Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and Ricky Hatton of England are indeed today’s most talked-about sports personalities in the world. They are watched and listened to by sports enthusiasts and millions of boxing fans whenever they face the media and grant interviews for millions of their boxing fans around the world.
But what’s next for them after the May 2, 2009 fight? There are few but very interesting and exciting possibilities including their hanging of gloves for good.
In the case of Manny Pacquiao, his grandest fight is yet to come. Manny’s boxing fans believe that he will truly retire from boxing by the middle of next year.
Life after boxing for Manny Pacquiao has been planned and laid out by his handlers. Because of Pacquiao’s appeal to the Filipino masses, he is guaranteed a political mandate by his millions of Filipino fans. It is true that he lost in his first attempt at politics when he sought a congressional seat during the last national elections, but he was not ready then. His loyal fans were one in saying that it was not yet time for him to turn his back from boxing because of the many exciting possibilities that was then laid out for him including his multi-million dollars fight with Oscar de la Hoya.
Indeed the match of the decade happened when he finally tangled with Oscar de la Hoya, for a multi million dollars purse. Pacquiao got de la Hoya’s attention when he fought and won over some of the world’s best boxers including Eric Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Antonio Barrera and Juan Diaz. The ‘Dream Match’ with de la Hoya was indeed a dream come true for Manny Pacquiao, thanks to Oscar for the rare opportunity.
Pacquiao said on many occasions that he is himself a fan of Oscar de la Hoya primarily because of his colorful record as an amateur boxer and Olympic Gold medalist. Right after winning over Oscar in their ‘Dream Match’, Manny told Oscar: ‘You are still my idol’. Oscar, still feeling dizzy and with a bloody face, turned to Manny and said, ‘No, you are my idol’.
The now famous statements uttered by the two world champions, elevated the boxing game to the next level. The famous statements carried a lot of meaningful and sportsmanlike messages about sportsmanship in general and the boxing game in particular.
Manny Pacquiao has repeatedly announced that he is indeed retiring. But he said that he wants to do one or two more fights before he finally bows out. That was almost two years ago, He is now committed to fight Ricky Hatton of England on May 2, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. If he wins over Hatton, he will have tremendous influence over boxing promoters on who will be his next most preferred opponent.
Two of the most popular and sought-after boxers today have indicated that they are ready to engage Manny Pacquiao if he wins over Ricky Hatton in their forthcoming fight. Retired boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. indicated he may get out of retirement to face Manny for a record-breaking purse. Shane Mosley has likewise dreamed of engaging Pacquiao along with still popular boxers Edwin Valero and a possible third encounter with Juan Manuel Marquez.
But what happens if Manny Pacquiao is defeated by Ricky Hatton? It is possible that Pacquiao may continue fighting with less-popular or weaker boxers until he wins again then retire as a winner for good. Besides, politics is knocking at his doors.
If indeed Ricky Hatton wins over Manny Pacquiao in their May 2 engagement, Hatton will emerge as the most popular and bankable boxer of the year. Pacquiao can ask for a rematch depending on the outcome of the fight but Ricky will then have a tremendous appeal among boxing stakeholders and he may not welcome a possible rematch.
A Hatton win will most likely trigger a Mayweather-Hatton rematch. But such a scenario will carry some collateral damages on both camps mainly because of the personal attachment of Floyd, Jr’s father who is presently acting as trainer of Hatton. It won’t be a pleasant sight for boxing fans to see a father training somebody to fight and defeat his own son.
There is likewise a good possibility of a Hatton-Mosley match if Mayweather declines to fight Hatton because of personal conflict with his father who is handling Hatton. Cotto is also in the waiting as well as a long shot with Juan Manuel Marquez.
What’s next for Hatton and Pacquiao? Let’s see what happens on May 2, 2009. It won’t be long now.