Hatton predicts 6th to 10th round KO vs Pacquiao

By DANNY BUENAFE, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau Chief

Posted at Mar 16 2009 08:06 PM | Updated as of Mar 17 2009 04:06 AM

International Boxing Organization (IBO) Junior Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton is confident he will knockout Manny Pacquiao at least midway into their 12-round title fight in Las Vegas on May 2.

Hatton predicts a knockout between the sixth and 10th rounds. He said he is in top form to beat the best pound-for-pound fighter today.

Both Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach and Top Rank Promotions boss Bob Arum similarly pronounced earlier the May 2 boxing showdown will not go the distance.

Hatton is now on rigid training in Manchester under the watchful eye and supervision of Floyd Mayweather, Sr..

He is not on strict diet, although he admits, he still needs to lose more pounds.

Hatton is excited on their new game plan, which he calls “controlled aggression” to match the hand speed and fast footwork of Pacquiao.

"We're both very aggressive fighters. I'll have to go for the knockout so," Hatton said. "I mean, you can never say never. I mean, the main thing is, I'm sure Manny would say the same, is that we win."

Meanwhile, Mayweather, Sr. celebrated his 56th birthday in Bristol, where a non-title boxing card was also presented by Hatton Promotions.

Win or lose, Hatton wishes to visit the Philippines and is open to do a commercial project with Pacquiao.

Hatton was amazed how Filipino boxing fans glorified Pacquiao especially during their previous UK promo tour.

"The people are wonderful, very, very nice people. When we had a press conference in London and Manchester lots of Filipino people turned up and they were very nice, very, very polite, very proud of their fighter,” he said.

He added: “Yeah, of course, I mean I've heard good things about the Filipino people. the brief encounter I've had with them is everything that people have said is true, they're very nice people.”

Hatton did not forget to greet his Filipino fans, too.

"Mabuhay kapamilya, maraming salamat," said Hatton.

Hatton is set to leave for the United States on April after watching the boxing match of his younger brother, Matthew, on March 28 in Altrincham, England.