How Pacquiao Won
Tue, 16 Mar 2010
Joshua Clottey, whom Manny Pacquiao dominated in 12 rounds to retain his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown, was no Oscar De La Hoya, who the Filipino ring idol?s critics said was a far cry from his old devastating form when they fought two years ago.
Neither was the Ghanaian challenger Miguel Cotto, whom the 31-year-old seven-division champion destroyed in a 12-round technical knockout victory to annex the 147-pound diadem only four months ago in catchweight 145-pound bout.
Clottey, 32, who as a legitimate 147-lb. campaigner was the biggest fighter Pacquiao met in his 15-year career that started when he was still a budding 106-pound ring warrior.
Yet, the 31-year-old Pacquiao, in showing he, indeed, is the world?s pound-pound king, practically tore Clottey to pieces, nearly blowing him out of the huge Dallas Cowboys giant of a sports palace that housed nearly 51,000 cheering crowd, the third largest in the history of boxing since 1978.
The victory was met with mixed reactions with not a few members of media, discrediting the Filipino for his failure to put the challenger out in the cold. That the win, Pacquiao?s 12th straight losing to Eric Morales in 2003, was tainted by the fact that Clottey simply did not put up a decent fight.
And how can he, when Pacquiao, following strictly the game plan charted by chief trainer Freddie Roach did not really give ?The Grandmaster? room to unleash his offensive prowess by raining him with combinations from as soon as the bell signalling the start of the fight sounded.
Pacquiao, threw a total 1,231 punches, landing 146, 108 of them body shots that Clottey was forced to just, as he was able to do, defend himself. Those power blows was s 832 more than the Ghanian managed to unleash.
Those shots Pacquiao threw was testament of his physical conditioning toughness borne out by the no-mean preparations that lasted seven weeks.
Credit should also go to Clottey who after absorbing those blows remained standing till the final bell sounded, protecting his reputation for not having been floored in his entire career.
Well, as in any and all Pacquiao fights, last night?s, titled ?The Event?, expected to be talked about in the many weeks that will follow.
This early, or minutes after the Clottey unanimous decision victory, talks about reliving the Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweasther Jr. aborted confrontation has started to crop up.
And why not, the way the former flyweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight and junior-welterweight titlist, destroyed his overmatch challenger, pumelling his ribs and midsection with impunity, indeed, talks of realizing what was hoped to be a mega-fight between him the undefeated Mayweather Jr. must be reopened.
Pacman himself sounded as if he welcomed the idea in answer to a query posed by a television interviewer right after disposing off Clottey.
?I want that fight because the people want it,? Pacquiao said. ?We are ready to fight him any time. But I don?t think he (Mayweather) is ready to fight.?
Even Roach, who before the fight expressed preference for his ward?s retirement has changed tunes, calling for Mayweather to drop his demands for blood-testing and fight Pacquiao.
In other sports that call for a round-robin style of competitions, Pacquiao looked to have won his semifinal round match with his ouster of Clottey. It is Mayweather?s turn now to survive his Final Four assignment on May 1 against Shane Mosley to pave the way for the much-awaited encounter with the Filipino.
In Sunday?s Event, Clottey fought defensively, conservatively all day, throwing 399 punches to Pacquiao?s 1,231. In the seventh round, Clottey managed to bruise Pacquiao under his right eye, but Pacquiao remained on the offensive, stalking Clottey, landing body shot after body shot.
?He has great speed,? Clottey said of Pacquiao. ?It was difficult for me to handle that.?
Clottey actually lost his fight against Pacquiao in his corner between rounds, when he ignored the words of his trainer, Lenny de Jesus, words that began as advice, a call to action, and became pleas that received no reaction. Whatever work Clottey put in outside of the ring meant little if he wasn?t willing to work inside of it.
Pacquiao?s total punches thrown tantamount to an average103 punches per round, more than 34 punches a minute, one punch thrown every 1.75 seconds. His win wasn?t merely the product of activity, however. He put himself in position to send out those shots, moved and angled his body to make Clottey miss, and had the fortitude to remain standing when Clottey landed.
It was another excellent performance in a streak of excellent performances. But what Pacquiao did is being overshadowed by what Clottey did not.
Clottey?s total 339 total punches thrown was less than one-third the output of his opponent. That averages out to about 33 punches per round, about 11 punches per minute, one punch thrown every 5.41 seconds. And though he was solid defensively, blocking nearly 1,000 of Pacquiao?s punches, the fewer shots he threw himself, the less a shot he had of winning.
Clottey, indeed, had a stonewall defense, but as Roach said, defense can?t win a fight, offense does.
(Eddie Alinea writes for the Manila Times)
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