Pacquiao pounds and grounds Hatton for pound-for-pound throne!
Ringside by Victor Perea and Andreas Hale
Photography by Chris Cozzone / Fightwireimages.com
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The tickets were sold, the celebrities seated, the popcorn was made and the beer was a plenty. When the pride of Manchester England Ricky “Hitman” Hatton entered the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night to defend his title against Filipino fan favorite Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, the match was set for one of the most legitimately anticipated, super showdowns in boxing.
Unfortunately, for the defending IBO light welterweight champion, the time spent listening to three beautiful national anthems was longer than the time spent defending his title, although the first 30 seconds did not seem that way.
As expected, Hatton did not mind the gap and quickly cut off the ring and clinched the smaller Filipino. Shortly after, an unintended low blow from the “Hitman” prompted a warning from Referee Kenny Bayless.
After the restart Hatton appeared to bully Pacquiao into a clinch and start to tussle on the inside gaining the upper hand.
Pacquiao was quick to throw short punches and make his way out from Hatton’s chest. The fighters separated and that’s when it happened.
Pacquiao immediately began to land in numbers and it was clear that Hatton felt the stiff straight left hands from the “Pacman.”
Midway through the round, a looping right hand from Pacquiao landed on the button just as Hatton went for a left of his own, sending Manchester’s favorite rolling to the canvas for the first of three knockdowns.
Dazed and confused but not out, Hatton beat the count as the capacity crowd went absolutely bonkers. The two continued to trade as every single able bodied person in attendance stood in anticipation. They traded and Pacquiao quickly got the better of the crowd and the Brit with a slew of punches that landed. After a flurry a three shot combination punctuated by a straight left that was actually blocked sent Hatton into the ropes on onto the floor for the second time.
The bell rung as Hatton beat the count and Bayless signaled for the fighters to continue.
The second round continued as the first ended with Pacquiao tagging Hatton thoroughly. As Filipino fingernails inside the arena began to disappear, Pacquiao unmercifully ended Hatton’s night and reign as light welterweight champ.
Like poetry, Pacquiao threw out a floating right jab, ducked down and came back up and around with a David Tua-esque left hook square to the chin crumpling Hatton on contact.
The crowd completely lost it as Hatton was out on his feet and fell flat on his back completely unconscious. As Bayless stood over Hatton who lay with his eyes rolled back an entire nation in the south pacific rejoiced.
Long after Pacquiao claimed victory via brutal knockout, Hatton made it from his back to his seat with some help marking what is the most overwhelming victory in Pacquiao’s storied career and thankfully it was announced to the media that the storied former champ was doing okay, but would be taken straight to a hospital for precautionary reasons.
“This was no surprise,” said Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach “Hatton pumps his hands before he throws a punch. He’s a sucker for the right hook and that’s what we worked on throughout entire training camp. Ricky is wide open for the right he cocks his hands back before he throws he fights the same way over and over. I know him as well as I know my own fighter.”
The beloved Filipino fighter was, as usual, very humble in victory, “There’s nothing personal I was just doing my job this was a big for me as the De la Hoya victory.”
Even the most passionate Pacquiao fan could not have dreamt of a more spectacular outcome, “I’m surprised that this was so easy but I worked hard in training camp since March. He was open for the right hook and I knew he’d be looking for my left,” said Pacquiao who has now held belts in six different weight divisions.
Before the bout the famously mouthy new trainer for Ricky Hatton, Floyd Mayweather Sr. rhymed his way through insulting poems but was at a loss of words after his fighter was destroyed at the hands of the worlds best pound for pound boxer.
“I really thought Ricky would get him. I really don’t want to get into more than that,” said Mayweather Sr.
After an incredibly performance from one of the worlds most likeable fighters and humble personalities Hatton promotions CEO Garret Williams summed it up best for all Hatton fans who still have much to be proud of in there accomplished champion.
“Ricky is desperately sorry to all his fans. Manny Pacquiao is the best fighter, possibly of all time there’s no shame in losing to somebody like that.”
It is certain that Hatton has nothing to be sorry about, the Manchester native has accomplished plenty during his career but Pacquiao proved that this is his time. –Victor Perea
Soto destroys Gaudet
Humerto Soto (48-7-2, 31 KOs) showed why he one of the most dangerous fighters in the super featherweight division by putting away Canadian Benoit Gaudet (20-2, 7 KOs) in the ninth round and successfully defending his WBC super featherweight crown.
