MANILA, Philippines – Former world champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton of Britain believes the upcoming June 9 clash between Filipino boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and unbeaten American Timothy Bradley Jr. will be an even more exciting fight than the recent Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto scrap.
Speaking with Fight News, Hatton said he believes Pacquiao’s style will make for a more exciting encounter that Mayweather’s unanimous decision victory over Cotto last May 5.
“I think style-wise, this could be an even better match-up than the recent fight between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto,” he said.
“Mayweather is exceptional defensively and makes you miss, but Pacquiao is a lot more exciting and when you put him in with Bradley, style-wise, it makes for a great fight,” Hatton explained.
Hatton’s two career losses came at the hands of Mayweather and Pacquiao: he lost to Mayweather via a 10th round technical knockout in 2007 and was brutally knocked out by Pacquiao in the second round when they fought in 2009.
The British star is expecting Pacquiao to come out with the victory, though he warns his former foe that it will not be easy for him.
“Everyone is expecting Manny Pacquiao to blast Bradley out, but I don’t think it will be easy. I expect Manny to win, but it will be an exciting fight,” Hatton said.
“Manny Pacquiao is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and he goes into this fight as the favorite,” he added. “But Timothy Bradley is a very slick and tidy boxer, so this isn’t going to be an easy fight for him.”
“Against Junior Witter, we saw how well-schooled Bradley was and how he was able to figure out his style so quickly, so I think he will cause Pacquiao some problems,” he said, referring to Bradley’s split decision win over Witter in 2008, wherein he won the WBC light welterweight belt.
Hatton is also expecting Bradley to employ a style that will give Pacquiao trouble.
“Fighters who have a good defense and are counter punchers are those that have caused Manny the most problems,” he noted.
“I think Bradley is going to use his boxing ability and box on the back foot, and that’s where he’s going to cause a few problems,” Hatton said.
But he also said warned the American fighter that he “will need to have more than just one game plan going into this fight.”
Hatton feels that Pacquiao is due for a bounce-back performance after a lackluster showing in his recent bouts, especially against Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez last November.
Pacquiao won via majority decision, but had trouble once more with Marquez’s counter-punching style. Many at ringside believed Marquez was the true winner of the trilogy bout.
“Manny needs to come back with a big performance after the fight with Marquez which many thought he lost, myself included,” Hatton said.
Hatton retired from boxing in July 2011 and now works as a boxing promoter. He was the 2005 “Fighter of the Year.”