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October 20, 2014

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No. 1: Predictions and pick ‘ems

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The Associated Press

Manny Pacquiao, left, of the Philippines and British boxer Ricky Hatton gesture at the weigh-in for their junior welterweight boxing match Friday, May 1, 2009, in Las Vegas. The two will fight in a junior welterweight boxing match in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 2.

East and West Weigh In

With fight night just one day away, Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton weight in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao weighed in at 138 pounds while Hatton at 140 pounds.

Pacquiao-Hatton Weigh-In

Junior welterweight boxers Manny Pacquiao, left, of the Philippines and Ricky Hatton of Britain pose during an official weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada May 1, 2009. The boxers will meet for a 12-round title bout at the arena Saturday. Launch slideshow »

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Editor's Note: Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton, boxing's top two international superstars, square off in "The Battle of East and West" on May 2 at the MGM Grand. In the days leading up to this blockbuster bout, the Las Vegas Sun is presenting a Top 10 countdown of key points of interest for Pacquiao vs. Hatton.

Finally.

The stories have been written, the fighters have been weighed, and HBO’s “24/7” all-access show is a wrap.

Floyd Mayweather Sr. dropped a different rap, riling up Freddie Roach once again.

Heck, his son, Floyd Jr. must have got so bored watching this show-and-tell that he decided to unretire.

Now the only thing that remains is the settlement in the ring.

Who is going to win The Battle of the East and West?

Well that's really a personal pick, but if you’re scoring at home the Las Vegas sports books are still heavily favoring the Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao by a healthy minus-250 mark.

Predictions around the boxing world also pick the “Pac-Man.”

One thing is for sure. Out of everyone asked, no one had a more entertaining answer than boxer Bernard Hopkins, who turned to the quality of Pacquiao's undergarments for his prediction.

Bernard Hopkins, professional boxer

"Fernando Vargas said something real profound a few years ago about silk underwear. I guarantee you that Manny Pacquiao got some upgraded underwear in the last two years. I'm pretty sure they're not the cheap cotton ones they used to be. I'm pretty sure that Manny Pacquiao has got some fancy tulip underwear somewhere in there. What I'm saying is, we've all changed, it comes with success. Success has KO'd all of us if you can't control it. It's very hard to fight poor, when you're rich. How will that play a role in the fight? Ricky Hatton might expose the good living of Pacquiao.”

Cristobal Arreola, professional boxer

"Pacquiao by knock-out in the ninth."

Paul Williams, professional boxer

"May the best man win, because this is going to be a great fight. I can't make a prediction, it's a pick-em fight."

Harry Joe Yorgey, professional boxer

"I'm picking Hatton to pull off the upset. I believe he'll be a little too strong for Pacquiao."

Oscar De La Hoya, retired boxer, promoter

"Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton are going to do a great job and may the best man win. I don't see it going the distance. The fight may not end early, but maybe late. I don't know who will take the knockout, but it's not going the distance."

Paulie Malignaggi, professional boxer

"Based on what I saw in my fight in November (against Hatton), I think Manny Pacquiao will win. But I'll be rooting for Ricky. I got to know Ricky and he's a great guy, his family is great. He's also got the best fans in the world and that makes me want to pull for him."

James Bowes, Ricky Hatton's personal friend

"I know Ricky is going to win because he's more skillful on his feet and he knows how to hit him in the ribs. He'll back him into the corners where he can't move. If Ricky keeps his guard up, he can go straight at him can't he? He's a champion. Ricky will win in the seventh round."

Shane Mosely, professional boxer (as told to ESPN)

"I think they match up pretty well, it's going to be a great fight with Manny Pacquiao being the better boxer and Ricky Hatton being a little stronger. I'm kind of leaning towards Pacquio right now but I wouldn't be surprised if Hatton pulls it off. He's been looking very good in training."

Billy Graham, Hatton's former trainer (as told to HBO)

"There's not really many comparisons with the Mayweather fight, to be honest with you," Graham told me. "It's a totally different fight. That was at welterweight, this is at 140.

This is at Ricky's natural weight. I see Ricky winning big, pretty spectacularly."

Michael Moorer, retired boxer and Roach’s assistant trainer

“I’m thinking three, but it may go five (for Manny). I like his work ethic for this one; it’s better than I’ve ever seen from him. It’s really phenomenal.”

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer

"I told Manny I would be disappointed if this fight goes past the third round."

Floyd Mayweather Sr., Hatton's trainer (rapping of course)

"Come May 2, (Pacquiao) will be uncrowned with your head hanging down. The pain and stress left to confess that "The Hitman's" the best. It ain't no diggity, it ain't no doubt. Pac's gonna find out what it's all about. So get your tickets now people and let's make it clear, that the Pacman ass-whoopin is almost here. It ain't no secret and I hope you know, "The Hitman" Hatton by KO."

Ricky Hatton

"Three or four fights ago, Manny Pacquiao would have beaten me. I don't think so now. I feel so much more relaxed because I'm boxing technically so much better. I'm jabbing and moving a lot better. Everyone seems to think that because of my new training camp I've turned into this twinkle toed jab-and-move boxer. But I haven't. I'm still aggressive. I'm still as ferocious as ever."

Manny Pacquiao

"We have applied a lot of techniques for him. I don’t want to tell you about it. I want you and him to be surprised when they see it in the ring. I know Ricky Hatton will be in great shape and it will be a good fight. Being a six-time champion … if that happens people will want to put my name in boxing history and that will be my legacy."

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