The Biggest Obstacle For Ricky Hatton: Manny Pacquiao's Southpaw Stance

Garlic boyCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2008

Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquaio are going to have one of the biggest fights in 2009.  Many people have wondered how Hatton will deal with Manny's speed, but the bigger question is how will Hatton handle Manny's southpaw stance? To gain more insight in Hatton's ability to deal with southpaws, one must look at all the previous fights Hatton has had with southpaws in his professional boxing career.

According to, Hatton has faced six southpaws in his professional career.  All wins, however, four of the six went the distance, one was KO via a bodyshot, and the other was a second-round DQ.

Hatton's first two fights with a southpaw were against Mark Ramsey, who took him to a six-round decision win, at a time when Hatton was knocking out everyone he faced.

2002 was the year of the Southpaw for Ricky Hatton as he faced three southpaws in succession. His first fight was with southpaw Eamon Magee. To be fair, Magee had lost but never had been knocked out.

What's significant about this bout is that Magee had Hatton on the deck for the first time in his career. It was also the closest fight that Hatton had been in at that point in his career. 

The next fight was DQ win against Stephen Smith that only went two rounds when his corner stepped on the apron in protest of an elbow thereby stopping the fight.

The third fight was a charm as Hatton fought Joe Hutchinson and put him down and out with a liver shot. It took four years for Hatton to face another southpaw. 

In 2006, Hatton faced Luiz Collazo and eked out a controversial victory 115-112 on two cards and 114-113 on the third. The only thing that saved the victory was a flash knockdown in the first round. Collazo not only had the southpaw advantage, but he had the size, length, and a stylistic boxer advantage over the brawler Hatton. 

Not including the welterweight Collazo, all the other southpaws that Hatton faced at the light welterweight division ranged between 5'7"-5'8", about the same height as 5'7" Hatton.

In comparison, Pacquaio's is 5'6 1/2". Eamon Magee and Steven Smith had a significant reach advantage at 70" compared to Hatton's 65". Pacquiao's reach is 68". 

Size wise most of these southpaw welterweights fought at welterweight, while the Stephen Smith's highest weight was at light welterweight and he started at junior lightweight.

Thus, Pacquaio lacks roughly 1" in height and 2" in reach to the southpaws that have given Hatton trouble. However, the difference is slight and what Pacquiao lacks in length, he more than makes up for in speed and power. 

Ricky Hatton is 45-1 with 32 KO's. Against southpaws, Hatton has only a 1/6 KO%, roughly 17 percent KO percentage against southpaws. Against orthodox fighters, Hatton has a 31 KO's from 39 wins or a KO% of 78 percent. 

History shows that Hatton has had trouble with southpaws. We shall see how he will adapt to the southpaw and how much Floyd Mayweather Sr. can help him with his troubles.