Boxing is one of those sports that seem to get nationalistic tendencies all riled up. In the Southeast Asian nation of the Philippines, in particular, people do get together to support their “hero” Manny Pacquiao. On May 2, Saturday, Manny Pacquiao is set to meet Ricky Hatton of the United Kingdom in the ring.
The People’s Champion, as Manny is fondly called by his fans and admirers, says that it is going to be war. The odds are in Pacquiao’s favor at the moment. Odds makers have named him as the favorite at a 2 is to 1 ratio.
On his part, Ricky Hatton says that he “has been here before. People say (I’m) over-hyped, overprotected, a fat, beer-drinking Englishman. Well, I’m going to shock the world again.” He also agrees that the match will definitely be a war.
As for their promoters, Pacquiao still has Bob Arun of Top Rank on his side while Hatton has Oscar dela Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions. Boxing fans will note that the Golden Boy tried to rekindle his career recently by going against Pacquiao, only to have his face “rearranged,” as many commentators put it. Could this huge fight be his way of getting back at Manny Pacquiao? Perhaps.
In any case, the match is going to be over Hatton’s current title, the IBO junior-welterweight title. In spite of the odds, we can only be assured of one thing: that it is going to be a good fight and that the whole world (or a large part of it) will be watching.