three real punches.

AJ: His fight against Marquez was against a guy who was able to hit him, who was able to cut him. I wonder if Pacquiao is susceptible to that here, too. Because when Pacquiao bleeds, he loses his fight.

JD: It AFFECTS him, I think is the bottom line. It affects him. Hatton, meanwhile, is cut so often it doesn’t seem to affect him. Now Hatton is, admittedly, the lesser fighter. As far as cuts go, though, I think you’re right. He responds to cuts much better than Pac does.

AJ: If you wanna go way back to when Pacquiao actually lost his fight, he got cut against Erik Morales and it was a completely different fight from then on out.

JD: There was a bit of wavering, wasn’t there? This is gonna be a rough fight. It’s not out of the question he’d get cut.

AJ: On the other hand, Ricky Hatton - when he fought Mayweather, he was getting caught with a lot of lead rights.

JD: Yes.

AJ: Manny Pacquiao is not the type of guy to throw punches like that. He likes to set up flurries. I don’t think Pacquiao can overwhelm him. I think Pacquiao will use his superior speed to land on Hatton, but I don’t think Hatton will take as much damage as people think. Mayweather landed lots of crisp, lead punches on Hatton. I don’t see Pacquiao throwing the same kinds of punches.

JD: You don’t see him throwing lead left crosses and sneaking out of the way like he did against De La Hoya? He had never really done that before. I mean, he had thrown lead lefts but he never looked that smooth doing it. He was throwing combinations off of his lead left, and it looked pretty good.

AJ: Well, if he can land it, Hatton’s in trouble. But you mentioned defense. He’s only had one fight with Mayweather Senior. One fight. One fight against the top guy in the division, and Hatton looked very good. Oscar’s first fight with Senior was the Gatti fight. And Oscar said he was still getting used to learning this stuff. Maybe Ricky’s in the same boat. (noise in the background) Hold on a sec. I’M TAKING OUT THE RECYCLING! YES NOW! I GOT IT! (rustling) Christ. Hold on for a second. (Moments pass). Anyway, you can’t say that Hatton’s defense hasn’t improved.

JD: I think it HAS improved. I was watching a package that SKY SPORTS put together in their build-up that showed everything Hatton did well in that fight. And I said ‘Oh, wow.’ It looked really good. But in-between, he was still getting caught with punches. And most people are looking into the Lazcano fight to claim that he doesn’t have punch resistance anymore. And frankly, I’m not convinced he can still take a punch, either. That’s something that’s worrisome for Hatton. Because Lazcano can’t punch – especially not at 140 – and he stunned Hatton. I mean, he almost put him down. And Malignaggi isn’t a good indicator, either. I was watching an internet blog, and the guy made the reference that Paulie punches softer than, like, a seven-month-old.

AJ: (laughs) Well, we can agree about that. But we still don’t know about Pacquiao’s chin. Pacquiao’s chin is untested, as far as I’m concerned, above 130. If Ricky Hatton doesn’t land on him, I’ll have to say ‘Congratulations Manny Pacquiao, for being that damn good.’ But Hatton doesn’t have bad handspeed, and I do think that inside fighting will play a role in this fight.

JD: It should. I definitely think it will. And I think Hatton is a better in-fighter than Pacquiao. I thought he was a better in-fighter than Mayweather, and that turned out to be incorrect. However, here’s the thing – you can point to fights of Mayweather’s where he showed excellent in-fighting ability. You can’t point to any fight of Manny Pacquiao’s – as long as he’s been with Roach, anyway – where he showed excellent in-fighting ability. He usually just holds on the inside. It’s something that’s never really been part of his game plan. He’s more of a mid-range fighter. I just don’t think, if Pacquiao doesn’t fight at that range, how he’s going to beat him on the inside? I mean, Roach probably knows this. Roach said this to the British Press: He backed off on this three round prediction and said it was going to go some rounds. I agree with him. I think that’s their best chance to win. Tag him with crosses, slide out the way. Cut him up.

AJ: I’ve never seen Ricky Hatton NOT fight on the inside. He will take a punch to fight on the inside.

JD: That’s what he DOES.

AJ: If Mayweather Senior limits the damage Hatton takes getting there, that’s fine. But I do think he will corner Manny Pacquiao, and I want to see how Pacquiao reacts.

JD: Do you think it will go the distance? Someone I know said he thinks it’s gonna go twelve, and some journalists say that, too. But I can’t see it.

AJ: If it goes the distance, it’s because Manny Pacquiao is not fighting his fight, and then Ricky Hatton wins in twelve. Manny Pacquiao has all the tools to knock out Hatton. He has fast hands, and he knows how to hit Ricky. A lot. If he does, he stops him – there’s no other choice. If he doesn’t, Ricky is getting to him and Manny is surviving off his superior boxing skills. If it goes twelve, Hatton wins the fight.

JD: We’ll see. Hope it’s a good one.


-How ‘bout that Carl Froch? Too bad his name is pronounced FroCH instead of FroCK. He could have so many insults at his disposal: Frock you. Frock off. You got Frocked up. The possibilities are endless…

-That Cory Spinks is now more exciting isn’t necessarily a good thing for his career. It was his soporific style, after all, that made him a hell-of-a-boxer once upon a time…

-Hey Antonio Margarito, I hear that WHAAAAMbulance is going to be hear any minute…

-The superb Shane Mosley has no one to fight. Now THAT’S unfortunate. At least ESPN still enjoys interviewing him…

-Speaking of ESPN, anyone see the front page headline the other day? It was about Hatton – Pacquiao. But the picture showed Oscar De La Hoya raising the arms of Floyd Mayweather Senior and Freddie Roach. The fighters? Nowhere to be found. Uh, the fight’s about HATTON and PACQUIAO, guys. The public should at least see their faces somewhere in there…

JD at: jdcamachorj@gmail.com

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