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Hatton lawyer confident of a bout with Pacquiao for early May

Ricky Hatton's lawyer confirmed Monday he had received the contract to fight Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on May 2 and the British fighter planned to sign it within days.

Ricky Hatton's lawyer confirmed Monday he had received the contract to fight Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on May 2 and the British fighter planned to sign it within days.

The on-again, off-again fight was declared back on again Friday. That's when Pacquiao, coming off an easy win over Oscar De La Hoya last month, signed and faxed his contract to the headquarters of promoter Top Rank in Las Vegas.

"We have got the contract, signed by Manny," Hatton's lawyer, Gareth Williams said Monday.

The fight was initially in doubt over a dispute over how the purse would be split but Pacquiao is believed to have agreed to a change. Williams said Hatton had so far not had the contract in his possession to sign because he was in Manchester and the lawyer was in London.

"It won't be a problem and we'll announce the fight at a press conference Thursday," Williams said. "All the pressure is off now."

The contest could well be the fight of year with the hard-punching Hatton (45-1), cheered on by his huge army of fans, taking on the best pound-for-pound fighter from the Philippines over 12 rounds at junior welterweight.

Hatton's only loss was a 10th-round stoppage by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in December 2007. Pacquiao (48-3-2) has won his last nine contests, taking the world lightweight title from David Diaz.

Pacquiao then moved up two weight divisions to stop De La Hoya in eight rounds as a welterweight.

 
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