Monday, April 27, 2009

::HATTON dismisses PACQUIAO threat


Ricky Hatton has issued a damning assessment of pound-for-pound number one Manny Pacquaio ahead of their light-welterweight super-fight in Las Vegas on 2 May.

Hatton insists his respect for the Filipino battler ends outside the ropes and believes Pacquaio's one-dimensional style will help him wrest the sport's ultimate title in style.

Hatton said: 'Manny fights the same way all the time. He's effective at what he does but he's not a versatile fighter.

'He's never met a man as fiery, ferocious or rough as me - and certainly not as big and strong.

'I don't think Manny is the most elusive. He comes very square-on and he's there to be hit.

'And if he gets hit he's going to get hit by the biggest man he's ever faced. It will be a very explosive fight.'

Hatton went on to pour scorn on suggestions Pacquiao's inside-the-distance win over Oscar De La Hoya in his debut at 147lbs last year proved the former flyweight was capable of holding his own.

Risking a ticking-off from his promoter, the now-retired De La Hoya, Hatton said: 'I don't think Manny has fought at this weight before. With respect to Oscar, he was fighting a punching bag that night.'

Hatton is putting the finishing touches to his first full camp under new trainer Floyd Mayweather Snr, who joined up at short notice to mastermind Hatton's superb win over Paulie Malignaggi.

And he maintains he has been turned into a much better fighter than the one who was hammered to defeat by Mayweather's son in December 2007 - even going as far as claiming his solitary loss changed him for the better.

Hatton added: 'I think the Mayweather fight really changed my career. I had too many fights where there was no real thought in the way I was fighting and that culminated in my defeat to Floyd.

'I said to myself, "come on Ricky, you've always had the ability, you just aren't using it any more".

'That's why I went to work with Floyd. And I think you've already seen the difference.'

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