The Associated Press
Published Saturday, May 2, 2009 | 5 p.m.
Updated Saturday, May 2, 2009 | 11 p.m.
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Show host Andy Samuelson discusses Saturday's megafight between Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao with Sun sports writers Jeff Haney and Brett Okamoto.
- Breaking down big bout’s bets (4-30-2009)
- De La Hoya says no flu fears for Pacquiao-Hatton (4-29-2009)
- Researcher: It’s best to shut up and fight (4-29-2009)
- ‘Pac-Mom’ makes first U.S. visit to see her son fight (4-28-2009)
- Catch Pacquiao, Hatton while you can (4-28-2009)
- It's too bad both can't win (4-27-2009)
- Pacquiao revered by his people (4-26-2009)
- Pacquiao ready to perform for Filipinos (4-25-2009)
- Hatton's fighting chance against Pacquiao (4-23-2009)
- Hatton says he has 'no doubt' he will defeat Pacquiao (4-22-2009)
- Preﬁght hype in full swing (4-20-2009)
- Sideshow battle continues (4-17-2009)
- Calling all fight fans (4-17-2009)
- Pacquiao the prankster (4-16-2009)
- Manny Pacquiao: A good guy and a bad man (4-8-2009)
- Pacquiao, Hatton hit Hollywood (3-31-2009)
And that was that.
After months of promoting "The Battle of East and West," pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao cemented his legacy once again when he stopped the megafight in a matter of minutes Saturday night at the MGM Grand.
Less than six ticks of the clock to be exact.
Pacquiao dropped Ricky Hatton twice in the first round, and finished the IBO and Ring Magazine junior welterweight champ off in the final second of the second round. A vicious left hook left "The Hitman" sprawled on the canvas for several minutes while Pacquiao enjoyed a subdued celebration in his corner.
"I didn't have to count," said Referee Kenny Bayless, who said he took one look at Hatton and knew he was out cold.
The Filipino superstar, who dismantled Oscar De La Hoya in the same ring in December, looked even sharper in his short stoppage for the 140-pound title.
Pacquiao (39-3-2, 37 KOs) — felt Hatton out for less than half the first round, before unleashing a flurry of blows that knocked Hatton off his feet twice — said he was a little surprised by the early finish.
"I'm surprised that this was so easy," said Pacquiao, who with the victory matched De La Hoya's record of winning titles in six different weight divisions. "But I've worked hard since the beginning of March in training camp."
So too had Hatton, but grumblings this week hinted that "The Hitman" and his outspoken trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., had a falling out during their camp.
"Not true at all," Mayweather said afterwards. "Those words got twisted all around."
It likely wouldn't have mattered if Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach himself was in the Manchester, England native's corner. Hatton couldn't match Pacquiao's impressive combination of quickness and power.
Pacquiao connected on 57-percent of his punches, smacking Hatton 73 times in the 127 blows he threw, while Hatton connected on 18 of 78 punches.
"Ricky Hatton's best punch was a left jaw to a right glove," joked boxing writer and historian Bert Sugar. "I don't think even the biggest Manny Pacquiao fan could have expected it to be over that quick.
"The precision and power ... I'll use a word my kids use, was just awesome."
The loss marked just the second setback in Hatton's career and his first ever loss at 140 pounds.
Hatton Promotions CEO Gareth Williams said Hatton apologized to all his fans for the sudden stoppage.
"Ricky is definitely sorry to all his fans," Williams said. "He definitely got caught with a great shot. But losing to Manny Pacquiao is no disgrace. He's the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing today and maybe of all time."
Golden Boy Promotion CEO Richard Schaefer, who said Hatton was taken to Valley hospital for precautionary reasons, echoed the camp's sentiment: "What a tremendous performance by Manny Pacquiao."
Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, who took home the tall "World's pound-for-pound trainer" in his war of words with Mayweather Sr., said he wasn't surprised by the stoppage just six minutes in.
