A Pound-for-Pound Pounding

By Francis Walker
Updated: May 3, 2009

Manny Pacquiao is the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound. Fresh of off back-to-back annilations against Oscar De Hoya and Ricky Hatton, is Floyd Mayweather next?

Manny Pacquiao is the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound. Fresh of off back-to-back annilations against Oscar De Hoya and Ricky Hatton, is Floyd Mayweather next?

NEW YORK — Manny Pacquiao’s highly anticipated bout with Ricky Hatton was everything many people could hope for. It was exciting, action-packed, and had a decisive ending. What was shocking was the fact no one expected Pacquiao to finish Hatton as early as he did.

Pacquiao (49-3-2, 27 KOs) scored a spectacular one-punch knockout of Hatton (45-2, 32 KOs) at 2:59 seconds of round two in the main event of a HBO Pay-Per-View event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday.

“I’m surprised the fight was so easy,” Pacquiao was quoted. “He was wide open for the right hook. I knew he would be looking for my left.”

Pacquiao floored Hatton three times – twice in round one. It was a left hook that caught Hatton square on the chin that had everyone talking. As soon as Hatton’s back hit the canvas, the fight was waved and Hatton was in need to medical assistance. Thankfully, Hatton managed to walkout from the ring on his own, but the damage had already been done.

The 30 year-old Filipino was simply too much for Hatton, 30, Manchester, England, to handle. Hatton couldn’t handle Pacquiao’s southpaw style because; the punches were coming too fast. Pacquiao was landing shots from various angles that squared Hatton’s feet. When a fighter is not balanced well enough to absorb, block, and counter punches, he could get hurt.

Pacquiao was undoubtedly hurting Pacquiao.

Pacquiao nearly finished the fight in the very first round when he dropped Hatton twice. The first knockdown occurred as a result of a well-timed left hook to the chin. The second knockdown was the result of a barrage of punches. Hatton returned to his feet at the end, but was saved by the bell.

Hatton appeared ready to go in round two, but the damage had already been done. After falling behind 10-7 on the three judges scorecards in the opening round of one of the biggest fights in 2009, Hatton knew he had to play catch-up, but the odds of that occurring were slim. It didn’t matter what Hatton did, Pacquiao answered by simply attacking without remorse.

The only logical opponent for Pacquiao is Floyd Mayweather. The fight is intriguing because Mayweather retired as the recognized, unbeaten best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. The title of pound-for-pound now belongs to Pacquiao, as his performances has transcended into great wins and against great fighters – Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Erik Morales.

Mayweather still believes that he is the world’s #1.

Undercard results: WBC super featherweight champion Humberto Soto (48-7-2, 31 KOs) stopped Benoit Gaudet (20-2, 7 KOs) at 2:25 of the ninth round.

Undefeated Middleweight Prospect Daniel Jacobs (Right) lands a right hand en route to an eight round unanimous decision victory over Michael Walker (Left) on May 2, 2009 on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan - Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Undefeated Middleweight Prospect Daniel Jacobs (Right) lands a right hand en route to an eight round unanimous decision victory over Michael Walker (Left) on May 2, 2009 on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan - Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Four-time New York Golden Gloves winner and hot prospect Danny Jacobs (16-0, 14 KOs) was forced to go the distance, but emerged victorious against Michael Walker (19-3-1, 12 KOs) in an 8-round super middleweight bout. The scores were 80-71 (twice) and 79-73.

2008 Russian Olympian and super middleweight prospect Matt Korobov (5-0, 5 KOs) stopped Anthony Bartinelli (20-13-2, 13 KOs) in round two.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to return this summer

Floyd Mayweather (Left) and Juan Manuel Marquez (Right) pose at a press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to announce their fight on July 18, 2009. The bout will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View at the MGM Grand. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan - Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Floyd Mayweather (Left) and Juan Manuel Marquez (Right) pose at a press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to announce their fight on July 18, 2009. The bout will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View at the MGM Grand. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan - Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Prior to Pacquiao-Hatton, Floyd Mayweather announced his return after having been absent from the ring since December 2007. Mayweather (39-0, 25 KO’s) will battle Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KO’s on Saturday, July 18, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. The bout will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 PM/ET and 6 PM/PT.

“That’s right. I’m back and you can all get ready for another chapter of the Mayweather experience!” said Mayweather. “I told my CEO Leonard Ellerbe from the start that I wanted to come back fighting the best fighters out there and Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the best in boxing today.”

Mayweather’s stellar career consists of world championship title reigns at 130, 135, 140, 147, and 154 pounds. He has defeated everyone to have challenged him – Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Zab Judah, Jose Luis Castillo, Angel Manfredy, Arturo Gatti, and the late Diego Corrales to name a few.

Mayweather, 32, Grand Rapids, Michigan, hopes to continue his trend of beating top fighters when he meets Marquez, a world champion in three weight divisions.

“To be considered the best in the world, you have to fight the best, and I have made it clear even when Mayweather was away from the sport that he was the only man I really wanted to fight,” said Marquez. “I’m happy that he’s come out of retirement and accepted my challenge. Unfortunately for him he might be sorry he came back at all.”

In recent years, Marquez, 35, Mexico, has further extended his reputation of being an explosive technical fighter and has been engaged in some terrific fights. In 2008, Marquez became the only man to knockout Juan Diaz and Joel Casamayor. He has also beaten Rocky Juarez, Marco Antonio Barrera, and fought Manny Pacquiao twice. Both bouts with Pacquiao ended in disputed decisions – a draw (2004) and a split-decision (2008).

Floyd Mayweather, Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar de la Hoya and Juan Manuel Marquez pose on May 2, 2009 at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada at the press conference to announce Mayweather and Marquez’ July 18, 2009 fight at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan - Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Floyd Mayweather, Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar de la Hoya and Juan Manuel Marquez pose on May 2, 2009 at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada at the press conference to announce Mayweather and Marquez’ July 18, 2009 fight at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan - Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez has the potential to be one of boxing’s all-time great fights,” said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “Not only are they two boxers destined for the Hall of Fame and two of the greatest technicians of this era, but they also both have a warrior’s spirit that comes out when they get tested. I know that they’ll push each other to the limit when they step into the ring July 18th.”