Pacquiao's KO Of Hatton Could Lead To Mayweather Mega Fight


 Manny Pacquiao cemented his claim as pound-for-pound best fighter in the world with a devastating knockout of junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton last night in the first major pay-per-view boxing match of the year.

But the former pound-for-pound titleholder, Floyd Mayweather, says he wants his title back. Mayweather on Saturday ended his 11-month retirement, announcing his return to the ring July 18 to fight lightweight Juan Manuel Marquez, according to HBO Sports, which will distribute the PPV fight.

Mayweather's return to the ring sets the stage for a potential blockbuster Pacquiao-Mayweather fight later this year.

Pacquiao dominated Hatton from the first bell, knocking Hatton down twice in the first round before knocking him out cold late in the second round. HBO PPV was hoping Pacquiao's growing popularity and PPV appeal - his December 2008 win over Oscar De La Hoya drew 1.2 million buys - would bode well for last night's PPV performance.

It was unclear at press time how many PPV buys and revenue the fight generated.

Pacquiao, during a televised post-fight press conference, said he would take some time off before determining when he'll return to the ring and who he will fight.

Mayweather's fight against Marquez will be the undefeated former champion's first since he knocked out Hatton in their December 2007 fight. Mayweather announced his retirement from the ring last June.

Mayweather has been involved in some of the most lucrative PPV boxing events of the past few years, including his May 2007 fight with De La Hoya, which drew a record 2.4 million PPV buys and $134 million in PPV revenue.