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Could Hatton Beat Pacquiao?

Normally I would frame the question the other way around, asking whether the super lightweight Ricky Hatton, the naturally bigger fighter, could beat Manny Pacquiao, a super featherweight, but in watching how poorly Hatton did against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their December 8th bout, I have my doubts about how well Hatton would do against a fighter as fast as Pacquiao.

The whole idea of Hatton vs. Pacquiao isdue to Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who casually mentioned in a recent interview that the 29 year-old Hatton is someone that Pacquiao would like to fight after he finishes with Juan Manuel Marquez and David Diaz. Roach said this to Boxingtalk in references to Hatton, “Yes, and of course if we win that (fight at 135lbs), we want Ricky Hatton. Ricky had a great performance against Mayweather. There are certain guys at 140lbs that I will let Manny fight, and Ricky Hatton is one of them.

Hatton, though still quite young, has beginning to show signs of slowing down with his punches in his recent fights against Mayweather and Jose Luis Castillo. The cause is anyone’s guess but it’s likely a combination of his yo-yo dieting, in which he balloons up between fights, and the numerous shots he gets hit with with his face first style of fighting. It’s a style that’s not suited for long term boxing, and most fighters that fight in this manner usually are pretty much shot by the time they reach 30. Of course, Hatton has made it worse by tending to over eat and drink between fights, meaning that he’s often forced to take off 30-40 lbs each time he goes to training camp.

Pacquiao, however, is still as fast as ever, showing no signs of slowing down with his punches or his high volume offense. Certainly, he would have some problems with Hatton simply because he’d have to deal with the heavier Hatton trying to wrestle with him and lean on him all night long. However, Pacquiao would likely not allow Hatton to get in close, by using his footwork and fast hands to keep him constantly reaching on the outside. I see this as an easy decision for Pacquiao, if not another knockout. Pacquiao would likely catch Hatton coming in just as Mayweather did all night, and would probably stop him by the 9th or 10th round, if not earlier.

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