Gone away is the Hit-Man. Here to stay is the Pac-Man. Walking along, singing a song. Walking in a lefty wonderland. There's only one Ricky Hatton, but he's seeing about four or five Manny Pacquiaos right now.
Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao took south-paw boxing to new heights Saturday night, unleashing precision power and dangerous quickness en route to what was eventually ruled a second-round TKO victory over Ricky "Hit-Man" Hatton.
What I saw was no TKO. Hatton was over it. He was done. Asleep on the floor like me after too much tequila. Please Ricky, no more. You seem like too nice a fellow. It would be better if we got a pint at the pub and watched the Manchester United match on the tele. We'd rather not see you looking worse than Freddy Roach in five years because you wanted a rematch. You don't want a rematch, do you?
Honestly though, the left-handed Pacquiao is too much to prepare for these days. Finding a lefty sparing partner is one thing. Getting a quick or powerful partner is something else. But there just isn't a partner out there who can prepare you for the Pac-Man. Repeat: it is impossible to prepare for Manny Pacquiao.
It's clear left-handed athletes have an advantage in Baseball. They are headed toward first base naturally after swinging the bat, and they have a clear view of runners on first from the mound.
Even in football, a defense must flip its game plan to account for lefty Quarterbacks.
But in boxing, being a south-paw fighter hasn't been considered a true advantage as it becomes difficult to get fights against quality opponents. Fighting a lefty can throw off your timing and make you look careless and sloppy.
It's time to consider south-paw style boxing as a real threat, and a treat to watch. If fighters are afraid to fight left-handed foes on a semi-regular basis, how will they ever be able to deal when a force like Manny Pacquiao comes along?