Bagamat pinili ni dating IBO light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton na mananalo sa manipis na puntos si WBC at WBA titlist Floyd Mayweather Jr. laban kay WBO ruler Manny Pacquiao sa welterweight unification bout, napansin niyang mas nasa magandang kondisyon ngayon ang Pilipino at nakarekober na sa pagkatalo sa 6th round knockout kay Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez noong Disyembre 8, 2012.

Nakalasap ng malupit na pagkatalo sa 2nd round knockout si Hatton kay Pacquiao sa pagdepensa ng kanyang IBO title sa Las Vegas, Nevada at hindi na siya nakarekober kaya napatulog sa 9th round sa huli niyang laban kay dating WBA welterweight titlist Vyacheslav Senchenco ng Ukraine noong 2012 sa United Kingdom.

Ngunit sa tatlong panalo ni Pacquiao laban sa mga Amerikanong sina Brandon Rios, Timothy Bradley at Chris Algieri, matapos ang pagkatalo kay Marquez, batid ni Hatton na nakarekober na si Pacquiao kaya puwedeng makipagsabayan kay Mayweather.

“I slightly lean towards Floyd but only by the narrowest of margins. A few years ago, Manny looked untouchable and Manny...when he fought Timothy Bradley and then fought Marquez, he looked like he had seen better days and Floyd was looking better than ever,” sinabi ni Hatton sa BoxingScene.com.

National

Sonny Angara, nagbitiw na bilang senador

“But lately Floyd has been looking not quite the force [that he used to be], but still quite the force. He’s beaten [Marcos] Maidana and that’s no [small] feat, but it wasn’t quite at the standard that we’ve expected from him,” dagdag ni Hatton. “To be honest Manny has been looking better than ever since that knockout defeat.”

Una rito, iginiit ni WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto ng Puerto Rico na posibleng ma-upset ni Pacquiao si Mayweather sa $200-M megabout sa Mayo 2 sa MGM Grand sa Las Vegas.

Napatigil si Cotto ni Pacquiao sa 12th round sa kanilang WBO welterweight bout noong 2009 samantalang noong 2012 ay natalo lamang siya sa 12-round unanimous decision kay Mayweather para sa WBC light middleweight title.

“I think his [Pacquiao] explosiveness and his quickness is going to be big issues for Floyd on May 2nd. Floyd is a smart boxer. I think he is going to put Pacquiao at his distance and [try to] contain Pacquiao,” pahayag ni Cotto. “I think being with Freddie Roach for my last two fights, I think Freddie is going to have Manny ready for Floyd. I think Manny has a big chance [to win].”