By Jun Medina, Special Correspondent http://www.manilatimes.net/national/200 ... 5spo1.html
After drubbing Paulie Malignaggi Saturday night, British sensation Ricky Hatton cleared the way for a super fight with Filipino pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao, a bout that Hattonâ€™s trainer and retired heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis are endorsing.
Floyd Mayweather Sr., who has trained Hatton for two months, said Hatton-Pacquiao would be a good match up for two explosive power punchers with similar buzz saw styles of fighting.
â€œItâ€™s Rickyâ€™s call, but do I want to see him fight Oscar? Not really,â€ Mayweather told Independent Television Network. â€œI would rather see him fight Pacquiao, thatâ€™s the perfect match for Ricky.â€
Mayweather opined that Oscar de la Hoya could pose too much of a challenge for Hatton because of the size disparity, adding that Pacquiao would be the ideal match for the British junior welterweight star who now has 45 wins (33 by knockouts) against a loss.
Ironically, the only blemish in Hattonâ€™s fight record was inflicted by his new trainerâ€™s son, Floyd Jr., the now-retired unbeaten welterweight who used to be worldâ€™s No. 1 pound-for-pound.
Lewis, who did the Hatton-Malignaggi analysis for HBO, suggested Pacquiao would likely be Hattonâ€™s next opponent if the Filipino getâ€™s past de la Hoya in their December 6 fight at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
â€œI think [Hatton-Pacquiao] would be a very interesting fight,â€ Lewis said. â€œThey have to agree on what weight they want to come in at, but obviously the fans would love to see a fight like that.â€
As for Hatton, he said he would be delighted to face the de la Hoya-Pacquiao winner.
â€œBring it on, Iâ€™d definitely like to do it,â€ Hatton said in the ring immediately after Malignaggiâ€™s trainer waved the referee to stop the fight in the 11th round to spare his fighter from further punishment.
The British star said he would be willing to move up in weight to fight de la Hoya, or go down in weight to fight Pacquiao.
â€œIn fact, the winner or the loser will be a good fight to be honest,â€ Hatton said. â€œ. . . Maybe we can get it at Wembley, a 100,000 crowd, and with that performance Iâ€™m right there now in the reckoning.â€
Veteran American boxing scribe Michael Marley said a Pacquiao-Hatton clash would be a big hit with boxing fans, adding that such a bout would go off â€œas an even money affair.â€
â€œRicky vs. Manny is so promotable it is making me silly,â€ said Marley, editor-in-chief of BoxingÂConfidential.com, a popular US boxing website. â€œWhy not put the first fight in Manchester and the inevitable rematch in Las Vegas or Manila? It will be a thrilla wherever they hold it.â€