What Was Manny Pacquiao's Fight Strategy Against Ricky Hatton?

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What Was Manny Pacquiao's Fight Strategy Against Ricky Hatton?
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao leaving us and Ricky "the Hitman" Hatton stunned and awed?

Come on guys; I am sure that could qualify as the understatement of this crazy boxing world.

Who would have believed and predicted such an outcome, a second round TKO, in this mega boxing encounter? Nobody but Freddie Roach—and he was practically alone! 

And we almost came to the conclusion that Roach was merely "holding the fort" for Pacquiao for publicity purposes only. 

At this time, we have a good idea what happened in the strategic and tactical dynamics of the fight. But first, what is the difference between strategy and tactics?

In the words of Sun Tzu, that author of the celebrated 3,000-year-old book The Art of War:

"Strategy is the overall Plan of the campaign while Tactics are the smaller strategies that when placed all together, supports the former."

In short, strategy is for the overall war, while tactics are the small battles that when placed together supports the war.

The overall strategy of Team Pacquiao was for their ward to capitalize on its main assets—speed and footwork—and neutralize Hatton's much vaunted physical strength and bullying tactics. This is the overall strategy.

Team Pacquiao worked on what is already on hand—the hand speed and the foot speed of Pacquiao. But Hatton was not really a sitting duck, so to speak, in this department. He, too, to some measure, was quite an agile boxer for his size.

It was imperative then that Team Pacquiao should use a simple and yet effective guile. Tactics come into play.

Pacquiao must effectively connect with his right hand, preferably a right hook, to take Hatton's attention from their main artillery, the left hand.

Pacquiao's right hand began the transformation from a support machine gun fire to mortar fire during the Erik Morales III campaign. It was effective then and stunned in its accuracy and timing.

However, this same right hand delivered as a right hook is far from being heavy artillery. It served only as a distraction for the enemy or for those important points for the judges in case of a decision. The main staple was still Pacquiao's left hand. 

The Oscar De La Hoya campaign provided the opportunity to further develop Pacquiao's right hand. It was displayed prominently in the vast arsenal of the "People's Champion." However, its ultimate worth as heavy artillery was still to be realized.

Now came the Hatton campaign. Pacquiao's right hand came to take center stage. It was the blitzkrieg of the fight, downing the enemy to submission in lightning attacks, and the rest was taken care of by the "seek and destroy" occupying army.

Hatton's main forces were spread thinly in what the World War II historians called the "Maginot Line." In the War of the Trenches, the Allied Forces desperately protected France from the impending invasion of Hitler's Army.

Today, we know that the Maginot Line was rendered useless as Hitler's Army took the old route of Hannibal by way of the Alps.

Today, we know that all Hatton's preparations on Pacquiao's attacks coming from his left hand only destroyed his focus on the fight. He did not see the wicked right hooks coming in from all directions.

A tactical masterpiece.

Hatton went down twice in round one. This was totally unexpected! Nobody ever saw that Pacquiao right hand downing the Hitman from Manchester!

And when Pacquiao finally took Hatton's attention on his successful right hand, the left hand did its job with clinical dispatch and precision. A supreme tactical maneuver. It was just "a day in the office" for Pacquiao's left hand

Literally, the left hand did not even bother to warm up. It was practically a no sweat workout for Pacman over the much-publicized Manchester Hitman.

The rest is boxing history. 

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