CHICAGO (May 3) – In his second straight fight, it appeared Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao was in complete control of his game plan. And in this latest title event held in the same venue as the last but called “Battle of the East and the West”, it appeared he has an eye to have his fight downloaded for a YouTube highlight video.
The abbreviated win — in less than six minutes — can easily fit in popular video sharing Website, which users can upload, view and share video clips for everybody to see and appreciate.
Of course, even Pacquiao, himself, was surprised of joining boxing immortality, tying the legendary Oscar De La Hoya as the six-division world champion.
Pacquiao paved his claim to being the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer with a stunning second-round knockout of British champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, May 2, at MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the scheduled 12-round junior welterweight division championship.
Hatton also holds the IBO super lightweight belt and is recognized by Ring Magazine as its champion.
Pacquiao currently owns the WBC flyweight belt, the IBF super bantamweight title, the WBC super featherweight crown and the WBC lightweight championship. This is Pacquiao’s fourth straight fight in a different weight class. He now has won 10 in a row and a sixth title.
Overall, this latest win is Pacquiao’s 49th victory in 54 fights and he took Hatton’s International Boxing Organization 140-lb crown as well as The Ring Junior Welterweight championship.
Pacquiao revealed his new secret weapon — a right hook — that the British boxer never anticipated.
The Filipino southpaw is known for this devastating left cross punch. Pacquiao told boxing analyst Larry Merchant after the fight that Hatton did not see his right hook coming.
“I’m surprised the fight was so easy,” Pacquiao said. “He was wide open for the right hook. I knew he would be looking for my left.”
Altlhough Pacquiao was favored to win, many were surprised that Hatton came down as quick. Hatton’s only loss in the ring was in the 10th round knock out from the hands of comebacking Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
He was no match with Pacquiao, whose blows came in the middle and with rapid fashion. Pacquiao threw a right hook to Hatton’s face in less than a minute remaining in the first round, sending Hatton to the canvas for the first time.
Hatton managed to get up but was again peppered with blows from Pacquiao and finally, with just 10 seconds remaining in Round 1, was decked for the second time.
Hatton appeared energized in the opening of the second round throwing punches to Pacquiao jolting him with a strong right hit to his face and rattling him a bit. But Pacquiao did not waver and with seconds remaining in the round, Pacquiao landed a perfect left jab to Hatton’s jaw sending him to the canvas for good. And the game was over.
Pacquiao landed 73 of his 127 punches while Hatton could only deliver 18 of 78 blows, according to ringside stats.
Referee Kenny Bayless took one look at Hatton and declared the fight over at 2:59 of the second round.
Hatton’s trainer Floyd Mayweather, Sr. did not make any comment after the fight.
But Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said, “This is no shock at all. Hatton pumps his hands before he throws a punch, and it makes him a sucker for the right hook.
“Manny is a monster. He is the best fighter ever. There is no surprise here.”
“I knew it was over,” said Roach. “Ricky fights the same way over and over. He doesn’t have the ability to adjust.”
Hatton’s uninspired performance disappointed his noisy fans among the 16,262, who have not even warmed up to their seats. Because British subjects do not need visas to enter the United States, Hatton’s fans easily outnumbered Filipinos traveling from the Philippines, who would need to obtain visitors’ visa to watch the fight.
The element of surprise win was so unexpected that not one of a small group of Filipino Americans predicting the outcome made an accurate prediction.
Four of seven, including this reporter, said the Philippine icon will beat the Hitman. Out of the four, the closest to predict the outcome said Hatton would go down in the “sixth or seventh round.” One of the seventh had a hard time making up his mind — preferring not to provide any prediction at all.
Romy Marquez, editor of San Diego, California- based Philippine Village Voice, predicted Pacquiao is going to knock out Hatton “by the 6th or 7th round.”
This reporter predicted Pacquiao knocking out Hatton in the ninth round while a Chicago area frequent letter-to-the editor writer, Don Azarias said Pacquiao would knock out Hatton by the “9th or 10th round.” Community leader Jesse Farrales predicted Pacquiao will win by decision.
The eighth, who is not a part of the pool, and a townmate of Manny Pacquiao from General Santos City had earlier predicted Pacquiao knocking out Hatton in the fifth round. Chicago-based international artist Bueno Silva, Pacquiao’s homeboy in General Santos city in the Philippines, called up this reporter to say, “I told you so.”
Meanwhile, in New York, where Manny Pacquiao will be at the Boxing Writers Association of American dinner on June 12 to receive his Fighter of the Year Award, some members of the Philippine New York Junior Chamber (Jaycees) gathered at a friend’s house in a pre-fight game.
Edwin Ochoa, International Affairs Vice President of the Jaycees, said Hatton will be down on the seventh. “Hatton may come in strong in the first two rounds but in the end, he will be weakened by Pacman’s quickness and precise solid punches. It’ll be a knock out,” he said.
Ochoa also said the match might end up like Pacquiao’s bout with Oscar dela Hoya’s last December. Pacquiao, after the first two rounds, dominated the Golden Boy in almost all the rounds forcing dela Hoya to cower in defeat.
Having reached another journey in his boxing career, a Pacquiao-Mayweather is being bandied about. Before the match, Mayweather, after almost a year-and-a-half of inactivity, said he would return to the ring for a July 18 fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao is an old nemesis of Marquez. In 2004, Marquez fought Pacquiao who was then in his first super fight. Marquez was knocked down three times in the opening round but on the second round on, it was said the fight was all Marquez. But his early points deficit cost him the bout and he was forced to accept a draw.
In a rematch with Pacquiao that was much awaited by boxing fans, in March 2008, the two met again and displayed their boxing prowess but Pacquiao took the judges’ split decision that left Marquez disappointed.
The question at the moment is: Who will be Pacquiao’s next contender: Mayweather or Marquez? The PacMan can wait and see. After all, he was quoted to have said: “I can fight anyone I want to fight at 147 or 140.” — With reports from Ricky Rillera.