Dynamic Matchup: Great Fighters, Great People

HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 30:  Professional boxer Manny Pacquiao, actor Mickey Rourke and professional boxer Ricky Hatton attend 'The Battle of East and West', a promotion for the May 2, 2009 World Junior Welterweight Championship boxing match held at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 30, 2009 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Joseph BurkeyAnalyst IApril 29, 2009

Saturday will be an exhibition of two amazing athletes, not to mention two men of outstanding character.  Pacquiao and Hatton will face off for pound-for-pound glory in a dynamic brawl worth all the hype, as well as every penny of the Pay-Per-View ticket.

If Pacquio blasts Hatton for eight rounds and a TKO, the audience wins.  If Hatton Stops Pacquio in the seventh with a devestating body shot, the audience wins. If they exchange combos and knock downs all the way to a split-decision draw, the audience wins. You can see where this is going.

Boxing aside, both individuals are already winners. Pacquiao is a humble hero in the Philippines—Hatton is a beloved icon of working-class England. Most people would cherrish the opportunity just to meet these men.  The sportsmanship of both of them has been documented again and again. The promminant image coming to mind being Hatton and Pacquiao throwing a friendly game of Darts in a Manchester pub.

Back to boxing. Both fighters sport fantastic records against quality opponents. And both fighters are being trained by the best in the business. But where The Pacman will basically continue on his successful path of devistatingly quick barrages from every angle imaginable (and a few angles you never though of), The Hittman has reinvented himself as a fighter after addressing a much needed fix.  Ricky Hatton actually has a defense now.

Most boxing fans I talk to—in fact virtually every boxing fan within 50 miles of the SF Bay are sold that Hatton doesn't stand a chance.  But look at the numbers: He does stand a chance. And in boxing, a chance is all you need. 

Hatton has lost one fight. One.  Against Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. It's not as if any other boxer has found a way to beat "Money." Pacquiao never faced him. In fact, Pacquiao seems best known for knocking out once-great latino fighters at the end of their careers. Ricky Hatton blatantly does not fit this description.

This fight could go either way. And either way an admirable man will move one step closer to boxing's pound-for-pound supremacy.

Oh! So who's my money really on?  Nobody.  I'm saving that cash for food and beer during the fight.

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