Former European welterweight champion and IBO title challenger, Matthew Hatton has given his thoughts to WBN on the upcoming rematch pitting Manny Pacquiao against Timothy Bradley on Saturday night.
The 32 year-old, who is now a trainer after retiring from the sport in 2013, believes that the two superstars at 147lbs are set to give the fans another enthralling instalment at the MGM Grand after their controversial first meeting in 2012.
On that occasion, Bradley, 30, scored a highly-contentious split decision victory to claim the WBO title when most who witnessed the events unfold saw a straightforward points win for an on-form Pacquiao.
Hatton scored the first fight himself that fateful night in Las Vegas, but saw a much closer fight in favour of Pacquiao, and now sees the tide shifting as both boxers have endured contrasting fortunes since the original bout.
“I remember the fight well because it was so controversial and I actually researched the fight and scored it myself,” Hatton told World Boxing News.
“My overall impression at first was that Pacquiao had won convincingly, but after I totted up my scorecard round by round, I only had Manny winning by one or two rounds.
“The judges give the fight to Bradley and all had it close, but the backlash against him was very unfair in my opinion.”
Bradley has remained unbeaten in the time period between Pacquiao fights, with victories over Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez, whilst the Filipino suffered that KO heard around the world against the Mexican, but did shine in out-pointing Brandon Rios late last year.
“For me, Bradley comes into the fight the hungrier more determined fighter,” said Hatton.
“I was very impressed with Pacman against Rios, but I do feel that Rios’ style was tailor-made for him. I also believe Pacquiao is still one of the best fighters out there, but he is obviously not as good as he was a couple of years ago as Marquez showed.
“I expect a similar close fight, which will once again go to points, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is controversy once again with lots of close rounds.
“Plenty of people are predicting Pacquiao to get his revenge, but for me I’m predicting Bradley to win a tight points decision as this time I think he will be the better fighter and deserve it.”
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