Saturday, March 13, 2010
Manny Pacquiao Vs Joshua Clottey
Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey fight tonight for Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight title, at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Conventional wisdom says Pacquiao should win this fight and he probably will but as my father used to say “There’s no such thing as a sure thing”. Despite losing to Miguel Cotto in his last fight - losing a split decision that some felt should have gone his way - Clottey is a real fighter and not some “tomato can” brought in to fill the bill.
I’m not quite a true believer in Manny Pacquiao just yet.. Yeah, I know everybody thinks Pacquiao is the greatest thing since sliced bread but as far as I’m concerned he’s a good fighter with an impeccable sense of timing when it comes to selecting opponents. Don’t take my word for it, it’s in the record book. Clottey may just be the first real opponent that Pacquiao faces that doesn’t come in with some type of handicap, the exception being Juan Manuel Marquez. Though Clottey himself is no spring chicken, he seems to be in his physical prime and poses a real threat to Pacquiao. I’m not predicting an upset but I won’t be 100% surprised if there is one. Think Buster Douglas.
Still, having said that, Pacquiao will be a tough nut to crack. Clottey with 20 KO’s out of 39 fights is a good but not devastating puncher and though he is reasonably quick he comes nowhere near Pacquiao when it comes to speed. He will have to find some way to impose his will on Pacquiao and at this point I’m not sure he can do that.
Pacquiao has been given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the drug testing fiasco between him and Floyd Mayweather but as far as I’m concerned he is equally culpable. All he had to do was say “Okay”. It’s easy to question Mayweather’s motives for asking for the Olympic style drug testing because , let’s face it, nobody really likes Mayweather. He’s the “bad guy” in almost every one of his fights, as opposed to Manny, who is almost always the crowd favorite. As far as I’m concerned Pacquiao’s motive for refusing to be tested are just as questionable.
Clottey has proven himself to be a tough, durable fighter and has gone the distance with a couple of good fighters. I figure he’ll make it to the final bell tonight in a losing effort but I’ll be pulling for an upset. Boxing needs another shot in the arm.