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Pacquiao/Hatton fans invited to boxers' public appearances

March 27, 2009 |  4:31 pm


Boxing promoters are trying something new to publicize the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton fight May 2 in Las Vegas: a red-carpet arrival Monday night at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel, complete with some celebrity appearances.

The boxers, their trainers Freddie Roach (Pacquiao) and Floyd Mayweather Sr. (Hatton) and celebrity friends and fans of boxing are expected at the event, which will precede the fighters' private news conference -- the only U.S. press event before fight week.

Pacquiao and Hatton are scheduled to address their fans, who are encouraged to arrive at the front entrance of the Roosevelt (7000 Hollywood Blvd.). The fighters and trainers will arrive in limousines at 7:30 p.m. and speak to the crowd before the news conference.

No official word on the celebrity list yet, but Roach is close friends with actors Mickey Rourke and Mark Wahlberg and television personality Mario Lopez. Hatton has drawn Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to a fight.  Publicist Bill Caplan said he has invited director Ron Shelton, actresses Lolita Davidovich and Nancy Travis and comedian Paul Rodriguez.

Pacquiao also has a public appearance scheduled for Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Island Pacific Supermarket in Panorama City.

Pacquiao, ranked the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world and just named the 2008 fighter of the year by the Boxing Writers Assn. of America, is trying to win in a fourth different weight division in four fights after defeating Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz and Oscar De La Hoya in 2008.

Hatton has lost only once, to retired pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., and has never lost at the May 2 weight: 140 pounds.

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Ricky Hatton, left, and Manny Pacquiao pose IBO World Junior Welterweight Championship belt at the Imperial War Museum in London on March 2. Credit: Lefteris Pitarakis / Associated Press