By Nick Giongco
In their recent private moments together back in Manchester, England, Jennifer Dooley and her boyfriend, boxing star Ricky Hatton, almost talked about everything under the sun. Dooley said boxing is hardly a topic for discussion they are at home. But when they did, Dooley reveals that Hatton always spoke about his chances of scoring an upset against Filipino phenom Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night at the MGM Grand. “Obviously, he’s very confident and he thinks he can win the fight and I think that for Ricky, this pound-for-pound title he is really desperate to get especially that it was so close and yet so far during the (Floyd) Mayweather fight and these opportunities don’t come very often,” Dooley told the fightnews/Manila Bulletin in an interview at the media center on Thursday.
“We don’t talk a great deal about boxing at home, I like our home to be kinda like a sanctuary for Ricky. He is very confident but at the same time very respectful of Manny Pacquiao,” said Dooley, a former model and college lecturer, who has been living with the Manchester native the last four years.
Dooley arrived here on a straight flight from Manchester with a few companions.
“Obviously, it’s the pound-for-pound title, which is the ultimate goal of any boxer. I get nervous in all of the fights, but obviously when it is as big as this one, you have the added nerves and also because of the occasion that it is Manny Pacquiao, there is an awful lot more going around the Strip, yeah, I’m quite nervous.”
Compared with Hatton’s previous shot at the mythical pound-for-pound crown, Dooley, whom Hatton met when they were five years old, believes Pacquiao’s popularity also contributes to the magnitude of the event.
“It’s probably similar although this time, but this is many, many more Pacquiao fans whereas Mayweather, I don’t think he was the most popular fighter, so to compare the two fighters, they’re completely different and you can’t hate Manny Pacquiao and it was easy to dislike then other boxer because he was such a character.”
“From a girlfriend’s point of view, I know that Manny Pacquiao is the best in the world and it’s gonna be a hard fight so you have more nerves going into it because you know it’s not going to be an easy fight.”
Dooley said Hatton went the extra mile in preparing for Pacquiao.
“Ricky ran all the way to the top deck of the ship when we went on a (Caribbean cruise) vacation and he also went to the gym there. The thing with Ricky is that he is a very hard trainer, trains very hard at the gym and whatever he does in the gym, he’ll do it.”
Hatton then hooked up with Lee Beard in Manchester before Floyd Mayweather Sr. came along.