The Stat Line Of The Night – 04/29/09 – Carmelo Anthony
Preview: The Pacman vs. The Hitman Too Close To Call
Total Pro Sports – Current pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao will look to increase his strangle hold on world boxing, when he squares off against Ricky Hatton at Light-Welterweight in Las Vegas. The fight could be crucial for each boxers bank balance with the imminent return of Floyd Mayweather jr.
Many so called experts have dubbed the fight as the perfect 50/50 match up, as each fighter has the credentials that could see them prevail come May 2nd. Pacquiao has the blistering hand speed, the fleet of foot and the southpaw style that could leave the “Hitman” chasing shadows all night, similar to the merry dance Floyd Mayweather jr lead Ricky Hatton. However Hatton has the rugged, all-action approach that could bully Manny into submission, Ricky’s favorite punch, the body shot delivered around the floating rib, is devastating, just ask Jose Luis Castillo, this could be crucial because Pacquiao has already succumbed to this shot twice in career to fighters a lot smaller that Hatton.
The weight is being seen as the equaling factor in this fight. As Ricky is undefeated at 140lbs throughout his career, bulldozing his way to the Ring Magazine Light-Welterweight title. Manny on the other hand may be superior in skill, but his size is inferior to Hatton, having started his career as Flyweight (112lbs). Many critics will of course argue that Pacquiao is coming off the biggest victory of his career, the TKO stoppage of Oscar DeLa Hoya, a fight competed a weight above, so size will not matter. However this victory should be taken with a pinch of salt, as it was clear Oscar was a shadow of his former self, a punch bag that night, who left it on the scales. I believe Hatton is right when he states “if he gets hit he’s going to be hit by the biggest man he’s ever faced”, However Pacquiao is equally correct in stating “I don’t care if he’s bigger or stronger, boxing is more than that. It’s also mental and about the quickness of your mind and quickness of your body, that’s very important, speed is very important”. All this should lead to this fight being a coin flip match up, the perfect analogy to use, given that this fight is being showcased in the gambling capital of Las Vegas.
Another subplot to this dream match up, is the trainers of the respected fighters, who could also determine the outcome of the fight. Manny is under the tutelage of the wily Freddie Roach, who has taken many fighters including Pacquiao to the top echelons of boxing. Ricky on the other hand has the brash Floyd Mayweather sr in his corner, a trainer who has guided notable fighter such as Oscar Dela Hoya and Joan Guzman to world titles. The “Pacman” who was thought of as one handed fighter has developed into the most gifted all round fighter, under Roach and has notched up victories against Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. Whereas the “Hitman” who was regarded as a one dimensional pressure fighter, with no method to his madness, has transformed since he hooked up with Mayweather sr, moving his head as he comes into deliver the crushing power shots, going back to jab to set up the shots, all this was seen in Hatton’s 11 round demolition over the fast talking New Yorker Paulie Malignaggi. With even the tactical genius Roach and the supremely self-confident Mayweather sr cancelling each other out, what expert can call this fight?
If the styles of each fighter blend come May 2nd this could be fight of the year for sure, I don’t see the fight going to the judges decision, with the speed and technical ability of Manny Pacquiao being too much for the Hitman, or Hatton’s sheer size and ferocious style bullying the Pacman for the stoppage, either way its going to be exciting and sure to get any boxing fans juices flowing. Your Thoughts?