Pacquiao teaches Clottey a boxing lesson in decision win
By Eddie Alinea
14 Mar 2010
Filipino World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao dominated challenger Joshua Clottey in settling for a 12-round unanimous decision victory to retain his 147-pound crown and cement his claim as the world’ s finest fighter this era before a boisterous 51,000 throng at the giant Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington,Texas.
There was no knockdown but the predominantly pro-Pacquiao crowd, the third biggest in history of boxing in the United States, cheered the Filipino ring hero all throughout the more than one hour encounter that saw the defending titleholder giving the Ghanaian contender a neat lesson in fighting.
The crowd took a glimpse of what the result would be right after the opening bell rung with Pacquiao, following the game plan to the letter, controlling his taller and heftier opponent throwing punches with both hands from all angles.
So dominant was the Pacman’s style of fighting, the same he used in his spectacular triumphs in his last three fights, that Clottey was reduced to merely fighting back albeit sparingly.
"Everything's working now," Pacquiao’s American chief corner man told his ward right after the third round. "It's easy."
Indeed it was as the scorecards of the three judges overwhelmingly revealed – 120-108, 109, 109 – two of them giving Clottey one round and the two others seeing Pacquiao the winner in all of 12 rounds.
The Manila Times also scored all rounds in favor of Pacquiao.
This was because the 32-year-old Clottey contented himself in holding both his hands high in a peek-a-boo defensive style he has been known for through much of the first nine rounds, picking off Pacquiao's punches apparently waiting for an opportunity to give his own.
He succeeded in landing some clean punches but he gave away points round after round as Manny kept digging his belly with hard lefts and rights while switching to the head at times when the challenger’s defense opened.
By the end of the ninth, a mouse was developing below Pacquiao’s right eye, a testimony to his punching power that was seen only occasionally.
"You gotta take a chance," Clottey's trainer Lenny DeJesus, who once worked as Pacquiao’s cutman, told the Ghanaian in between the sixth and seventh round sensing his boy was at that stage, lagging behind on points. "You're in a fight and you gotta start taking chances."
Clottey failed to follow instructions and paid dearly for it although he kept his distinction as the first fighter in Pacquiao's last six fights that remained standing as the final bell sounded.
He also protected his reputation of not having sent to the canvas in his entire career.
"He has speed, I lost the fight," Clottey said. "He's fast, that's why I was taking my time."
Pacquiao threw an average 100 punches a round and landed as many power shots as Clottey threw. Final punch stats showed Pacquiao landing 246 of 1,231 punches, three times more than Clottey’s 108 of 399.
Clottey had gotten the fight off a good performance in his last bout against Miguel Cotto, but he was clearly more concerned with surviving the all out assault that Pacquiao is noted for than winning the fight.
"Joshua Clottey had the power to knock him out but was reluctant to punch," DeJesus said. "We clearly got beat. I don't think he won a round."
Roach agreed, saying he saw nothing in Clottey to win.
"He had a good defense, but defense isn't enough to win a fight," Roach said.
“Joshua has the power to knock him (Pacquiao) out) but was reluctant to punch,” De Jesus rued. “We clearly got beaten. I don’t think he won a round.”
The 50,994 fans that witnessed the fight in the Cowboys’ first attempt in boxing came third largest after the 63,350 that saw the great Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in the 70s and the 59,985 in the Pernell Whitaker-Julio Cesar Chavez at the San Antonio Alamodome.
The nearly 51,000 crowd came about after promoters added thousands more standing room only passes in addition to the capacity 45,000 seat the Cowboys can accommodate in boxing event.
Pacquaio, thus, re-established himself as boxing’s biggest crowd-drawer.
"He's a very tough opponent," Pacquiao, for his part said of Clottey. "He was looking for a big shot."
Last night’s bout was supposed to be Pacquiao against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. but the supposed to be megafight was aborted due to a dispute over blood testing.
"I want that fight (against Mayweather), the world wants that fight, but it's up to him," Pacquiao said when asked after dispsosing off |Clottey. . "I'm ready to fight any time."
That has to be shelved for the meantime though as Mayweather is fighting Shane Mosley on May 1, and the earliest the two could get together would be in the fall and only if Mayweather backs off his demands for blood testing.
Besides, the Pacman himself would be very busy this coming two months as he is to return to the country soon to resume his campaign for a congressional seat in the province of Saranggani this coming May 10.
(Eddie Alinea writes for the Manila Times)
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