"This was no surprise. Hatton pumps his hands before he throws a punch," he said. "He's a sucker for the right hook, and that's what we worked on the entire camp."
But in the end it was a large left by the Filipino superstar that turned out the lights for Hatton and his large legion of fans in Las Vegas.
After Hatton rose to his feet he walked away with a slight grin on his face, his fans sang one last rendition of "Hatton Wonderland."
"I really thought Ricky would get him," Mayweather Sr. said. "But that's boxing."
And on this night, Hatton ran into one of the best.
Round-by-Round Updates (8:30 p.m.)
Second Round: Pacquiao picks up where he left off, setting a frenetic pace and relying on a devastating mix of straight lefts and right hooks. Hatton tries to establish an attack to Pacquiao's body, but he cannot contend with the Filipino's speed or power. Pacquiao keeps the combinations coming, forcing Hatton to flail about. Pacquiao delivers a sensational left hook from way down low that lands squarely, and Hatton is out cold before he hits the canvas. Referee Kenny Bayless does not even bother counting. The victory for Pacquiao officially comes at the 2:59 mark of the round.
First Round: Pacquiao and Hatton begin by pawing at each other before Hatton forces a clinch and manages to land a couple of awkward-looking shots while the fighters are entangled. Hatton works the body of Pacquiao, who is forced to retreat to the ropes. Fighting his way back to the center of the ring, Pacquiao launches a rally highlighted by several jarring right hooks and capped by the fight's first knockdown. Hatton tries to recover but Pacquiao keeps the pressure coming and floors Hatton a second time. Pacquiao's fans make their presence known, roaring their approval for the two-knockdown round. Score it 10-7 for Pacquiao.
The Battle of East and West is upon us, and much like the enormous number of Brits, the stars are out in full force.
Celebrities in attendance included WWE wrestler Batista, who walked in with Pacquiao, Jay-Z, Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, Wesley Snipes, Jack Nicholson, Mariah Carey and husband Nick Cannon, Mario Lopez, David Arquette, Jeremy Piven, Christian Bale, Mark Whalberg, Russel Brand, Cedric the Entertainer, Denzel Washington and Matthew McConaughey.
Boxers included Jorge Arce, Marco Antonio Barrera, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Chad Dawson, Juan Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, Zab Judah, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosely, Hasim Rahman, Antonio Tarver, Mike Tyson, and Winky Wright.
Other athletes ringside were N.Y Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, free agent linebacker Donnie Edwards, Cleveland's Willie McGinest, mixed martial artist Tito Ortiz and his wife Jenna Jameson.
Tom Jones sang “God Save the Queen” as clips of Hatton were shown and the crowd reacted as they have all night with a “There’s only one Ricky Hatton” chant.
Video clips were shown of both fighters and Hatton walked to the ring first with to his “Blue Moon"theme.
Pacquiao entered second as a chant of Manny was quickly quashed by the large contingent of Brits.
Pacquiao prayed in the corner and Michael Buffer kicked things off: “With their places secure in the Hall of Fame, only one can be victorious tonight. Let’s get ready to R-U-M-B-L-E!”
Undercard results (6:30 p.m.)
Humberto Soto vs. Benoit Gaudet
Lightweight Humberto Soto took care of Canadian Benoit Gaudet in their super featherweight title fight and then put him away with a ninth-round uppercut, to score the TKO victory.
Daniel Jacobs vs. Michael Walker
Jacobs (16-0, 14 KOs), who just last week wasn't on this card, filled in nicely for top contender James Kirkland (who was removed after going to jail for federal gun charges in Texas) as he scored a big unanimous decision victory (80-72, 80-72, 79-73).
Matt Korobov vs. Anthony Bartinelli
Korobov, a 2008 Russian Olympian cruised to a second-round TKO win over Bartinelli, who took the fight earlier this week. The middleweight Korobov improved to 5-0 with all five wins via KO.
