Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hatton signs deal to fight Pacquiao

Hatton signs deal to fight Pacquiao

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton have finalized their May 2 superfight at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

The junior welterweight title fight between the two boxing stars offers big paychecks for them: at least $12 million for Pacquiao and slightly less for Hatton, and even bigger fights to the winner down the road.

Pacquiao, the reigning pound-for-pound king, gets the chance to collect his fifth world title (his third in less than a year). Hatton gets his second shot at the world’s best fighter.

Hatton’s lawyer Gareth Williams said The Hitman signed the contract Thursday in London to seal the richest fight so far this year.

Pacquiao faxed a signed contract Friday (January 23) to his promoter Bob Arum in Las Vegas after he accepted a revised offer assuring him a minimum $12 million for his biggest paycheck, plus a revised 52-48 split of revenues from gate receipts and pay-per-view income.

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions and chief negotiator for Hatton, expressed relief that the fight is now sealed and final.

“When you make a superfight of this magnitude, it’s very exciting,” Schaefer said. “These guys have two great styles. They both love to stand in the middle of the ring and slug it out. It’ll be a great night for the fans.”

Pacquiao, who is coming off an easy win over Oscar De La Hoya on December 6, said he will start light training next month and report for training camp at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood on March 1.

His trainer Freddie Roach, who owns Wild Card Gym, said he already notified a pair of Mexican sluggers whose style of fighting resembles that of Hatton.

Roach identified the Mexican-American sparring mates for Pacman as Urbano Antillon, who has won all his 25 professional fights, 18 by knockout.

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