This may be the boldest prediction so far on the much-anticipated Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton showdown May 2.
Hatton's trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., was quoted by a Manila-based daily which interviewed him via an overseas phone call as saying the Hitman will practically breeze through boxing's acknowledged pound-for-pound king.
"Manny Pacquiao's chances are slim. If he dosen't run, we'll get him in one," said Mayweather. "Ricky will either knock him out or give him a terrible ass whoopin'," he added.
This, of course is in stark contrast to the prediction of Freddie Roach, trainer of Manny Pacquiao, who sees a Pacquiao win via stoppage in the ninth round. "Nine is my favorite number," said Roach, who accurately predicted Pacquiao's stoppage of Oscar De La Hoya.
Mayweather's fearless forecast sends a lot of eyebrows into orbit. A Hitman KO of the Pacman in the early rounds is somewhat too drastic to imagine when you consider that the Pacman's last defeat within the distance was in the early part of his career when he was still fighting as a flyweight in the late 1990s. Since then, Pacquiao has never kissed the canvas.
Of course, expect trainers to come up with forecasts proclaiming their wards as the winner of an upcoming big fight. That, perhaps, is part of their job description. Besides, it helps in the publicity build-up for the fight.
But Mayweather's pronouncement shows his confidence in Hatton is off the charts. Could he possibly have found the magic bullet to shoot down Manny Pacquiao?