Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ricky Hatton's Career Hangs By a Thread After Manny Pacquiao Knockout

Ricky Hatton suffered a devastating second-round knockout in his world title fight against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas last night. The title fight for the IBO light welterweight belt was ended after Hatton was brutally dispatched by the champions lightning strikes.

With the fight just beginning to warm, Hatton was floored by a right from no-where to hit the deck for the first time in the round, after getting up and seemingly surviving Pacquiao's barrage, the fight was ended by a crushing left that had Hatton counted out with only one second remaining in the round.

The defeat, only the second of Hatton's 47 fight career now leaves his future in the ring in the balance. At 30, there are not too many options left for the Hitman, and as he lies in his bed this morning considering last nights devastation at one of the best boxers in the world, he must also consider what he has left to offer the sport.

Amazingly, Pacquiao was fighting in his fourth weigh-class in as many fights as he sought to challenge Hatton for his title. In winning, the Filipino now enters Boxing's folklore as well as the history books as surely, one of the best fighters ever to enter the ring.

In truth, the Filipino's hand speed had Hatton in trouble right from the start. The sheer amount of positions that he can launch attacks from had the Mancunian's defence in tatters, and an early knockout looked a distinct possibility as early as mid way through the first round.

Hatton walked straight into three devastating right hands before another right literally shook him to his foundations as the round counted down. The Hitman struggled to his corner and you just knew that Pacquiao had him fixed in his sights as the second round bell rung.

With Hatton out of options and with no other game plan, Pacquiao took him apart. The stunning second round display was only matched by the stunned silence of Ricky's following who could not believe the dismantling of their hero.

The the rule of the tape tells the true story of how one sided the fight was. Hatton only landed 18 punches in the fight to Pacquiao's 73.

The stunning victory sets up a potential big money fight in Vegas against Floyd Mayweather Jr, if he overcomes Juan Manuel Marquez on the 18th of July.

"I think a fight with the winner of Mayweather-Marquez is a very good possibility," said Roach, Pacquiao's manager after the matchup.

"It's a natural fight and the fans would want to see it. But I think Mayweather is scared, and we're not waiting around."

He added: "If Miguel Cotto wants to come down a few pounds, we can make that happen, or even Shane Mosley."

The defeat now leaves Hatton's career in tatters. A defeat of this magnitude has been threatening to happen over his long vaunted career. The Hitman, is a phenomenal boxer but his known binges outside his training regime have always left questions over the Mancunian.

Between binge drinking and binge eating, Hatton always puts on huge weight between fights, and despite the fact that he has always made the weight, many have felt that this kind of regime would be counter productive in his latter years, especially when it comes to taking on fighters of Pacquiao's class.

Strangely enough, Hatton is a huge fan of the UFC, and has gone on record of a desire to try out the discipline when his career at the highest level in boxing is over. After meeting with Dana White the last time the UFC was in England, it could be an outside possibility.

After luring wrestling's Brock Lesnar to the UFC, the sport has attracted a whole new range of fans. Bringing someone on board of Hatton's reputation and pulling power could propel MMA into a whole new ball game.

The win leaves the Filipino as one of boxing's true legends, a champion across a vast array of different weight classes, he has brought lightning quick hand speed to a new level as he has successfully combined it with phenomenal power, cat like reflexes, and fantastic footwork.

But is he the best fighter in the world? Undoubtedly. There are few who can rival him at the moment, hence Mayweather's return to the ring, as he searches to end that legendary status that Pacquiao has quite rightly picked up.

Is he the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world?


That honour goes to Ireland's Katie Taylor. The best women's boxer in the world is probably the best women boxer of all time, and the 23 year old has demolished everyone that has crossed her path in a highly impressive career to date.

For boxing fans everywhere, I urge you to see this girl box. You won't be disappointed.

twitter / WillieGannon