Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hatton calls Pacman’s win over De La Hoya a fluke


LOS ANGELES — Ricky Hatton thinks Manny Pacquiao’s demolition of Oscar De La Hoya in December was a fluke. And Hatton is counting on beating the Filipino star on May 2 in Las Vegas.

“Any win against Oscar is a magnificent one. Is that the Oscar De La Hoya we have come to love? I don’t think so,” Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs) said. “And only Oscar can say what happened on the scales. He looked a shell of the Oscar we know. I don’t think it was hard to beat Oscar that night.”

Pacquiao (48-3-2) and Hatton were at a red-carpet event at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood to promote the junior welterweight title fight for the first and only time in the United States.

Pacquiao wants the International Boxing Organization title, which belongs to Hatton. But the Briton thinks he will have a leg up against one of the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters.

“If you could see how fast I’m performing, there’s not that big a gap there,” said Hatton. “Ultimately, I think size will play a big factor. He has dangers in other areas, like his speed and footwork but I’m boxing a lot cuter than I was a few years ago.”
Pacquiao is known for his speed. But he could be fighting his biggest opponent in Hatton. Pacquiao was fighting in the super featherweight division last March. He moved up to welterweight to fight De La Hoya, who lost weight for the matchup.

De La Hoya didn’t come out of his corner after the eighth round. Hatton suggested that De La Hoya tried to make weight too early.

“That’s what people believe,” Pacquiao said. “Maybe they were rooting for Oscar and maybe they were fans of Oscar. It’s hard to make reasons or alibis after the fight. It’s not good.”

Pacquiao told reporters he weighs 148 pounds (67 kilograms). He trains with Freddie Roach in Hollywood and said camp was going well.

Hatton, who is training in Las Vegas, said he was feeling good at 150 (68 kg).

“It’s a fight I massively believe I can win. A boxer can’t get any higher if he’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, so I need to just go about my business more so than ever.”

Hatton added: “I respect Manny for his skills and all his power but I think he should be a bit more worried about my power.”

Asked if he viewed Pacquiao as something of a lightweight when it came to power, Hatton said he did not want to say too much in case it came back to bite him.

“But above all, I think it’s going to be a fantastic fight,” Hatton said. “And there’s no doubt (what) my own tactics (will be). It’ll be foot forward from the first bell.”

Pacquiao also said he had great respect for Hatton.

“He’s a strong fighter, a good fighter and he’s quick,” the 30-year-old added after the duo had been introduced to their fans.

“For me, this is not a regular fight. I consider this fight to be the toughest of my boxing career. After all he is undefeated at 140 pounds.”

While Pacquiao was reluctant to predict the outcome of the May 2 clash dubbed “The Battle of East and West,” his multi-awarded trainer Freddie Roach was far from reticent.

“I think it’s going to be the best three rounds you’ve ever seen,” Roach told Reuters. “It’s going to be short and sweet.” Inquirer.net

No comments: