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 Hatton downplays Pacman's big win

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PostSubject: Hatton downplays Pacman's big win   Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:32 pm

Ricky Hatton and his trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., both said that the Oscar De La Hoya who was knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in December was a shell of the real Golden Boy.

Their comments minimized Pacquiao's accomplishment and implied that the Filipino icon won’t be facing a similar opponent when he steps into the ring with Hatton on May 2 in Las Vegas.

Hatton is promoted by De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy Promotions, and Mayweather used to train De La Hoya.

“Oscar weighed 147 on the evening of the fight,” Hatton said on a conference call Wednesday. “… I regularly weigh 154 (on fight night). I’ll be the biggest man Manny will have faced. (Pacquiao’s) victory over De La Hoya was a fantastic achievement. Only Oscar can answer questions about what happened with his weight.

“I don’t want to be too disrespectful but it wasn’t hard to outbox Oscar that night, not hard to beat him. With my new training camp, and with Floyd Mayeather, I like to think I’d have done the same.”

Mayweather wasn’t as diplomatic.

“I already know what happened (in the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight),” he said. “It had nothing to do with Pacquiao beating Oscar. No way he can beat Oscar. He did what we saw but he beat a dehydrated Oscar De La Hoya. He didn’t beat the real De La Hoya. He fought a man who was dehydrated

“Oscar hadn’t made (147 pounds) … for quite a while. I don’t think, I KNOW he was dehydrated. He overtrained. Not only that, I just know that Oscar is a much better fighter than that, much better. If I would’ve run that camp, it would’ve been much different. Pacman would’ve got whooped that night.”

He added, “I think (Hatton has) a good chance of knocking him out. This ain’t no dehydrated Oscar De La Hoya. This is a man with strength who will keep pressure on him, smart pressure, who’ll use his jab, move his head, bang to the body and head and smother him at the same time. That’s hard to deal with.”

Meanwhile, Hatton said the fighter who was brutally knocked out by Floyd Mayweather Jr. – his trainer’s son – in 2007 isn’t the same fighter who will face Pacquiao.

Hatton said he was a sitting duck for Mayweather because he moved up in weight (from 140 pounds to 147) and was too predictable. For Pacquiao, he’ll fight at his ideal weight (140) and said he has added weapons to his arsenal working with Mayweather, who joined him prior to the Paulie Malignaggi fight in November.

Hatton said he didn’t feel right physically when he fought – and narrowly outpointed – Luis Collazo in his only other fight at 147 pounds (in 2006).

“It was a real struggle,” he said of the Collazo fight. “The extra seven pounds made a massive difference. That should’ve been a warning sign not to stay at 147. … I had the opportunity to fight Floyd, the pound-for-pound champion. It was a fantastic opportunity. … I would’ve looked at myself as a fraud if I didn’t take it. I’ve said I want to fight the best.

“…I just made it too easy for Floyd. I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing.”

After Mayweather, Hatton fought Juan Lazcano in his hometown of Manchester and barely won. He called that peformance “crap, to be honest,” and admitted he started to buy into speculation that he was beginning to decline.

However, teaming with Mayweather seems to have given him new life. He knocked out the slick, but light-punching Malignaggi with ease in November and says a second training camp with Mayweather for the Pacquiao fight will give him tools that will surprise the current pound-for-pound king.

“I’m better defensively, I’m moving my head better, jabbing a bit more,” he said. “Manny is probably watching videos of … the old Ricky Hatton. When the new Ricky Hatton turns up, I think he’s going to get a shock.”
By Michael Rosenthal
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