Friday, May 1, 2009

Before the plunge

I'm excited and having a little trouble sleeping. For my full preview/prediction, click here, also some terrific stuff in the comments. Some final thoughts on the day of the big event:

• Don’t know if this is a good sign or not, but seeing the Big Dog with the Pacman makes me feel good inside.


• Been having some discussion of making weight in the comments section and this picture of Hatton, looking extremely gaunt, is a fine example of the way the weigh in process is used. You can just see how drained Hatton is, his sallow skin almost the shade of death here. He’s a pro, came in right at 140, and should be fine, but I bet he has already put on ten pounds in liquid tonight. I could be wrong but I don’t see him having all that many more fights at 140. Manny weighed in at 138. They look the same size here, but I expect Hatton’s upper body to be noticeably larger than Pac’s come fight night. Manny seems to keep all his weight in those legs.



• Something I meant to talk more about was what impact Manny’s southpaw stance will have on the fight; here is my amateur technical analysis. The general consensus is that, because of the angle of the bodies, an orthodox fighter’s left jab is less useful and the straight right becomes the best punch (this is why Bernard Hopkins is always so successful against them). Hatton has often struggled with left-handers, and I think the primary reason is that he has probably the weakest straight right of any elite level boxer in the world today. He hurt Malignaggi with one in his last fight, but even that was thrown with poor form, landing not on the knuckles but with a downward clubbing slap. He throws it almost like a basebal,l and is going to have a hard time catching the elusive Pacquiao. Though Hatton can hook and uppercut with the right once he gets inside, the poor form will give Pacquiao a huge advantage.

Now, this assumes that Pacquiao stays conservative and doesn’t square his body as he used to do earlier in his career. If he gets overly aggressive and squares up to throw combinations, the jab and left hook to the body, Hatton’s best punch, will come into play. In my mind's eye, though, I keep seeing Hatton lunging in with the left as Pacquaio steps to the side and lands one of his short, blind lefts directly on the point of the chin to hurt Hatton. The question is will Hatton be able to handle it, or will he get rocked and stopped? I’m leaning toward a stoppage.

• I made a couple references to this before, but I’ve always loved this footage of Manny shadowboxing from a few years ago. Only Mayweather Jr’s jump rope routine compares.



• Speaking of Floyd Mayweather Jr. it looks like the fight with Marquez is being made. I gave some preliminary thoughts, but right now all I can say is it’s good to have Floyd back. The sport is better for having him in it. He makes big events and this will be another. The fight will be at a catch weight of 144. I wish Floyd would have come down to 140 because even though I don’t think it would have made a difference to the fight itself, I think it would have changed how the event was viewed. I also wish we’d have gotten to see the rubber match between Marquez and Pacquiao. But hell, it’s a superfight between two great boxers. There are so few examples of truly special fighters going at it, so I'm on board.

• Longtime readers of Freedarko might remember Elie Seckbach for his NBA interviews. Here he is at the Wildcard, Freddie Roach’s gym, where he finds some Hatton fans. He’s a lot less awkward than I remember him.



• This video is silly, so I feel sort of bad saying that it's also hilarious and worth watching to the end. This person did a very good job. For those of you who don’t know, Manny has a vastly inferior fighting brother, Bobby.

7 comments:

Admiral Jameson Sax said...
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Admiral Jameson Sax said...

Big fan of your writing. Our basketball-oriented blog http://roundballportfolio.blogspot.com just put up a post recommending your writing. I'm not even a boxing fan, but your preview of the Pacquiao-Hatton fight has been great. And I don't want to take the focus off tonight's fight, but do you have any plans to address the careers of Zab Judah or Lennox Lewis in future posts?

shoefly said...

Admiral: Thank you so much for that post, it's much too kind. I'm really glad you're liking the blog, I'm going to try to keep it up. As for Judah and Lewis, they will certainly get their day, particularly Lewis and his announcing. Thanks again.

Jason said...

The only reason boxing can be considered civilized is that you don't see punches like all that often. Good gravy. Thanks Shoefly for the writing, you got me to get up and watch my first bout in 3 years.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shoefly said...

The King of Kings. Wow. Obviously more on this later, now I go to sink into ecstasy.

Maria said...

At last Pacquiao moved forward against Floyd Mayweather allegation that Pacquaio use steroid.