Erislandy Lara vs. Chris Gray
Lara moved to 4-0 thanks to a unanimous decision. Not a lot of action, but the Cuban defecting southpaw pushed forward enough when he needed to.
Mathew Hatton vs. Ernesto Zepada
Ricky's little brother scored the victory with an eight-round unanimous decision (78-74, 78-74, 79-73)
Abneer Mares vs. Jonathan Perez
Mares wins by TKO after Perez's corner threw in the towel in the sixth.
Bernabe Concepcion vs. Yogli Herrera
The junior lightweight prospect outpointed Herrera 60-54 (three times) for the unanimous decision.
Joe Murray vs. Missael Nunez
Murray, a fellow Manchester native, wins by unanimous decision 39-35 by all three judges.
Omar Chavez vs. Tyler Ziolowksi
Chavez got the KO with a second round body shot.
The scene was, well, quite scenic late Saturday afternoon at the MGM Grand.
Tonight’s megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton has not only brought a lot of Brits to Las Vegas (Hatton estimated 25,000 of his faithful flew over), but it has also brought a lot of Brits in interesting attire down to the Strip.
While we are still more than four hours away from the main event, the usual electricity in the air for a fight at the MGM has been amped up a notch or two today.
As has been the case all week long, you can’t travel more than 15 feet with out hearing Hatton’s anthem: “There’s only one Ricky Hatton” over and over again.
It does get a little more interesting though when you see a band member playing the tune that looks eerily similar to the man from Manchester himself, right down to the bucket hat and small-sized frame. You only realize that his buck-forty build isn’t chiseled out of granite like “The Hitman’s” 140 pounds.
There were plenty of Pacquiao supporters out and about, including a small group of guys trying their best to engage the Tecate girls standing outside the MGM Grand Garden arena into a conversation.
But the British fans, which made up the majority of attendees during Friday night’s rowdy weigh-in festivities, brought their A-game a second straight day.
No one had a better get-up than Kevin Clarke and Patrick Lane who live in the Manchester area. The two dressed up in pastel orange and powder blue tuxes, paying homage to Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne from the movie “Dumb and Dumber.”
“It doesn’t really get much better than this to come dressed up as asses and watch England’s finest fighter of all-time,” said Clarke, who hopes to share a pint with the IBO and Ring Magazine junior welterweight champ at the Crown & Anchor and watch Burnley’s soccer team make the playoffs.
“It would be about the greatest weekend imaginable.”
Unless, you are the new Ann Marie Jones.
The blushing bride thought she was just coming to the United States for a vacation to watch her favorite fighter and fellow Manchester native Hatton.
Instead her now husband Warren told her two days before their trip, they would be tying the knot.
“It’s quite a fairytale story,” said Ann Marie, who had to vacuum seal her white gown for the flight over.
The couple resembled royalty as Warren’s red military-inspired tux completed their fairytale romance.
The next group of Brits wore a lot less clothing and had a lot thicker accent as one Texas-based fan had to take double take, or listen.
“You may see them like that in Texas everyday, but their accents aren’t the same,” said the gentlemen, who received a shove from his wife.
Everyone must be milling about the casino, because only a few fans are inside the Grand Garden Arena watching the nine-bout undercard.
The pace picks up a bit when Ricky's little brother, Mathew, takes to the ring against Ernesto Zepeda.
A small chant of "There's only one Mathew Hatton" rises from the stands. But it doesn't have the same reverberating ring to it and thus doesn't last very long.
Hatton takes the unanimous decision and Brits show their appreciation with a loud cheer.
Cameras show Pacquaio walking into the bowels of the arena at 6:20, accompanied by his wife, Jinky. The Filipinos inside the arena start waving their red, white and blue flags.
Twenty or so minutes later Hatton arrives to the delight of the British faithful, who reward the viewing opportunity with their loudest version of his chant yet.
Andy Samuelson can be reached at email@example.com or 702-948-7837.