HATTON  SCOFFS  AT  PACMAN'S  MONEY  SHOT

PHOTO AT LEFT -
British boxer Ricky Hatton flashes a ‘Hit Man’ tattoo on his back during a training session in Manchester, England for his Las Vegas showdown with Manny Pacquiao. AP MANILA, Philippines]-

MANILA, MARCH 27, 2009 (STAR) By Abac Cordero -- Ricky Hatton, still heavy at 154 pounds with just over 30 days before the fight, laughed off claims made by Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, that the British champ has a weak chin.

“Keep talking,” said Hatton before bursting into laughter, as reported by ABS-CBN which has a man, bureau chief Danny Buenafe, in London trying to get and deliver the latest from the Hatton camp.

A few days ago, Roach said Pacquiao would go for the Hatton’s chin and hope to put their May 2 showdown in Las Vegas to an early end.

“We’re going for his chin. That’s the money shot,” said Roach.

But Hatton doesn’t think it’s going to happen.

“I’m a lot better. I’m taking shots moving the head, jabbing. I think the tape they’ve been watching, they’ve been watching the old Ricky Hatton. So they have to work,” said Hatton.

The 30-year-old British is the reigning IBO light-welterweight champion, and Pacquiao will try to take it away from him, and emerge as one of the very few fighters to win five titles in different weight classes.

Hatton’s trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., has some word war going on against Roach. He’s went at it, when Hatton opened the doors to his Manchester training camp to the media Wednesday.

“I think that Ricky has better skills. Ricky will be backing the Pacman up against the ropes or in the corner, he’ll (Pacquiao) be having a lot of problems right there,” he said.

On the chin issue, he has this to say.

“Anybody can play jokes with himself, you want to fool yourself and try to fool the public? That’s fine. At the end of the day only one fighter will be standing and I know who it’s going to be. It’s going to be the Hitman Hatton,” Mayweather said.

The self-proclaimed greatest trainer in boxing is confident that Hatton will be in shape, down to 140 pounds, on the eve of the fight. Reports that he’s still at 154 may be a ploy to throw Pacquiao off.

“Roach has said a few things that have upset Floyd – like Manny Pacquiao is going to knock me out in three rounds – and he was nothing short of disgusted by that. It got his back up a bit. This fight is about getting the tactics right and who is the better trainer,” Hatton told The Daily Telegraph.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to Freddie Roach but it is clear from my fight against Paulie Malignaggi when I was moving my head, jabbing better and making better angles without losing any of my ferocity, that I made the right choice of coach,” he said.

“Maybe it is all early mind games and he is trying to big up his fighter, confidence-wise. It doesn’t matter what I read or what help Manny gets from Amir (Khan). Nothing can faze me. This is my fight.”

Hatton said it’s fine with him that Khan, a close friend, is helping Pacquiao in his training.

Hatton said he’s making sure that he’ll be the bigger fighter in the ring on May 2, and that he’ll be the biggest fighter Pacquiao ever faced. The British cyclone said he will climb the ring at 154 pounds.

“You will do anything to throw off your opponent,” said Roach, who also plays with the numbers sometimes.

Pacquiao, according to the latest word out of the Wild Card Gym, is down to 148 or 148 pounds.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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