Beatdown of Hatton lifts Pacquiao into pantheon of all-time greats
The Hitman had already become the hit man early in Saturday's junior welterweight title defense against
It was a clinical finish, a hook devastating in its force, speed and precision, a shocking demonstration of power from a man who made his pro debut at a slight 108 pounds.
In his most recent outing, Pacquiao famously ended the career of
He never saw it coming.
Pacquiao entered the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as the finest pound-for-pound fighter in boxing today. He climbed out of it just 20 minutes later as one of the sport's undisputed all-time greats, having secured the lineal crown in a
Pac-Man spent the evening peppering the ill-prepared Hatton with blinding combinations of punches from every angle, making himself an elusive target while constantly blurring the line between offense and defense. Hatton resembled for most of the fight a man in a dark room looking for the light switch.
Among those on the premises unsurprised by the outcome was Pacquiao's trainer, the sage
"Every time Ricky throws his left hand, he pulls it back, he cocks it, and he's wide open for a short right hook on the inside from a southpaw stance," Roach explained to HBO's
The oddsmakers rated Pacquiao a 2-to-5 favorite entering Saturday's bout, which may not have reflected his healthy consensus in the court of public opinion. Everyone, it seemed, liked Manny. Hatton even opted to enter the ring first, the role typically reserved for the challenger; it was Pacquiao's mythical pound-for-pound championship at stake, Hatton reasoned, more than his own junior welterweight crown.
Indeed, the result itself was no surprise. But even Pacquiao's most optimistic supporters couldn't have foreseen such a swift and awesome destruction of an opponent renowned for his blue-collar tenacity.
We consequently start to get the sense there something perhaps supernatural at play here, as the myth of Manny Pacquiao continues to take an
One possibility is a dream match with
Sure, the cash-strapped Mayweather could try for an easier challenge. But there's only one Manny Pacquiao. Just ask the hit man.