Monday, May 4, 2009

Manny Pacquiao Too Fast for Hatton (And Probably Everyone Else)

Yesterday, as I was driving in my SUV, I noticed a crow eating the carcass of some type of animal. Gruesome, I know, but it reminded me of what Manny Pacquiao did to Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas Saturday night. Pacquiao, simply dismantled Hatton and destroyed him with a 2nd round K.O.

Hatton was sent to the canvas twice in the first round, both coming from Pacquiao right hooks. It seemed like Hatton spent more time on the canvas than he did standing up. The crazy thing is, I noticed, before Hatton was put down, his technique looked better than it did in previous fights due to his hiring of the boastful, outspoken trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr. He displayed more head movement, better footwork, but in the end (or beginning), it just wasn’t enough. Pacquiao is just way too fast for him, and maybe for anyone.

Pacquiao told reporters that he knew Hatton would be looking for the left, so, he and trainer, Freddie Roach worked on the right hand during training camp. Throughout those brutal two rounds Pacquiao found it easy to land that right hand flush onto the unsuspecting face of Hatton.

But even in landing the right hook with regularity, it was a thunderous left hook to the face of Hatton that put him out of commission. Hatton lay flat on his back, staring up into the lights on the ceiling of the MGM Grand for several minutes. A part of me felt bad for him, as I am a fan of Ricky Hatton. I am a bigger fan of Manny Pacquiao, but I really felt Hatton was ready for this fight and thought he’d last well into the 11th round or maybe even go the distance. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The HBO cameras showed Hatton’s fiancĂ© and mother immediately after the fight was called by referee, Kenny Bayless, and the look on their faces was one of disbelief, sadness, and terror. They were afraid of what happened, that Hatton may have been seriously hurt. Luckily, he would eventually be helped up by doctors and his trainers and would be okay.

On the flip side, Manny Pacquiao celebrated an incredible victory that cements his place in Hall of Fame glory. All of this in front of his mother, who made her first trip to the U.S. to witness her son fight in person for the first time.

It’s impossible not to like both of these fighters. Pacquiao with his infectious smile, Christian ways and lightning fast hands. Hatton with his relentless pursuit, humble attitude and massive following. With the return of Floyd Mayweather Jr., fight fans want to see Pacquiao fight him in a megafight, possibly in December. As for Hatton, he’ll bounce back and win more fights. The fact is, he needs to be more patient in his style and Pacquiao is just too good for him.

Both fighters will go in opposite directions for the moment, but while I’m predicting for Pacquiao to stay on top for a good while – or at least for the rest of the year – Hatton will be back…Not in the ring with Pacquiao but near the top.

Pacquiao vs. Hatton by the numbers:

Punches Landed: 73 out of 127 - 57.4%

Punches Landed: 18 out of 78 - 23.1%

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