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Pacquiao vs. Hatton: Is This a Sporting Fight?

By Jim Dower: After watching Ricky Hatton struggle against Juan Lazcano, looking good at times and appearing a little washed up as a fighter at other times, I wonder whether Hatton should opt for a fight against super featherweight Manny Pacquiao. First of all, I don’t think it’s a fight that Hatton could win at this point in his career judging by his recent performances against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Lazcano, fights which seemed to indicate that Hatton was on the downside of his career. Most importantly, however, is the question of fairness.

It looks bad when a fighter that has struggled recently, as Hatton has, takes on a fighter two classes below him in weight. It just seems off-putting, as if Hatton – if he does decide on taking this fight – is taking on a fighter that he feels that he could beat given his huge size advantage. Never mind the fact that Pacquiao is the better fighter and would surprise many by upsetting Hatton, but it still jumps out at you as a fight that’s largely unfair, unwise and not appealing to one sense of sportsmenship.

It’s bad enough, I think, that Hatton is choosing to fight IBF light welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi rather than the better fighters in the light welterweight division such as Timothy Bradley and Ricardo Torres, both of which are much more dangerous fighters than Malignaggi. That seems bad enough for Hatton, but to go one step further and take on Pacquiao, who looks much smaller than Hatton, it seems almost criminal to me. Why fight Pacquiao, when you have other opponents your own size like Bradley and Torres?

I’m really hoping that Hatton decides against this fight because it seems almost like a circus act, and it wouldn’t leave Hatton looking his best, especially if he gets beaten senseless by the quicker Pacquiao. I suppose that’s something that Hatton hasn’t even though of – him getting beaten badly – but could you imagine the effect that it would have on his career if Hatton is beaten to a pulp by a fighter much smaller than him like Pacquiao? It’s one thing to be beaten by someone like Mayweather or De La Hoya, but quite another to be knocked out by a fighter two weight classes below him like Pacquiao.

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