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Michael Taylor 1st May 2009 - 17:28

Hitman Hatton is next on Pac-Man’s hit-list

Ricky Hatton has been at the forefront of British and world boxing for over a decade but, when he steps into the ring at the MGM Grand on May 3 2009, his legacy could be destroyed by Manny Pacquiao.

Pac-Man, the undisputed best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, enters the bout as the 1/2 favourite to add another massive scalp to his ever growing collection and it looks too good a price to be ignored.

If you're looking for why Hatton can't win this fight you don't have to go any further back than late November to see where his big problems lie.

A turgid eleventh round TKO against average American Paulie Malignaggi was neither impressive or morale boosting for the Hitman who has failed to get back to his best since the Floyd Mayweather Jr fight.

And while Hatton has struggled, his opponent has flourished.

Pacquaio's dismantling of Oscar de la Hoya in December was simply unbelievable as he yet again proved that stepping up the weights means little more than a few extra hours in the gym.

However, one performance does not amount to a glorious career; wins against Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera on the other hand do.

His pace and power are intimidating, his charisma will ensure the crowd aren't quite so biased towards the ever-popular Hatton and, most importantly, he is smart enough not to get into a brawl.

Maybe writing Hatton off this easily is naive and perhaps Floyd Mayweather Sr has passed on some of his son's top training tips, but question marks about his frame of mind are still a big worry for potential backers.

True, his training has gone well and he looks in as good a shape as ever but, if he still has lingering doubts about his own ability or is scared of getting hurt again then he will lose badly.

He needs to think this is his last chance and fight like his life depends on it. If he does, and if he manages to effectively operate on the inside, then there could be a bit of value in the 6/4 about a Hatton victory - I just wouldn't be rushing into it.

The fact that Pac-Man just seems to get better and better and also has good form when stepping into new weight classes is a measure of a true champion - and is what should lead to light welterweight titles at the first time of asking.

It is important to remember that the Hitman is unbeaten at his preferred weight, and past victories over Kostya Tszyu and Juan Urango show he has the ability to topple the likes of a Pacquiao, however the big question is; can he raise his game to that level again?

And I think the answer is no!

Ricky Hatton v Manny Pacquiao betting

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