Freddie Roach MANILA, Philippines]

MANILA, FEBRUARY 23, 2009 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Freddie Roach will say it again and again and again: Ricky Hatton won’t stand a chance against Manny Pacquiao.

“We’ll knock Hatton out,” was the latest word from Los Angeles where Roach is awaiting the arrival of Pacquiao so they could begin their training for the May 2 fight with Hatton.

Roach spoke to regarding the fight, and how Pacquiao, the pound-for-pound champion, would or should deal with the IBO light-welterweight champion.

“We’re not going to deal with his strength. We’re not going to fight him on the inside. We’re going to fight smart and box this guy. I don’t think Hatton’s strength will come into play in this fight,” said Roach.

Again, the trainer of champions said Hatton will get knocked out if he stays close to Pacquiao.

“If Hatton stands toe-to-toe with us, we’ll knock him out,” said Roach. He told The STAR in a recent chat it could be over inside nine rounds.

“Nine is my favorite number,” said Roach, looking back at David Diaz who was knocked out in the ninth round, and Oscar dela Hoy who quit entering the ninth round.

He said the same thing will happen to Hatton.

“Manny does very well with guys who come forward like Hatton does. It’s definitely a great match up... but we’re going to knock him out,” Roach explained.

Pacquiao, according to his trainer of eight years, should climb the ring at 147 pounds after weighing in at 140, and he’ll be as quick, as powerful as he was against Dela Hoya.

Roach believes that Hatton won’t get a chance to do what he likes doing in the ring, getting too physical with a lot of clinching and hitting. He said Pacquiao is ready.

“Of course. You know we’re planning on dealing with it. We’re not going to rely on the referee or anything like that. We will definitely have an answer for it.”

Roach described Hatton as a decent puncher who likes to work the body.

“He’s a good puncher but we’re not going to stand in front of this guy and exchange with him. We’re going to fight a smart fight like we did with Oscar,” Roach said.

Roach has started doing his homework, reviewing tapes of Hatton fights, his last 10 fights in fact, to see “what kind of game plan we can come up with.”

Roach said his new assistant, former world heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, will be on hand when Pacquiao begins training on the first week of March.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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