The Event: Aftermath

“I just want to give a good fight for the people, you know?”

So my prediction was way off this time. Manny Pacquiao easily defended his WBO welterweight title over Joshua “The Cure for Insomnia” Clottey. He did not win it by a knockout as I thought he would but he won 34 of the possible 36 rounds in the official scorecards in a generally lackluster fight.

I was actually excited for this fight because I thought Clottey’s size was going to be a real problem for Pacquiao. I could not have guessed that Clottey was not planning on winning this fight at all. As I have wrote in my earlier post, Clottey has lost the three biggest fights of his career but he competed well in all those fights. Against Pacquiao, however, he was content on covering up and mounting token offense so it would actually be a sort of a fight rather than a glorified sparring session.

My biggest frustration about this fight is that when Clottey let his hands go, he was actually effective against Pacquiao. Pacman’s head popped back every time Clottey threw a straight right and sweat would come flying off Pacquiao’s face and hair when Clottey throws his vaunted uppercuts. Yet, he chose to stay safe even when his trainer was urging him to fight back. After round 8, he needed a knockout to win as he was down big on the scorecards but he refused to mix it up with the much smaller Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, fought his normal fight. He was ultra busy all night and gave Clottey some free shots to lure him into a slugfest. He even threw Fernando Poe, Jr.’s patented “pompyang” to piss of Clottey. Pacquiao threw more that 1,200 punches in that fight and to those not that familiar to boxing, this is an astronomically huge number.

Clottey made this fight stink. It could have been a really good fight but he chose to run away with the money and save his pretty face so he can make some more money by being Akon impersonator. Clottey showed that he is and will always be a second rate fighter. After he retires, his name will be forgotten in the boxing world almost instantly instantly. He’ll neither be remembered for his toughness nor for his short stint as a world champion but as a fighter who refused to give the people the action they deserved to see.

While I was watching the fight, I could not help but be in awe of how Erik Morales performed against Pacquiao. He knew he was going to get beaten by Pacquiao in their third fight but he continued to fight on and throw bombs until he was knocked down for the third time. He was already wobbly-legged but he still went down swinging. I guess Clottey lacks the warrior mentality that fighter like Pacquiao and Morales have.

What made it worse was that Clottey claimed he was never hurt in the entire fight. Well, genius, if you weren’t hurt at all, why didn’t you try to win the fight? If you knew Pacquiao’s punches have little effect on you, then why did you not throw more punches? Why didn’t you get out of you shell defense?

I felt bad for Pacquiao. The dude really wanted to put on a show for the fans in Dallas. he didn’t have to keep fighting in the late rounds but he continued to push the action to entertain the people who paid good money to see him live.

Well, I guess we just have to move on. I guess I’m just bummed because Pacquiao won’t be fighting for long and he wasted his time fighting an opponent such as Clottey. He could have fought Timothy Bradley or even Edwin Valero, smaller guys who have much more fight in them than Clottey.

All we have to do now is wait for the result of the Floyd Mayweather versus Shane Mosley fight. hopefully Pacquiao ends his career with a bang by fighting the winner in the said fight.

Fight Night Bullets:

  • I know I’m going to hell for this but when the lady was about to sing the Ghanian national anthem, I was expecting to hear clicking sounds and animal noises.

 

  • What the hell was up with the flag-bearing fat guy doing the slit-throat sign in front of Clottey? Doesn’t he know Clottey could knock him the fuck out if anytime he wanted to? Mas mayabang pa yung alalay sa amo.

 

  • How about them Dallas Cowboys cheerleader singers huh? They sounded as well as if not better than La Diva, who sang our national for the Pacquiao-Cotto fight, but they looked twenty billion times better.

 

  • I like it better when Pacquiao uses his own songs for his entrance.  

 

  • Next time, we should make Lito Camo sing the national anthem. Then sue him and throw his ass to jail. Para wala nang tagasulat ng kanta si Willie Revillame.

 

Pacquiao-Clottey: The Event

After Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KO’s) disposed of Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto last year, it sure seemed that Pacquiao was well on his way to facing Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in what could have been the biggest boxing match in history. But alas, the two camps could not agree how to test the fighters for illegal performance-enhancing drugs so the bout was scrapped, much to the chagrin of the entire boxing world.

Team Pacquiao quickly signed a fight against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey (35-3-0, 20 KO’s) and decided to keep the March 13 date that was originally penciled for Mayweather-Pacquiao or Pacquiao-Mayweather, depending on who’s side you are on. Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, negotiated tirelessly with Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys to stage the fight at the gigantic Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Filipinos sports fans got a closer look at the huge stadium as the NBA’s All Star game was played there last month where 108,713 fans packed the arena. Though Arum is only targeting an attendance of 45,000, it would still one of the largest attendance for a boxing match in recent time. The Cowboys Stadium also features the largest high-definition TV in the whole world which measures at 160 by 72 feet, which means that there are basically no nose-bleed sections in the arena. As Jones put it, “every time a bead of sweat pops up on the shoulder of Manny Pacquiao or Joshua Clottey, everyone is going to see it as clear, or clearer, than someone sitting in the first row of seats.” As of the writing, 41,000 have already been sold.

