On May 2, live on PPV, Floyd Mayweather faces Manny Pacquiao in what is being billed as boxing's Fight of the Century. It's a fight that has been in discussion for roughly seven years, and now it is finally upon us. In this Bloody Elbow series, we look at the history leading up to Mayweather vs Pacquiao by examining the key fights that have brought us to May 2.
Last time out, we watched as Manny Pacquiao pummeled and ultimately retired Oscar De La Hoya. With that behind him, he set his sights on another former Mayweather victim.
PART 5: DOWN GOES HATTON, AGAIN
The fight: Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton, May 2, 2009
The background: With De La Hoya behind him and Floyd Mayweather retired, Manny Pacquiao was the clear king of the mountain in boxing. For his next opponent, he selected popular English fighter Ricky Hatton. The message behind the choice was clear - last time, Pacquiao one upped Mayweather by dominating De La Hoya (a man Mayweather fought to a close decision). Now, he would attempt to outdo Mayweather's 8th round KO performance against Hatton from 2007. Since that fight, Hatton had gone 2-0.
The importance: The importance of May 2, 2009 in the story of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao extends far beyond the in ring action that day. That's because this is also the day Floyd Mayweather officially ended his retirement. That morning, at a press conference, Mayweather announced that he would be returning to the ring that summer. And his opponent would be Pacquiao rival Juan Manuel Marquez. Again, the message was clear - this was Mayweather choosing an opponent specifically to show that he was better than Pacquiao. And with that, Floyd Mayweather stole Pacquiao's thunder. But it didn't last long, as a few short hours later, Pacquiao stole it right back...
The fallout: Mayweather stopped Hatton in 8 rounds, so Pacquiao stopped him in 2. The battle of anything you can do I can do better continues, and for the second time, it's won by Manny Pacquiao. And once again, he does so in ridiculously dominant fashion, absolutely blowing Hatton away. And as he did against De La Hoya, Pacquiao essentially ends a man's career here (Hatton returned for one final fight in 2012, but this was really the end). But with Mayweather vs. Marquez looming, that back and forth battle was ready for another encounter.
Next time: Mayweather vs. Marquez
If you were to try and nail down the absolute peak of Pacquiao's skills, you would find the Hatton fight right in the center of it. His three fight run from De La Hoya to Hatton to Miguel Cotto is everything great about Manny Pacquiao. We've already looked at the first two fights, so here is the last: Manny Pacquiao displaying the beautiful violence of boxing against the super tough Cotto.
Join us at Bloody Elbow for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao coverage as we get ready for fight night, May 2, live on PPV.