Vegas is buzzing this weekend with the energy of the year's biggest fight. Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton have weighed in at or below the junior welterweight limit, and tonight they'll meet in the ring.
Pacquiao enters tonight's fight as a significant favorite over his British foe. For Hatton this is a second, and possibly final chance to take down a pound-for-pound champion like Pacman. It's been two years since Hatton's aggressive and unrefined style was exposed by one of the sport's true greats, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Since that time Hatton has teamed up with the father of the only man to beat him, Floyd Mayweather Sr. The slightly insane trainer is confident in his abilities, and they shined through in Hatton's most recent fight, an easy win over the slick Paulie Malignaggi. However tonight's opponent is a completely different fighter, and if Hatton has any hopes of winning he'll need the best effort of his career.
For Pacman tonight should be business as usual. The Filipino sensation is ready to get back in the ring for the first time since his dismantling of a haggard Oscar de la Hoya, this time at a more comfortable 140 pound weight. Longtime trainer Freddie Roach will once again man the corner for Pacman, and both men appear supremely confident going in to tonight's contest. And well they should, seeing as how both men are at the top of their professions.
As far as predictions go you can put me down for a Pacquiao win, and let's call it a ninth round stoppage for fun.
For more extensive previews of tonight's action allow me to direct you to Queensberry Rules where the coverage has been superb all week. You'll also want to to take a look at the collected works of Large at No Mas and The Sporting Blog. And for those of you who are more visual learners, here are some highlights of tonight's pugilists via Bad Left Hook.