Who is the better man, Manny Pacquiao or Ricky Hatton? In less than 24 hours, the whole world will know for sure. But in the midst of all talks and endless predictions, there are just a few people whose opinion on the issue really matters.
Ricky Hatton, defending IBO Jr. Welterweight champion:
"When I stand next to Manny I look at him and think: 'How are you going to hold me off?' He is a great fighter, that's why everyone accepts him as the pound-for-pound champion, but I have advantages, and one of them is that I am a more polished fighter than I was and I'm at a weight that is natural for me. Defeat by Mayweather humbled me, made me realize how too many of my fights had been going the same way. I was trying to bulldoze all my opponents out of it and in the end I paid the price.”
Manny Pacquiao, four-time world champion in four different divisions and reigning pound-for-pound titlist:
"I'm not saying how I will beat Ricky Hatton, who is tough and a fighter I respect. When you study an opponent you do not say what you have learnt anywhere but in the ring. But I know I can win because I have done all of my work, I have been disciplined, and when you know this it gives you great confidence. You go into the ring without fear because you know you have done your training well – and you also know your ability."
Freddie Roach, two-time best trainer awardee and long-time trainer of Manny Pacquiao:
Manny will knock Ricky out, for sure. I'm very confident. I've studied Ricky Hatton's tapes. He has too many flaws for Manny Pacquiao. He's made for Manny Pacquiao. I know (Hatton's trainer) Floyd Mayweather Sr. thinks he has the stronger fighter, but I don't think so.
Floyd Mayweather Sr., Ricky Hatton’s trainer and father of former pound-for-pound king Floyd Jr.:
"Manny has a good left jab, but when I see the way he throws punches, I see an amateur. When you beat De La Hoya with that, it means De La Hoya quit, forget, end of story. Hatton would beat Pacquiao by stoppage. Ricky is going to beat his ass. I'm not looking for a beat down. I'm looking for a stop down."
Bob Arum, Top Rank boss and respected boxing promoter:
“He improves from fight to fight which to me demonstrates that we have a fighter who’s still not yet at his peak. What usually happens is that fighters, they reach a particular peak before they hit a plateau and decline. But Manny hasn’t peaked yet so it’s all coming right. Believe me, the Manny Pacquiao that will be in the ring against Ricky Hatton is a better fighter than the one that went in the ring against Oscar De La Hoya."
Oscar de la Hoya, former six-time boxing champion and legend:
“I respect Manny Pacquiao, I respect Freddie Roach. Great fighter, great trainer, but I’m gonna go with Ricky Hatton. I don’t see it going the distance. Not early, but maybe late. I know who (will win) but it’s not gonna go the distance.”
Nacho Beristain, revered Mexican boxing trainer:
“I think Pacquiao is going to win. Pacquiao is a lot faster and his left hand is lethal. Hatton is a strong fighter, but he receives a lot of hits."