Pacquiao: “Just lucky!”
Cotto, Mosley named as possibilities for next fight; “Mayweather is scared,” says Arum
Post-fight report & photos by Chris Cozzone / Fightwireimages.com
On the same day that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. came out of retirement to reclaim his retired crown of pound-for-pound king, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao slipped it safely out of reach by doing in two rounds, what had taken Mayweather ten.
Last night, before a sold-out crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Pacquiao (48-3-2, 37 KOs) secured his right to call himself the boxing’s pound-for-pound champion by knocking out Ricky Hatton (45-2, 32 KOs) at 2:59 of round two.
“He’s still a good fighter,” a humble Pacquiao said of Hatton at the post-fight press conference.
“I’m just lucky tonight I hit first. A right hook.”
“Lucky” had less to do with it, than firepower. In round one, after weathering a mauling-brawling attack by Hatton, Pacquiao floored the former top 140-pound champion to the floor twice. Hatton barely made it out of the round.
After dominating most of the second, Pacquiao finished Hatton off with a solid left hand.
“It was a hard punch,” said Pacquiao. “I didn’t think he would get up.”
Hatton did not get up—for several minutes. Though refusing to speak to HBO commentator Larry Merchant after recovering on a stool, Hatton did tell media that he was okay—that the kayo shot was a “great punch”—though he did not make it to the postfight presser, opting to go to Valley Hospital in Vegas for precautionary tests.
In place of trainer Floyd Mayweather, Sr., Team Hatton was represented by Gareth Williams, of Hatton Promotions, and Lee Beard, Hatton’s assistant trainer.
“We were worried about him and we want to make sure he's okay," Williams said about Hatton being taken to the hospital. "Ricky said he was desperately sorry to all of his fans, but he got caught with a great shot.
“Pacquiao demonstrated why he is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. There's no shame in losing to a fighter like that."
After several cheers of “Mabuhay!” a jubilant Bob Arum spoke about his fighter.
“Nobody’s gonna beat this Filipino—nobody!” he said. “What this man did is astounding. I have never seen such devastating, tremendous speed and power in the 40 years I’ve been in this business.”
A next opponent has not been named—“I’m not gonna volunteer any names right now,” said Arum.
Moments later, the names of Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto were brought up by reporters.
“Mayweather just had to wait one day,” said Arum. “He’s scared of Manny Pacquiao.”
Earlier in the day, Mayweather announced his un-retirement at the MGM with a July 18 date against Juan Manuel Marquez, who has a draw and split decision loss to Pacquiao.
“We’re not going to wait around for Mayweather,” said Arum.
“If Cotto wants to come down a few pounds, we can make that happen. Or we can go with Shane Mosley.”
As for a final bout for Pacquiao against Marquez, who is now committed to taking on the much larger Mayweather, Arum shook his head.
“Marquez shouldn’t be fighting Mayweather,” he said. “He should be fighting Soto or [Edwin] Valero. But if wants a piece of the little Filipino, just be my guest.”
The “little Filipino” who’s now staked his claim in divisions ranging from flyweight to welterweight, told the press he feels his strongest at 140.
“Before the fight, a lot of people said I was too small at 140,” he said. “That Ricky Hatton was bigger, but I didn’t put that in my mind. I still believe my body is bigger than Ricky, but he is still a good fighter. He was big and strong.”
Following suit with Pacquiao’s claim as pound-for-pound fighter, Freddie Roach, last night, settled the question of pound-for-pound trainer.
“Manny can beat anyone in the world, he can beat them all,” said Roach. “He makes me look good. Because he’s the best fighter, he makes me the best trainer.”
In the co-main event, Humberto Soto (48-7-2, 31 KOs) defended his WBC super featherweight belt with a ninth round knockout of challenger Benoit Gaudet (20-2, 7 KOs).
“He gave me a real good fight,” said Soto. “Now, I’m looking for bigger fights.”
Soto said he will announce next week whether he will stay at 130, or move up to lightweight.