May 3, 2009

Pac-Man, The Better Man

Manny Pacquiao cemented his #1 rank of pound for pound champion with his knockout of Ricky Hatton, on May 2nd. This was a good fight for him, too good. Manny Pacquiao did what he had to do, he won. In all actuality, many fighters would have done the exact same as Pacquiao. Ricky Hatton reverted to his old fighting style, just like Freddie Roach said he would, and this was his downfall. I predicted a decision victory for Pacquiao if Floyd Mayweather Sr. had helped Hatton with his fighting style. Even he he did fix Hatton's style in training, in the fight Hatton forgot it.

Ricky Hatton fell prey to his same problem that he did in his fight with Mayweather Jr. He would try to jump all over his opponent but while doing so would leave his head totally exposed. In Hatton's last fight with Malignagi, he didn't do that. He was very methodical and wore down his opponent, this is what he needed do against Pacquiao. His ego kicked in and he thought he could outpower Pacquiao. Even if he could outpower Pacquiao, he always left his head unguarded. Hatton's biggest problem was lack of head movement. After the first round Mayweather Sr. said, "Throw some faints, keep your hands up, move your head, just like we practiced." Hatton did none of this. He kept his head straight up and down and went for a big time knockout, that is why he failed. Ricky Hatton's major fights have been disappointing, if he stuck to his gameplan he might have come away with victories. If he wants to be successful he needs to learn head movement and patience.

Manny Pacquiao had an impressive knockout win, but was it that impressive? The answer is, No. He won, which was all he needed to do. However, put any decent fighter against a fighter with no head movement, who leaves their head totally open, and they would get the same result. I don't consider that victory impressive at all. I still believe Juan Manuel Marquez is the #1 pound for pound champion. Before people decide that I hate Manny Pacquiao let me set the record straight. I do NOT hate Manny Pacquiao, he is a very good fighter. With that said, his last two fights where not that impressive. Oscar De La Hoya was big, slow, and abandoned his jab. Ricky Hatton, like I previously said, just stood in front of big time punches. Manny Pacquiao needs to fight a very good fighter, he needs to fight Juan Manuel Marquez. Is he ducking Marquez? I don't know. I would think that one draw and one, very close, victory should warrant a rematch, but I am not a promoter. If Marquez wins his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. would Pacquiao fight him? We'll just have to wait and see.

I will get more in depth about Marquez-Mayweather closer to the fight but here are my first impressions.
-Floyd Mayweather is coming off of retirement and nobody knows what kind of shape he is in. He was a very fast, slick fighter. I think his layoff won't be much of an issue and he will be close to what he was before.
-Juan Manuel Marquez is a one of the top fighters in the world, he is also thirty-five and has taken a lot of punishment. The Human body can only take so much punishment before it slows down. Only Marquez knows if he can still fight to his potential. He is THE best fighter in world at adjusting his gameplan and exposing his opponents weaknesses. He has fought most of his fights at Lightweight, and will be coming up to Welterweight for his fight with Mayweather. Even at the press conference Mayweather looked bigger than Marquez.
-As far as the fight itself, I think it might be a little slow. Mayweather will wait and try to bait Marquez into a big punch. If Marquez does, like Hatton did, he will lose. Marquez will need to keep his composure and not fall into Mayweather's trap. If he does that he could win.
-The very last point I will make is that Floyd Mayweather Jr. did not want to fight one of the best Welterweights around in Shane Mosely. Instead he chose a smaller lighter fighter. In Mayweather's last fight he made Ricky Hatton come up one weight class to Welterweight and now he's making Marquez do it. Maybe Floyd is afraid of the power that true Welterweights have.

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