Knockout Nation: Pacquiao Annihilates Hatton! Mayweather’s Back! RIP Greg Page

Pacquiao Steamrolls Hatton in 2

Manny Pacquiao’s rampage through multiple weight classes continued last Saturday (May 2) with a thorough destruction of 140 champion Ricky Hatton.

Pacquiao began round one circling the predictable Hatton, who rushed forward to crowd and maul the pound for pound #1 on the inside. But Manny immediately showed the huge disparity in handspeed by sharply countering the Hitman with jarring, looping right hooks. The counter proved reliable, as Pacquiao strafed Hatton with the punch three more times through the round as Hatton lingered his non-moving head perilously at mid-range.

At the 1:30 mark, Hatton’s attempt to strafe Pacquiao against the ropes was nullified by a blistering array of short hooks that forced the Manchester native to hold. With Hatton now reluctant to bull forward, Pacquaio began target practice at mid-range by punishing Hatton with his trademark straight left. Off a Hatton left hook attempt, Pacquiao delivered a pinpoint counter right hook that dropped the Hitman onto his knees.

Clearly buzzed, Hatton wisely took the 8 count before rising with a glassy look and 46 seconds remaining. Pacquaio went right back to work breaking Hatton down with right hooks, stiff jabs, and straight lefts. Hatton unwisely sought to trade, and received 4 and 5 punch combinations for his trouble. The final jab-straight left combination was too powerful for the Hitman, who was knocked flat on his back despite partially blocking the assault.

Luckily, the 2nd knockdown came with just 7 seconds left, allowing Hatton to survive the round. However, by this point the end was inevitable.

The second round saw Hatton bravely trying to jab his way in to work his patented left hook to the body. But Pacquiao refused to give much ground, making sure Hatton was greeted with stinging counter shots whenever he came into range. Pacquiao’s best punches, the right hook and straight left, were now landing flush on Hatton’s jaw. The latter punch not only jarred Hatton, put physically knocked him across the ring in the final minute of the round.

Getting desperate, Hatton reverted back to his earlier fighting habits of leaping into his attacks with his chin in the air. This proved fatal, and Pacquiao calmly landed a surgical left hook to separated Hatton from reality before the champion’s body touched the canvas.

The back of Hatton’s head crashed into the canvas, and referee Kenny Bayless didn’t bother counting after observing Hatton’s shallow breathing and rolling eyes.

The crushing TKO gives Manny Pacquiao the linear title at 140 pounds, and improves his record to 49-3-2, 37 KOs, while Hatton falls to 45-2, 32 KOs.

In the post-fight interview, Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach was very blunt in his assessment of the fight, and why Hatton was dismantled so easily.

“Every time Ricky throws his left hand, he pulls it back and cocks it,” stated Roach, who predicted a 3rd round KO before the fight. “He’s wide open for a short right hook on the inside from a southpaw stance. We worked on that everyday in the gym, timing the shot. It just worked beautifully. I knew it was over because Ricky doesn’t have the ability to adjust. He fights the same way over and over again. I’ve watched tapes of him for the last 2 and a half months. I know him pretty well.”

Manny Pacquiao is the epitome of what the mythical pound for pound title is all about. The PacMan has wrecked champions and titleholders at 126, 130, 147, and now 140 pounds. In addition, Pacquiao has laid waste to the returning Floyd Mayweather’s last 2 opponents in more impressive and destructive fashion.

Pending Mayweather’s success in his July comeback fight against Juan Manual Marquez, boxing will see the most lucrative fight in history by the end of 2009 in Mayweather-Pacquiao. Until then, Floyd Mayweather must settle for Manny Pacquiao as being boxing’s pound for pound #1.

See the highlights here.

Mayweather-Marquez Set for July 18

The inevitable comeback on Floyd Mayweather was confirmed last Saturday (April 2) via a press conference with fellow elite fighter Juan Manuel Marquez.

Mayweather has made known his desire to face the winner of Hatton-Pacquiao. However, the multi-division champ must first get through a “tune-up” fight at 143 pounds with the smaller, but highly skilled and dangerous Juan Manuel Marquez.

“To be considered the best in the world, you have to fight the best, and I have made it clear even when Mayweather was away from the sport that he was the only man I really wanted to fight,” explained Marquez, who fought Manny Pacquiao in two close, controversial decisions. “I’m happy that he’s come out of retirement and accepted my challenge. Unfortunately for him he might be sorry he came back at all.”

Mayweather, who retired less than a year ago at 39-0 after a knockout win over Ricky Hatton, detailed that his July bout would be the first of several megafights to close out his career.

“I am not wasting any time with a tune-up fight,” Mayweather declared. “I’m going straight to the top. Marquez called me out immediately after his victory over Juan Diaz in February and now he gets his wish. What he is going to find out is that you should be very careful what you wish for. The rest of those fighters who called me out can get in line too because they are going to get their chance…one at a time and slowly but surely. It’s going to be a great return and a wonderful experience. Don’t blink… I’m back!”

After a near two year sabbatical away from the ring, it’ll be intriguing to see where Mayweather’s timing, speed, and stamina are at. Make no mistake; Marquez will present problems for “Money” Mayweather due to his fantastic combination punching and ability to adjust strategy multiple times during a fight. However, expect Mayweather’s larger size and great defense to see him through to a spectacular KO by the mid rounds.

Throwback Fighter of the Week: Greg Page (1958-2009)

Former titlist Greg Page was one of the more talented heavyweight contenders of the 1980s.

Page began his career in 1979, and quickly racked up 17 straight victories against such veterans as Alfredo Evangelista, Jimmy Young, and Scott LeDoux. His quickness and sparring with legend Muhammad Ali had the Greatest declaring that Page would be his worthy successor. But that vote of confidence was derailed when Page dropped a 10 round decision to tough contender Trevor Berbick in 1982.

Page appeared to rebound the following year, and posted wins over Top 10 contenders Renaldo Snipes and James “Quick” Tillis. This made Page the top challenger for Larry Holmes’ WBC title. But the champion chose to vacate the belt, and Page faced off against Tim Witherspoon in a 1984 title eliminator.

Unfortunately, Page fell short in his first title shot, losing a majority decision (111-117, 111-117, and 114-114). Later that year, Page dropped another decision to David Bey and seemed on the verge of falling out of the rankings.

However, Page rebounded by the end of 1984 with an upset 8th round KO over Gerrie Coetzee to win the WBA heavyweight title.

But again, Page’s streaky nature reared its ugly head, as he lost a 15 round decision in his first title defense against Tony Tubbs. From there, he dropped a decision to future Mike Tyson conqueror James “Buster” Douglas before falling out of the Top 10.

Page refused to give up, and fought for years of away from the limelight, having moderate success. Eventually in 1992, he was given an opportunity against dangerous puncher Donavan “Razor” Ruddock, who scored an 8th round TKO in a mostly one-sided bout.

In 1996, Page launched a comeback at 38. He won 14 consecutive fights against lowly competition, but would later take beatings against young contenders like Monte Barrett and Robert Davis.

In 2001, Page suffered brain damage in a 10th round KO loss to Dale Crowe. After recovering from a coma, Page remained confined to a wheelchair and suffered numerous health complications, including pneumonia, sepsis, hypothermia, seizures, and respiratory failure.

Because of these extensive medical issues, Page successfully won a $1.2 million settlement against the Kentucky boxing commission due to inadequate medical care during his final fight. This settlement also caused the state to align their laws with federal regulations and rename them “The Greg Page Boxing and Safety Initiative.”

Greg Page passed away in his sleep on April 27, 2009 at the age of 50. His final record stands at 58-17-1, 48 KOs.

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