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Hatton plans to use speed to beat Pacquiao

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Box_g_hatton_malignaggi2_sw_576_medium According to a USA Today article, Ricky Hatton is hoping to use speed and power to beat Manny Pacquiao on May 2:

Ricky Hatton admits his old bulldozing style of fighting won't be good enough to beat Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on May 2 and he will rely instead on handspeed and punching power.


"Kostya was a great punching powerhouse but I bulldozed him into submission," Hatton said on Monday. "But in my last fight against Malignaggi, who is a speed merchant, I ended up out-boxing him and out-speeding him. In the end I beat him up.

"The Ricky Hatton of old would have put his head down and steamed in at 100 mph without a lot of thought on how to do it. I've no doubt Manny's speed will cause me problems but they said that about Malignaggi."

Well, OK.

Paulie Malignaggi is quick, but Pacquiao is quicker. Pacquiao can also punch, while Malignaggi can't punch his way out of a wet paper bag. Hatton routed Malignaggi because Paulie couldn't get Ricky to respect him at all. Once Hatton felt Paulie's shots, I'm sure he knew there was no check hook that this guy could possibly throw that could put him down. Pacquiao is not the same story.

Malignaggi also just didn't fight well at all. All credit to Hatton for making that happen in many ways, but let's not mistake Paulie Malignaggi for a guy that's going to teach Hatton how to fight Pacquiao, who is not only faster and stronger than Paulie, but he's a southpaw who moves around the ring very well, punches in vicious and sudden combinations, and comes from a variety of angles.

We don't know yet if the pairing with Floyd Mayweather has actually changed Hatton at all because we haven't seen him against a guy that can hurt him. Freddie Roach says later in the article that he figures when Hatton gets hit and stung by Pacquiao, he'll go back to what he knows. I kind of figure the same.

It's going to be a great fight and Hatton, because of his strength and punching power at 140, can beat Manny Pacquiao. If he chooses to go into a firefight with Manny, he can bull him around the ring, get him in close quarters, and dig away. Much easier said than done because Ricky's footwork will have to be good enough for him to even get at Manny, who likely will prefer to bounce around and come in quickly with his combos.

What I'm really saying is that yes, Hatton looked better under Floyd against Paulie than he has looked in years, and it's likely no coincidence. Billy Graham was clearly lost for anything to tell Ricky against Floyd Jr. in December 2007, and Ricky was sluggish and underwhelming against Juan Lazcano last May. But Lazcano and Malignaggi, though different fighters and of different quality these days, stood more or less the same chance against Hatton, and he beat them both because he's better than both of them. Manny Pacquiao is a far, far bigger challenge. If Ricky plans on playing a speed game with Pacquiao, I think he's digging his own grave. A lot of his night will be spent hitting reset.

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