Thursday, December 3, 2009

Manny Pacquiao Sees Hatton Fight Toughest of Career

Manny Pacquiao Sees Hatton Fight Toughest of Career

Manny Pacquiao faces the toughest fight of his career in a hotly-anticipated clash with Britain's Ricky Hatton next week in Las Vegas.

"For me, this is not a regular fight," said the Filipino southpaw. "I consider this fight to be the toughest of my boxing career. After all he is undefeated at 140 pounds."

The former four-weight world champion challenges Hatton hfor his IBO light-welterweight title on May 2.

The Briton has never lost at his natural weight while Pacquiao, who declined to make any predictions about the fight, will be boxing in the division for the first time.

"I want to let my fists do the talking in the ring," 'Pac-Man' Pacquiao, ever respectful of his opponents, added in a teleconference call on Friday. "This is not an easy fight.

"Ricky Hatton is a different kind of fighter than I have been fighting before. He's a good fighter and a strong fighter. I expect him to be in 100 percent condition. He has a lot of energy and throws a lot of punches."

Widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Pacquiao said he and his team had been repeatedly watching video tapes of previous Hatton fights.

"He has a strong left hand, so we have studied that and prepared for that," the 30-year-old added.

But Pacquiao would not detail how he and trainer Freddie Roach planned to neutralise the Englishman's strengths.


"We're ready for Ricky's style," he said. "We have been working on different techniques. I don't want to tell you what they are. I want to surprise you."

Pacquiao enhanced his impressive resume by outclassing 10 times world champion Oscar De La Hoya in December and promoter Bob Arum believes the Filipino now merits consideration as one of the greatest fighters ever.

"I personally have never seen such explosiveness combined with speed in all my years of boxing," said Arum, who has promoted boxing greats such as Marvin Hagler, Floyd Mayweather Jr and De La Hoya.

"I believe Manny's body of work establishes him as one of the best fighters in the history of boxing."

Idolised in the Philippines, Pacquiao has always strived to perform well for his fans.

"All I'm trying to do is give happiness and enjoyment to the people," he said.

Remarkably, his success in the ring has even led to temporary ceasefires in the 40-year guerrilla war being fought between Philippine troops and the Maoist-led New People's Army .

Steffani Cacho, Western Mindanao Command information officer, was quoted as saying in December: "If Manny fights, the guns will be silent."

On Friday, Pacquiao said in reply: "If that's a reason for them to be silent, I can fight every day."


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