Soto’s first punch of the fight was devastating as he clocked Gaudet with a brutal left hook that sent the Canadian flat on his back.
Gaudet would recover quickly showing great resolve as he could have very easily crumbled under the pressure.
Instead, the Canadian would settle into a very slick and elusive mode as he slowed the pace down considerably throughout the middle rounds and opted to attempt and outbox Soto.
Things looked to be going Gaudet’s way as he moved and landed quick combinations throught the middle rounds.
This wouldn’t last too long as Soto would catch Gaudet flush with a ripping right uppercut that dropped Gaudet in the ninth round.
Gaudet would rise but wouldn’t make it out of the right as a smashing left, right combination caught Gaudet flush as he awkwardly languished against the ropes.
He was all but out as Soto flicked a jab for good measure to sent him flailing into the ropes as Jay Nady waved a halt to the fight at 2:25 in round nine. –Andreas Hale
Jacobs decisions Walker
Facing his stiffest test to date, Daniel Jacobs would not be able to earn his sixth consecutive KO victory but did work his way through a rough and tough eight-round unanimous decision over the very game Michael Walker.
Jacobs has been sensational as of late, winning by knockout in 14 of his first 15 fights heading into his matchup with Walker. Jacobs would come into this fight on short notice after James Kirkland was forced to pull out due to legal issues and made a valiant attempt to make the most of the opportunity.
Surely, he thought he could walk through Walker as he recently blew out Jose Varela on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights a mere eight days ago. That would certainly not be the case as Walker would provide a stiff chin and implement a fair share of roughhousing tactics to keep Jacobs flustered and off balance most of the fight.
Regardless, Jacobs (16-0, 14 KOs) superior hand speed proved to be the difference as he blazed Walker (19-2-2, 12 KOs) with multiple three and four punch combinations. Walker proved his mettle as he continued to press forward and attempt to land looping right hands.
Walker proved to be no tomato can as he endured several onslaughts of Jacobs and responded with roughhousing tactics that seemed to frustrate Jacobs. One particular episode midway through the fight found Walker throwing Jacobs down to the mat. Things would remain heated as Jacobs attempted to box while Walker wanted to brawl and jaw at his young opponent. Regardless, Jacobs exceptional speed and power remained evident as he ended up with an easy unanimous decision with scores 80-72 (twice) and 79-73. –Andreas Hale
Lara decisions Gray
The opening pay-per-view bout of the evening showcased twenty-six year old Cuban born Erislandy Lara in a four round bout against Louisiana’s Chris “Ripple Effect” Gray. The two junior middleweights got right to it with Lara immediately landing several stiff right jabs and following them with good straight left hands. Lara continued to use solid body work to gradually ware down the Bayou battler.
Midway through the second round a right-left-right rocked Gray who stumbled but recovered. Gray managed to stay upright for the remainder of the contest although he showed little if not-no offense.
Lara (5-0, 3Kos) landed 65% of his power punches while Gray (11-8, 1Kos) managed to land only one (1) of ninety-five (95) jabs.–Victor Perea
Korobov destroys Bartinelli
The first of two middleweight contest of the night showcased Matt Korobov looking to stay unbeaten in his young professional career against Anthony Bartenelli. The overwhelming amateur experience on Korobov was evident with the first jab Bartnelli ate and felt.
It was immediately obvious that Korobov would decide how long the fight would last and with every punch he threw the crowd hurt for Bartenelli. A right hook to the body-right uppercut were followed by three additional unanswered punches from Korobov who was landing at will thirty ticks into the bout. Before the first round mercifully ended a monster right hook sent the Bartenelli’s mouthpiece to the second row.
After answering the bell for the second round Bartenelli was met with a flurry of three maybe even four hard shots before a straight left sent him to the canvas. Bartenelli valiantly beat the count but shortly after was dispatched in the corner forcing referee Robert Byrd to waive off the bout.
Korobov (5-0, 5Kos) stayed impressively unbeaten hoping to have as successful a professional career as his amateur landing an outstanding 79% of his power punches according to CompuBox while Arizona’s Bartenelli (20-13-2, 13Kos) can take pride knowing he hung tough. –Victor Perea
Hatton outpoints Zepeda
Ricky Hatton’s brother Matthew came away with a unanimous decision victory against Ernesto Zepeda in competitive eight round welterweight action.
