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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Manny Pacquiao's assertion that Ricky Hatton is "one-dimensional" has got the juices flowing on the eve of Hatton's first public comments on the great Filipino fighter. The debate is raging after Manny wasted no time in throwing the first verbal jab out into the ether. From experience, it should be a different story from 'the little lad from a Manchester council estate' as Hatton has often self-deprecatingly referred to himself, before mocking his father's height and revealing the fear of God his own mother puts into him at home. As a sit-com, The Osbournes and the Hattons are equally entertaining.

When Hatton sits in front of the media in Manchester tomorrow, the drill will be no different. He'll crack a few jokes, probably look as if he needs to shed 10 to 12 pounds, and will be nothing other than magnanimous in giving his time to all those who make the journey to see him.

Pacman is already getting his punches in before the first bell. Along with Freddie Roach, who over four months out from the fight, is already predicting that his charge will knock Ricky out in the ninth round.

Hatton is far from "one-dimensional", and Pacquiao knows this. The fight will take place at a furious pace, but the shapes and shadows from distance make it look as if Pacquiao will have the movement advantage, as long as he stays away from being trapped on the ropes by Hatton. Worth remembering it was a very wary Pacquiao in the first five minutes of the fight against Oscar De La Hoya. It was not until Pacquiao realised into the second and third rounds, that De La Hoya was slow and his timing was gone, that he utilised great movement to punish the Mexican/American like a punchpag.

There have been arguments that Hatton may be shot as a fighter. That looks unlikely after his last outing, though Malignaggi is a light puncher.

Hatton has power, and hurtful power at 140lbs, a weight he has been at for over a decade and possesses skilful punches in the close exchanges, and is also skilled at hit and hold. I don't agree that Hatton, as one or two commentators, have remarked, is similar to David Diaz, or Juan Manuel Marquez.

Hatton, though, I understand, will be pushed even harder in his fitness regime and movement skill by Floyd Mayweather Sr for this fight. It appears that Hatton will train in two locations in America, under Mayweather, who had Hatton's conditioning spot on for his last fight. Hatton said afterwards that he couldn't believe how fresh he felt after ten rounds against Malignaggi.

Should be good to see Hatton tomorrow. All I'm expecting to be hearing from him is that he is delighted to be facing Pacman, and I'm sure Hatton will give a detailed breakdown of Pacman's skills in the ring. He is also sure to say that he will be leaving it all in the ring when they meet, given that it will be the second time in 18 months that he has had the opportunity to fight the man widely-regarded as the best pound for pound fighter in the world at present. Will he throw any verbal punches, or asides, at Manny Pacquiao. ? I doubt it, somehow. Not Hatton's style. He'll leave his venom for the ring.


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