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Page last updated at 03:58 GMT, Sunday, 3 May 2009 04:58 UK

Hatton floored by brutal Pacquiao

Ricky Hatton
Hatton suffered the second defeat of his career

By Ben Dirs
BBC Sport in Las Vegas

Ricky Hatton suffered a devastating second-round defeat in his IBO light-welterweight world title bout against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.

Hatton, 30, was knocked down by a flashing right hook in the first round before being floored again by a left shortly before the bell.

Mancunian Hatton was pole-axed by a huge left in the second and counted out with one second remaining in the round.

The shattering defeat puts Hatton's future in the sport in doubt.

Hatton was defending his title but it was his second defeat in 47 fights, while Pacquiao now has 49 wins and three defeats from 54 fights.

I was just doing my job - Pacquiao

The victory confirmed Filipino Pacquiao's status as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Hatton came into the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as a big underdog, although few could have predicted the calamitous nature of the defeat.

Pacquiao, also 30, was fighting in his fourth weight division in as many fights, but his power was far too much for his rival, despite Hatton claiming beforehand that Pacquiao would be outmuscled.

The Filipino landed 73 blows to Hatton's 18, 65 of them power punches, while Hatton only landed with two jabs.

Pacquiao stunned Hatton midway through the first round with three straight rights before Hatton walked onto a right hook with a minute remaining.

Hatton rose on the count of eight but Pacquiao continued to pierce his leaky defence with lightning combinations before putting him down again with a booming left.

Hatton struggled to his feet but his legs had gone from beneath him and he was hanging on for dear life at the bell.

It was more of the same in the next round, with Pacquiao landing with two looping rights and a rapier left-right-left combination.

Referee Kenny Bayless warned Hatton for holding on the back of the head midway through the round, but Pacquaio was not perturbed, sending home a thunderous left hand that rendered Hatton unconscious before he had hit the floor.

There were some anxious moments as Hatton lolled on his back, but he eventually came round to hear only stunned silence from his thousands of fans.

He was taken to hospital for a precautionary brain scan.

Pacquiao, who started life as a flyweight, will no doubt fight the winner of the bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Juan Manuel Marquez on 18 July.

Hatton still has options, although it would not be a surprise if he decides to bring down the curtain on his stellar 12-year career as a professional.

Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach opened up the possibility of his man meeting the winner of Mayweather Jr and Marquez after Mayweather Jr announced on Saturday he was coming out of retirement.

"I think a fight with the winner of Mayweather-Marquez is a very good possibility," said Roach.

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"It's a natural fight and the fans would want to see it. But I think Mayweather is scared, and we're not waiting around."

He added: "If (Puerto Rico's WBO welterweight champion) Miguel Cotto wants to come down a few pounds, we can make that happen, or even (WBA welterweight champion) Shane Mosley."

Pacquiao said he was surprised that Hatton had played into his game plan.

He admitted he had no preference of who he wanted to fight next.

"I can fight anybody, it will depend on my promoters," he said.

"I'm just a fighter, doing my job, training and keeping at 100%."



see also
Beaten Hatton to consider future
03 May 09 |  Boxing
Pacquiao proves ring greatness
03 May 09 |  Boxing
Mayweather to make boxing return
02 May 09 |  Boxing
Hatton fans mob Sin City weigh-in
02 May 09 |  Americas
Hatton aiming for Pacquiao body blow
01 May 09 |  Boxing
Hatton undaunted by underdog tag
29 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Pacquiao - a Philippine Goliath
30 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Hatton v Pacquiao photos
01 May 09 |  Boxing
Hatton-Pacquiao predictions
28 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Beasts from the East
24 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Hatton slams Pacquiao credentials
21 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Mayweather Sr to stay with Hatton
27 Mar 09 |  Boxing
Hatton relishes Pacquiao showdown
29 Jan 09 |  Boxing
Hatton's Pacquiao fight confirmed
26 Jan 09 |  Boxing
Pacquiao stops 'empty' De la Hoya
07 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Slick Hatton defeats Malignaggi
23 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Pacquiao claims lightweight title
29 Jun 08 |  Boxing


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