There are three words that sum up why Ricky Hatton has a good chance at beating Manny Pacquiao: Floyd Mayweather Sr.
We have to understand that Hatton has compiled a 45-1 record against some very good competition without any real training and terrible nutrition, having to drop 60-50 lbs for his fights.
People, that is simply astonishing.
Yet when he tried to come among the elite it didn’t quite work.
Ricky looks completely different in camp with his new trainer, Floyd, who said he almost backed out initially because Ricky didn’t even know how to hit pads.
All former trainer Billy Graham did was tell Ricky to be a monster, and swing for the fences, coming forward in straight lines, with no angles, no head movement, and absolutely no defense. And as Floyd correctly pointed out, "that’s not boxing."
The name of the game is "hit and don’t get hit."
You can think what you want about Floyd Sr., but the man knows this game inside and out, and with a fighter like Ricky who does have quickness, power, and stamina, he can become one of boxing’s elite trainers.
Pretty boy Floyd Jr. is who he is because of his early years of tutelage under his father.
Roger Mayweather, who is a complete joke as a trainer, couldn’t make a good fighter out of anyone.
No matter what Pacquiao vs. Hatton, is is going to be an entertaining fight because both of these guys come to do just that.
They do not lay down for anyone.
Yet, with a plan, and by using his brain for the first time in his career, Ricky does have a good chance to win.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of people who are authorities on boxing have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.
Is Ricky Hatton the underdog in this fight?
Absolutely. To the average layman, who only saw his last few fights, Hatton comes across as a decent fighter who is in way over his head.
Mayweather beat the devil out of Ricky, but it was the first entertaining Mayweather fight I can remember, and that was Hatton’s doing.
He put a lot of pressure on Floyd and made him uncomfortable in the early goings, making him actually stumble backwards and nearly fall during round 1.
But that was Ricky Hatton the street brawler who knew nothing about being a boxer.
Don’t get me wrong, brawling can be very effective, but there is a difference between a street brawler, and a scientific tactical boxer brawler.
This Hatton will be different. He will use controlled aggression, and even if he doesn’t win, I think he will impress a lot of doubters, and silence a lot of critics.
Probably the most pertinent tactic to fighting Manny is to use his aggression and tempo to your advantage.
And the best way to do that is to match it, and if there is anyone who can do that it is the fearless and tough as nails Hatton.
Aside from being powerful, fast quick, and intelligent, Manny simply overwhelms opponents with punches and keeps a furious pace which eventually wears them down.
Manny also lands a great deal of his punches.
If Hatton can block or slip most of them, that will catch Manny’s attention.
Physicality will be important as well.
There is a difference between holding, and wrestling/brawling/setting up punches. Ricky grabs and wrestles as a tactic.
Joe Cortez, who is, through arrogance mostly, (the most dangerous and worst ref' in sports, I’m fair but I’m firm? Who cares? The fight isn’t about you Joe) would not let Hatton be physical, and if he is the ref' this time Ricky might as well not even show up.
If Hatton was still with Graham it’d be an easy strategy for Manny with a guaranteed victory: ‘Slip or block Ricky’s wild punches and hit him in the face when you can and eventually you’ll knock him out.’
With Floyd now in the corner we really have no idea what to expect.
I will say that Manny will have to be cautious at least at first because Ricky does have knockout power at 140lbs.
But being the great fighter that Manny is, and Freddy Roach being the great trainer that he is, they’re gonna be one hell of a tough combination to beat.
However, I think that Roach’s decision to bring in an associate head trainer in ex-heavyweight champ Mike Moore is not a good move.
Already, they have had disagreements on issues and I could tell from Roach that he thinks he made a mistake.
Initially he hired Moore to help him with the rigorous demands of running his active Hollywood boxing gym, but I’m sure there was a condition that he’d be able to help train Manny.
He is a new ingredient in a relationship that is damn near perfect and I don’t think they’ll benefit from him.
From what I could tell, he is slowing them down, but we’ll have to wait and see.
In Las Vegas, anything can happen baby!
So, like a real ref' used to say: Let’s get it on!