Manny Pacquiao stuns millions of Boxing fans on May 2, 2009. It wasn't his win that was so stunning, but the ease of his win over British brawler, Ricky Hatton.
What was inconceivable to the majority Hatton fans in the arena was the inevitable outcome according to Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach. Hatton got knocked out within three rounds. At the sound of the bell in the first round, both fighters came out of their respective corners meaning business, both trying to land the first and hardest punch. It seemed Hatton was giving Pacquiao some trouble, getting him up on the ropes early and overwhelming him with punches, but the tables turned quickly. Manny seemed to be pacing himself and gauging his opponent for the first minute of the fight, but then quickly made the correct adjustments and started landing harder and more accurate punches, resulting in knocking Hatton down twice in the first round.
The crowd was on their feet for the entire match (all 5:50 of it) as it looked like Hatton had regained his poise and was going for the knockout himself. When the final knockout came, it was as definitive a win as any Boxing fan has ever seen. Pacquiao landed a light jab with his right (being a southpaw) and came upward with a left hook that could also be considered an overhand left. It was brilliant. And it did the job. He connected with the tip of the chin, or the "sweet spot" as it is called and Hatton's lights went out immediately. Sitting up in the stands, it almost felt like everything happened in slow motion. I saw Hatton's head swivel to the left, then I watched him get spun around as his legs stayed straight and his body fell backward onto the canvas. This to me, is a clear KO victory for Manny Pacquiao. I don't understand why it's being considered a TKO? Maybe you can answer that for me...
I don't know why I wasn't surprised, but I was truly shocked and appalled that Floyd Mayweather Sr didn't tend to his fighter after such a brutal knockout. He didn't go over to him once. Shameful. Also shameful is the fact that he showed up to the fight an hour late. (Perhaps there was a traffic jam in the Taco Bell drive-through). Apparently, Hatton wouldn't even speak to him in the dressing room. Not a great prelude to one of the biggest fights of your career. It is equally lame that neither Sr nor Oscar de la Hoya participated in the post-fight press conference. Oscar claimed that he wanted to go to the hospital with his fighter and Floyd Sr just sat in a corner with a few journalists and continued to trash talk Freddie Roach. What a heel. And a complete idiot. I'm sure he didn't participate in the press conference because of what the journalists would have asked him. I would have loved to ask him if he still thought Manny was "amateur" or a "mule" (although mules kick a lot harder than 'Italian stallions'...) Peesh.
However, Freddie told me that after the fight, he watched Floyd Sr. in the opposite corner and waited to make eye contact. It took a little while, but when Floyd Sr. turned around and looked him in the eye, Freddie simply smiled and thrust both hands above his head in victory. ha ha ha
Big props to the Ricky Hatton fans. They were fun, they were boisterous and they were all class. The brass band that was playing various songs and cheers for Hatton throughout the night gave Manny a proper champion's cheer song afterward. I thought that was unbelievably gracious.
It will be interesting to see if Floyd Mayweather Jr. will fight Manny after his 'tune up' fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. I don't think Freddie Roach would let the weight be above 143, so we'll have to see about that...
Good job, Manny! You did us proud!