Manny Pacquiao Vs. Ricky Hatton: Predictions

The Franchise says...

In contrast to the last time we saw Manny Pacquiao in the ring, when no one was sure how hopping up several weight classes would affect him against Oscar De La Hoya, he seems like the known quantity this time out. His blend of speed, explosiveness and determination should be as formidable as ever, and trying his hand at 140 shouldn't impact his stamina either.

Even fighting at his natural weight class, Ricky Hatton is the bigger question mark since he's fought just once with Floyd Mayweather Sr. in his corner. His chances of pulling off the upset revolve around two questions. Will Hatton be bigger and stronger than Pacquiao? And is it possible for a trainer, even one as good as Floyd Sr., to perform a complete style makeover in just two bouts?

My answer to both questions is the same: it's possible, but I don't expect to see it.

Mayweather seems to be basing his assumption of a strength advantage for the Hitman on the fact that Ricky walks around at a weight appropriate to cut to 140 and won't be killing himself like De La Hoya did. And it's true, Hatton is a pretty rugged junior welterweight.

But Manny is only about an inch shorter and has a pretty similar frame, and he carried even more weight against Oscar with no discernible drawbacks. If anything, I think the size and strength issue will be a push.

As for the second question, learning under Floyd Sr. has taken Hatton's defense from the "virtually nonexistent" category and moved it to "not bad." That's the same kind of step Pacquiao has taken under Freddie Roach.

Ricky's offense looked a little more multidimensional against Paulie Malignaggi too, but what he really needs is to be able to counter Manny with sheer ferocity (a la Erik Morales in his first fight with Pacquiao) or accuracy (like Juan Manuel Marquez). No matter who's in your corner, those aren't things you can easily add to your MO when you've already got 40-plus pro bouts under your belt.

Unless Hatton comes up with positive answers for both of those questions, I don't like his chances. I think he's plenty tough enough to hang around for a while, and there should be enough exciting exchanges to allow both the Filipino and British contingents to have reasons to cheer.

Ultimately, though, I expect Pacquiao to prevail via late-round KO.

Uatu says...

I don't believe that there is anything that Hatton can do better than Manny. I don't believe Hatton has any physical advantages over Manny.

I am trying to temper my enthusiasm for both Manny's win over Oscar, and also Hatton's win over Paulie. In the end, I don't believe either of those fights have any bearing on this fight.

Hatton will never give up and will fight with pride and aggression, which will lead to him getting cut up and knocked around.

Pacquiao by mid to late TKO. Hatton's "new" style will lead to the KO coming a little later in the fight, but I think it's still coming.

Spartan117 says...

The amount of support that Hatton has for this fight surprises me. You can always count on his loyal British fans to represent Hatton for his big fights, but I see more analysts backing Hatton than I expected.

Watching HBO's 24/7 has only supported my prediction that Manny will just be too much for Hatton to handle and this new news of Hatton's camp hasn't helped him either.

Manny will throw vicious combos that will overwhelm Hatton. Hatton will start off with what he has learned from Floyd Sr., but I agree with Uatu who says he will revert to his old ways within a few rounds. At the weigh-in, Hatton looked skinnier while Manny looked fit and healthy.

Manny's speed will also prove to be too much for Hatton. The punches will add up and take the Pac-Man to a TKO victory in the middle rounds - my pick is the 7th.

UPDATE: Via Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports comes word that all is not well in Camp Hatton, and that perhaps the Hitman will be looking to train with Roach after this fight. It's quite possible the alleged discord will have no effect on what happens Saturday, but it doesn't make me think the odds of a Hatton upset are any better, that's for sure.

Posted by The Franchise


brett said...

I’ve really enjoyed following the lead up to this fight on HBO’s 24/7 sports. Seeing Manny from a behind the scenes perspective makes me that much more confident in his abilities. This past week was a great episode. I’m glad they used the song “The Goin’s Great” by Sammy Davis, Jr. to start the episode….such a great mood setter - makes me think of Las Vegas, which of course makes me think boxing. Also makes for a hilarious counterpart to Floyd Sr. drinking the Kool-Aid.

Anyway, I expect that Pacquiao puts on a show ,and proves he’s the toughest pound-for-pound fighter there is….but Hatton will do honorably. Check out the opening clip at http://displacedbrett.wordpress.com/2009/04/26/pacquiaohatton-madness/

spartan117 said...

Hey Brett,

Yeah the 24/7's are top notch and do a great job promoting the fight. I'm looking forward to the final episode. We'll have live coverage of the weigh-in tomorrow and also recap the last 24/7. I really can't wait for the weigh in and of course the fight. It's going to be amazing atmosphere-wise.

uatu said...

uh-oh, that report on Hatton and Mayweather makes me think that Hatton is toast for sure, if true.