Hatton (36-4-1, 13 KOs), looking to impress the gathering crowd of Brits at the MGM, came out aggressive early and peppered Zepeda (39-12-4, 34 KOs) with his jab and a steady dose of combinations. Zepeda tried to muster up his own offense but just couldn’t get off against Hatton. Zepeda did give Hatton a rough time in the fifth round but lacked the punching power to swing the momentum in his favor.
Judges scored the bout 78-74 (twice) and 79-73.
Alvarado chases Gallardo for win
In a fight that resembled more of a track meet rather than a boxing match, Mike Alvarado remained undefeated as he defeated Juaquin Gallardo by unanimous decision in their 8 round junior welterweight matchup. Gallardo (18-8-1, 5 KOs) was on his bicycle early and often and did nothing more than give Alvarado’s running legs an eight round test.
After chasing Gallardo around the ring for a round and a half, Mike Alvarado finally caught up to his prey and clobbered Gallardo with a crushing left right combination that floored Gallardo in the 2nd. Gallardo would survive the round and settled into survival mode for most of the fight. He tried to make things competitive by putting together brief combinations to stall out Alvarado’s forward movement in the 5th and 6th but was clearly outclassed on this night.
Official scores were 80-71 (twice) and 79-72. –Andreas Hale
Mares beats Perez into submission
In a meeting of bantamweights, rising prospect Abner Mares of California took on Jonathan Perez of Barranquilia, Columbia in a scheduled eight round contest.
Solid body work from Mares set president for the remainder of the contest. A right hook to the body left hand upstairs punctured any hope of a good night for Perez early in the second.
Mares continued to land solid one-two combinations although a blow went astray in the third prompting a warning from referee Tony Weeks. Mares continued to overwhelmed his opponent with well timed power shots and equally impressive defense.
The feisty Perez refused to give up although he was hurt on several occasions he withstood the punishment until the end of the sixth and most exciting round. Before the seventh stanza could start Perez’ corner waived the white flag as he stayed on his stool allowing Mares (18-0, 11 Kos) to stay undefeated while the very game Perez (14-6, 11 Kos) lost six of his last eight fights dating back to 2007.–Victor Perea
Concepcion decisions Herrera
The lone Filipino on the card not named Pacquiao entertained the crowd during a lightweight bout against Columbia’s Yogli Herrera. The bout scheduled for six rounds sadly went the distance for the hyped Concepcion who spent the majority of that time tagging the Columbian with punctual jabs that set up stiff right hands.
Concepcion immediately began dictating the fight with his jab and during the third round a solid right hook immediately blew Herera’s left eye socket open. With a badly swollen eye that was nearly shut Yogli came out for the fourth round very unwilling to drop his left hand but managed to avoid another big shot long enough to see the fifth. With a bum eye and no way out Herrera back peddled his way through the entire fifth stanza as the sparse crowd grew impatient.
If surviving was his goal then Herrera struck goal making it to the sixth and final round. After a short outburst of actually throwing punches Herrera went into survival mode, the young Concepcion continued to pick away but failed to put away the survival mode Herrera. After tagging his opponent with a solid right hand that got a rise out of the crowd, Concepcion had to settle as Herrera went from survival to retreat mode and literally jogged around the ring for the final seconds of the bout.
The judges verdict was unanimous via 60-54 tally’s for the pinoy Concepcion (29-1-1, 17 Kos) while Herrera (21-9, 15 Kos) lost his fifth straight and has yet to best a fighter with more than three (3) victories. –Victor Perea
Joe Murray looked impressive in his second fight as he pounded out an easy unanimous decision victory over Missael Nunez in four round featherweight action. Murray (2-0) dropped Nunez (4-8-2) in the 3rd with a left jab, right cross combination that caught Nunez square on the chin. Judges all saw the fight 40-36. –Andreas Hale
Chavez kayos Ziolowski
Son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez, Omar Chavez knocked out Tyler Ziolowski with a liver shot in the second round of their scheduled four round welterweight battle. Chavez – who improves to 15-0 – collected his eleventh KO victory. Chavez again showcased excellent dedication to the body as he took apart the unheralded Ziolowski – who falls to 11-7 - before unleashing a vicious body shot that put Ziolowski down and out at 1:48 in round two. –Andreas Hale