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Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton moving closer to the ring

December 18, 2008 |  5:53 pm

Manny Pacquiao Ricky Hatton

Ricky Hatton's promoter, Richard Schaefer, said today that "it looks like we'll have something wrapped up by the end of the year" to stage a Hatton-Manny Pacquiao fight May 2, likely in Las Vegas (possibly at the MGM Grand or a Planet Hollywood-sponsored card at Thomas and Mack Center).

Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum discussed fight plans with the Filipino sensation while attending Pacquiao's 30th birthday celebration this week in the Philippines. Schaefer, meanwhile, has maintained contact with Hatton and his family.

"We're getting real close, and the more time people know this fight is coming, the better," Schaefer said. "It'll be Pac-Man versus Hit Man, who do you like?"

Hatton was impressive in November, battering Paulie Malignaggi in a 140-pound fight, but lightweight champion Pacquiao last month pounded Oscar De La Hoya into likely retirement.

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo (left): Manny Pacquiao. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Photo (right): Ricky Hatton. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press