How Badly Will Hatton Lose To Pacquiao?
By Chris Williams: I hate to rain on a lot of Ricky Hatton fan’s parade but he doesn’t stand a chance against Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd. It isn’t whether or not he’s going to lose the fight, in my view, it’s how badly he’ll lose. As far as I can tell, Hatton hasn’t shown anything in recent fights or throughout his entire career that would lead me to believe that he can stay in with Pacquiao for more than six one-sided rounds.
He’s beaten a lot of scrubs, a few over-the-hill fighters, yet here he is fighting the best fighter in the planet in Pacquiao. I see Hatton as more of a club fighter rather than an all around top fighter in the light welterweight division. To be sure, Hatton defeated Kostya Tszyu, but that fight was more of a wrestling match than a boxing match with Hatton clinching and wearing an old, weight depleted Tsyzu out in front of a large British audience.
Pacquiao won’t be vulnerable to wrestling or any of the inside tactics that Hatton likes to employ in fights. When Hatton tries to hold, Pacquiao will punch him in the mouth every time and leave Hatton grasping at air. Hatton is really out of his league in this fight, perhaps much more so than Hatton’s 10-round stoppage loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao is faster, stronger and better than Hatton in almost every facet of the sport you can imagine.
I think the only thing Hatton can do better than Pacquiao is wrestle, but that hardly counts. This is boxing, not wrestling and the fight is taking place at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada, meaning that Hatton probably won’t be able to reduce the fight into a dull grappling fight on the inside, because the referee likely won’t allow constant wresting in the fight.
This fight is going to be one-sided from the start with Pacquiao hitting Hatton with flurries and then getting away to the outside. Hatton might wish that he had stuck to fighting soft opponents like Paulie Malignaggi and Juan Lazcano as soon as he starts tasting the power shots from Pacquiao.
Without any speed or good foot movement, Hatton’s only chance is to try and slow the fight down by clinching on the inside, and hope that he can reduce the fight to only an occasional shot from each fighter. If allowed to do this, the fight will be painfully boring to watch and not even worth viewing.
I doubt that the referee will put up with constantly holding from Hatton, at least I hope he doesn’t. With Hatton likely clinching for he’s worth, Pacquiao is going to have to stay on the move and focus on lighting Hatton up as he comes in with both hands trying to grab him in a bear hug.
Hatton will try to land some shots early on, but once he discovers that he doesn’t have the speed or talent to land his shots, you can expect him to revert to his grabbing and grappling style of fighting, reducing the fight to the lowest common denominator.
I doubt it will work. Grappling works against some fighters, but not truly talented ones with an overall game like Pacquiao. Hatton’s going to take a terrible beating in this fight, maybe bad enough for him to consider retirement afterwards. Hopefully, he goes out like a warrior fighting and doesn’t quit on his stool in between rounds.
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