It's on, it's off, it's on, then off. Like an old, battered television set on the blink, the much anticipated fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton has been on and off, perhaps more than the number of rounds that the actual fight would actually last.
The last we heard its that it is officially off after Hatton's camp "walked away" from the negotiating table after the Pacman refused to budge from a 60-40 split favoring him.
Jaded boxing observers know the routine only too well. Posturing. Plain and simple, that's what it is. Not unlike lovers playing mind games.
Hatton, and Pacquiao for that matter, will not find a more suitable opponent at this time—both for cementing their reputations and bringing in the big bucks.
For Pacquiao, Hatton is beatable. A win gives him a new weight class. Beating an iconic fighter in Hatton sets him up for a step up into the ranks of the welterweights. The fight generates the kind of excitement that will make the cash register ring. Mayweather is bigger, faster, posing a higher risk. And, Mayweather, in all probability will not take less money, or even be amenable to an even-steven split with the Pacman. You can bet your life savings on that.
Going from the extreme ends of Pacman's weight ranges, from Edwin Valero (super-feather) to Antonio Margarito (welter), there is no one who will be worth the risk for Pacquiao. Everyone else aside from Hatton will be a pay-cut and/or a high risk. The last thing Pacman wants to do is lose to a hungry underdog for less money. It just does not make sense to put his legacy at stake.
Hatton on the other hand, is hungry for recognition. After a so-so tiff with light-fisted Paulie Malignaggi, he has a lot of proving to do in order to rise up in the pound for pound rankings. After-all, as he admitted himself, his dream is to be the P4P king.
Beating Pacquiao will bring him up a few notches from his present position in the lower rungs of the top 10. Besides, there is no one as exciting to fight at light welterweight. Moving up to welterweight is too much of a risk for Hatton. Firstly, he is not a big light welterweight. Next, there are such names as Cotto, Margarito, Berto and the like to contend with. Pacquiao is a good, calculated risk to take for Hatton. If he loses, he does so to the P4P king and ends up with a few millions in the bank. Should he win, his stock will rise immensely, catapulting him to boxing superstardom.
In short, no other fighter is best for the other. Both for the advancement of their careers and their kids' trust funds.
Both fighters and their respective camps know this only tow well.
That is why the fight will happen, mind games and posturing aside.