Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao was warned against Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton’s dirty tactics when they meet in their Las Vegas showdown on May 2.
The warning came from Craig Christian, the trainer of WBA featherweight champion Chris John’s Australian Craig Christian.
Australian Web site Sports Nut quoted Christian as claiming that Hatton was “one of the dirtiest fighters out there”
He said Hatton, the reigning IBO light welterweight champion, “will rough up Pacquiao or try to for sure” claiming the British fighter would use “the same brawling tactics that led to the knockout over Kostya Tzsyu.”
Although Christian said he thinks Hatton is too strong for Pacquiao at junior welterweight and even predicted a Hatton knockout victory in six rounds, the trainer said “it will be an action-packed fight because I don’t expect Pacquiao to back-off.”
Christian advised trainer Freddie Roach and Pacquiao’s handlers to expose Hatton’s dirty tactics before the fight “to put the referee on alert.”
Sulaiman predicts tough Pacquiao-Hatton fight
WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman, meanwhile, predicted that Pacquiao will have a tough fight against Hatton.
“I believe it will be a tough fight for Manny because Hatton has a very, very difficult style,” said Sulaiman.
He noted that Hatton “comes in with four, five punches and then holds so he won’t let the opponent punch back.”
He also pointed out that 140 pounds “is the natural weight for him (Hatton.)” and he personally didn’t want Pacquiao to fight Hatton but said the choice was up to Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum.
Pacquiao’s celebrated trainer Freddie Roach earlier said his ward's training against Hatton would be different this time.
“Of course Hatton's much younger, more vibrant guy,” Roach told 8Count.com’s Brad Cooney in a podcast interview. “He'll give us more difficulty… he's a rough fighter.”
The American trainer said Hatton has a more aggressive fighting style compared to de la Hoya, whom Pacquiao beat in eight rounds last December 6.
“It's a little bit different style we'll train for… I'll get the right sparring partners for Manny,” said Roach.
Roach believes Pacquiao's speed will still be the key in winning against the British toughie.
"It will be a tough fight but after six rounds Manny's speed will gonna take over," he said. "I think we'll get Hatton somewhere down the road."