Sharkie's Machine: Manny Pacquiao Annihilates Ricky Hatton in Two Rounds!
By Frank Gonzalez Jr., exclusive to Doghouse Boxing (May 3, 2009) Photo © German Villasenor  
Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada, England’s Ricky Hatton (45-2, 32 KO’s) was battered and floored twice in the first round and consequently knocked out in the opening moments of round two, compliments of the ever so humble left and right hooks of Manny Pacquaio (49-3-2, 37 KO’s) of the Philippines.

Frankly, I was shocked at the ease with which Pac Man handled The Hitman. I thought Hatton would bring his new skills and old work ethic and outwork Pacquaio and win this fight by decision. For all the hype leading up to this fight, there was no evidence that Ricky Hatton had actually learned anything of practical use from his new trainer, Floyd Mayweather Senior.

The Fight

Round One

Hatton immediately applied pressure, forcing Manny backwards. After a short moment, Manny circled around and landed a right clean into Hatton’s face. A moment later, he landed a crunching right hook that stunned Hatton. Pacman persisted with a pair of jabs followed by a straight left, right hook combo that dropped Hatton to the canvas hard! Hatton looked hurt but beat the count. Pacman went after him and dropped him again with another hook. Hatton beat the count and went after Pacman but right before he could land a punch, the bell rang. 10-7 Pacquaio.

Round Two

Hatton came out slugging, landing a right, followed by another right. He tried to impose his aggression and bully Pacquaio with pressure. They traded punches at center ring but suddenly, Pacquaio landed a clean left hook, followed by another and then two right hooks that saw Hatton clinch and punch in the clinch. The ref warned Hatton for hitting behind the head. Hatton seemed to have recovered from the two knockdowns in the previous round when during an exchange at center ring, Hatton swung and missed with a right and Pacman countered with a perfect left hook that saw Ricky hit the floor like a sack of potatoes. Hatton did not beat the count. It was over. Manny Pacquaio had won by KO 2.

Hatton remained down for a while and the ringside attendants were moving him in an awkward way causing a ripple of concern among the crowd in attendance. In a bit, he was up on his stool, still looking stunned but okay.

* *

For all the talk of Floyd Mayweather Sr. about being the best trainer in the world this had to be a huge blow to his ego. The man who kept the tone soft throughout this campaign was Freddie Roach, Pacquaio’s trainer, who always said with surety that he had the better fighter and that Manny was going to knock Hatton out. It happened. During the post fight interviews, Roach said that he’d been paying attention to Hatton for a long time and particularly during this recent training camp. Roach said that Hatton’s flaw was that when he throws his left, he is always open for a short right hook from the south paw stance, which Manny uses since he’s a southpaw. Sure enough, upon watching the slow mo replays, there it was, just as Freddie said. Hell of a trainer that Freddy Roach!

Hatton gambled that he could overwhelm Pacman with his athleticism, size advantage and under rated speed. Hatton opted to begin this fight in the manner that made him famous—the pressure, smother and hold method, which worked great against Kostya Tszyu a few years ago but had zero application against the technically sound and precision punching Manny Pacquaio.

During the post fight interview, Pacquaio was gracious, crediting Hatton by saying he “hits hard,” though nothing that transpired in this fight could support those kind words. Speaking ever improving English, Manny also talked about how he’s developed his right hook to compliment his arsenal and when pressed about who he wants to fight next, he said his job is to fight well and entertain the crowds and it’s his promoter’s job to answer the question of who he’ll fight next. Standard stuff.

Ever wonder what ever happened to the “ladder of contention” in boxing? Since Boxing is a free lance sport with no competition based structure and is in effect, just a series of Promoter arranged events; I’d like to see Manny Pacquaio fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd is returning from his recent, convenient “retirement.” It makes sense that Floyd and Manny would fight to lay claim to the imaginary “best pound for pound” title that doesn’t really exist as anything other than a marketing ploy. They’d make a lot of money with the HBO promotions and Pay-Per-View revenues.

Can anyone imagine Floyd coming back and calling out any of the top guys in his own weight class? Even with the suspension of Margarito and the departure of tall Paul Williams, the 147 pound division is not exactly a safe place for ‘best p4p fighters.’ It’s unlikely Floyd would risk his unbeaten status by signing up to fight guys like the miraculously rejuvenated Shane Mosley, the hard nosed Josh Clottey, the technically sound Miguel Cotto or even the man who inherited Floyd’s WBC welterweight title, the speedy Andre Berto. But no, Floyd’s going after a former 126 pound star who currently campaigns at 135 pounds and is the WBO Lightweight titlist, Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KO’s). Though it may imply a lack of confidence on Floyd’s part, avoiding the tougher competition at 147 and opting to go south…J.M. Marquez is an excellent boxer capable of turning Floyd’s O into a 1.

As a businessman, Floyd should consider what’s always worked best before, go after an older, past his prime Jr. welterweight, like say, Junior Witter, fight him in England with the buzz in the air that he’s considering a rematch with Ricky Hatton (to sell tickets). Going after Marquez could backfire on Floyd, since Marquez has fought the highest levels of competition recently, including two very close fights with Manny Pacquaio, while Floyd has fought a string of guys who had big names but were past their prime.

Maybe boxing should just create a new division for Floyd called, Best Pound for Pound. Then we can see Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. James Toney. Or how bout Floyd vs. Roy Jones Jr.? I’d like to see Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Lopez, the 122 pound sensation!

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