Pacquiao’s supporters (above) cheer him on against De La Hoya.
BY: Robert Epstein www.diamondboxing.com
With victories over Marquez, Diaz and De La Hoya and the title of current pound for pound champion all accomplished in the twenty ninth stanza of his life. Pacquiao now looks ahead to his thirties and the final stages of his boxing career. Not to leave doubt in any ones mind that Pacquiao deserves to be listed as one of The Greatest Boxers of all Time he will now take on Ricky Hatton. Forget about any rumors of bouts with Kendall Holt or Zab Judah these make no sense or no money and will do Pacquiao no justice. A pound for pound champ wants to fight the best and the best name out there right now is Ricky Hatton. A Hatton – Pacquiao bout if held in the U.K. will break all of the boxing attendance records. However, as negations enter the final stages it appears that the bout will take place in Las Vegas in order to achieve the best economic results.
While Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton will due their battling inside the ring some time in May 2009, the fans of these two boxing warriors have already begun to square off outside the ring. The message boards the rebuttals, the polls have already started to heat up. The pre fight hype is on and the fan comradery alone will be a battle in it’s self.
Pacquiao with his aggressive boxing style, his offensive approach, always on the attack mentality makes him fan friendly and his recent destruction of De La Hoya has added believers to The Pacman Nation. If you add in Pacquiao’s kind hearted good deeds along with his generosity it becomes very difficult not to be a fan. Pacman has his country of 91 million strong behind him and with the additional support around the globe growing by leaps and bounds Pacman Nation is at its peak stronger than ever. Pacman Nation is ready to take on the Hatton Cult.
Hatton (above) greets thousands of his fans at the MGM in Vegas before the Malginaggi bout.
Hatton by far is the leading box office draw, without a doubt if this bout was held at Wembly Stadium 100,000 strong will come and maybe the stadium attendance record of 126,047 could be challenged. When Hatton fights no matter if its home in England or in his second home Vegas the cult comes out. In his last two Vegas bouts against Mayweather and Malignaggi the Hatton following hit the Vegas desert in droves, by the tens of thousands. The pre-fight weigh-in-in is an event in it’s self with over 6,000 Hattonnites strong. Oh yes Hatton has his own Elvis and lets not forget his brass band.
The interest in this bout has already reached a fever pitch, the bout has not been officially announced and the entire boxing world is buzzing with Pacquiao – Hatton thoughts. Pacquiao who has been installed as the 2 to 5 betting favorite to win the bout will also be the global fan favorite. However with his traveling army Hatton for sure will still have the larger on-site fan support.
De La Hoya (above) slumped in the corner at the end of the eighth round
As Pacman journeys to another era in his career one has to reflect back on the amazing past year Pacquiao had, fresh in the minds of all is Pacquiao’s destruction of the Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya. Yes it was destruction from the opening bell to the lasting image of De La Hoya slumped on his stool in the corner at the end of the eighth round. That image will play in my mind for a long time as it wasn’t the end of De La Hoya’s career that I am thinking about but the beginning of Manny’s. I know Pacquiao has been boxing for over thirteen years, I know he has 48 victories and only 3 losses, I know he beat the likes of Barrera, Marquez and Morales all who may have been better boxers than De La Hoya. However, it’s the De La Hoya conquering that catapulted Manny as one of The Greatest Boxers of all Time.
Now Hatton must go face to face with the career ending giant Paquiao, if Pacquiao can achieve the same results and crush Hatton in De La Hoya like fashion Hatton’s cult will also be retired.
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