Some people say that this is a keep-busy fight for Pacquiao. They say Arum chose Clottey because Pacquiao fights better against brawlers rather than tacticians like Juan Manuel Marquez for example. However, people need to look at how and when the fight was made. After the fallout of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, Pacquiao and Arum needed to one-up Mayweather and Oscar de la Hoya so what they did was to look for a top-ranked welterweight who was not scheduled to fight, which as of course Clottey. Another factor that made this fight easier to make was that Clottey is also a Top Rank fighter. Sure, you can say that Shane Mosley was the next best option for Pacquiao but he was scheduled to fight Andre Berto at that time. Team Pacquiao could not have predicted that a devastating earthquake in Haiti would make Berto pull out of his scheduled fight against Mosley.

Clottey lost his last fight and curiously, it was against Pacquiao’s latest victim. Clottey was knocked down by a stiff Cotto jab in the first round but he battled back and actually made Cotto retreat in the latter rounds. He lost a split decision but he could have won in had he exerted more effort in chasing down Cotto when he was visibly tired in rounds 10 to 12.

Clottey’s advantages

In this fight, Clottey is the definitive underdog but there are still some things going for him in this fight. First, Clottey is obviously the bigger guy and unlike Pacquiao’s fight with Cotto, there isn’t a catch weight for this one. Both fighters are allowed to weigh up to the welterweight limit of 147 pounds and Clottey would most likely come in weighing closer to the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds come fight night while Pacquiao would most likely weigh just around 150 pounds to keep his speed. The second is that he really has nothing to lose in this match. The world expects him to lose yet he’ll still receive the first seven-figure paycheck of his career; not too shabby for a guy coming off a loss. Third, he has someone in his camp who is familiar with Pacquiao. Lenny de Jesus has worked as a cutman for Pacquiao for a couple of years and he claims that he knows how to beat the Filipino superstar.

Clottey also has a sturdy chin. He proved it by taking bombs from Cotto then shaking his head moments after to signify that he wasn’t hurt at all. Clottey also has good stamina as he doesn’t get tired although he throws less punches as the fight reaches the latter stages.

Pacquiao’s advantages

            For Pacquiao, the keys are always the same; the combination of speed and power that is rarely seen in boxing coupled with tremendous stamina that lets him fight in the same intensity in the first round as in the last. Then there is his corner bannered by Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez. Clottey on the other hand separated with his long-time trainer, Kwame Asante, after the fight with Cotto, then his first choice to replace him, Godwin Nji Dzanie Kotey, wasn’t able to procure a US Visa to train Clottey. So Clottey is stuck with de Jesus and although his inside knowledge on Pacquiao’s tactics could come in handy in the fight, he is more of a cutman and than a trainer.

            Clottey may have a bit more power than Pacquiao but this advantage is negated by speed as Pacquiao will land at least twice the amount Clottey does. Pacquiao also moves better than Clottey. He’ll use this foot speed to make sure that he is out of harm’s way every time Clottey lets his hands go.

My Forecast

            I got lucky with my prediction on Pacquiao’s last fight (“…in the late rounds.. Pacquiao will land a looping left that will not drop cotto, but allow Pacquiao to land five unanswered blows that will prompt the referee to stop the fight” see 7th World Title for Pacman,  fhm.com.ph) as I got the ending right. So I’ll try to be a little feistier with this one.

            Although Clottey is a tough match up for any welterweight, he will be hard-pressed to defeat Pacquiao because the Pacman is just on another level talent-wise. Cotto survived till round 12 because he ran away from Pacquiao while Clottey only knows how to fight moving forward. Clottey is tough as nails but he has never faced anyone who has a combination of speed and power like Pacquiao.

            Clottey also has a knack for losing the big fights. The four biggest fights of his career were against Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Carlos Baldomir, and Zab Judah winning only the one against Judah. Pacquiao only needs to stay out of the pocket and he’ll surely win this one. Clottey fights best when in the there is basically no distance between him and his opponent. Pacquiao needs to stay of the ropes and always stay in a safe distance from Clottey; he also has to avoid Clottey’s headbutts, which got him disqualified in his fight against Baldomir, a fight Clottey should have won on the scorecards if it wasn’t called off in the 11th round.

            Again, Clottey was decked by a jab from Cotto in the very first round. Pacquiao on the other hand took everything Cotto had to give and walked right through them. He even lowered his guard in the first couple of rounds just to feel how Cotto’s punches are like.

            Pacquiao would stifle Clottey with quick combinations that the Ghanian won’t see coming. In the end, Pacquiao will be the first fighter to stop the gallant Clottey, I’m guessing in round 7 or 8. He’ll knock him down with a big left, but Clottey will get up albeit gingerly, then Pacquiao will finish him of a six-punch combination while Clottey is trapped in the corner, which would send him down for good.

This wasn’t the fight we were all waiting for but this should be a fun fight to watch while it lasts. Then we’ll all wait and see what happens in the Mayweather-Mosley fight. if Mayweather wins, hopefully he grows a pair and face Pacquiao without the random blood-testing excuse the his father invented.

Underdog Boxing is in business

Filipinos love to root for the underdog, specially in boxing. If there is match between two fighters who aren’t that familiar to the viewer, Pinoys would most likely root for the one who the commentators say has no shot at winning.

We just love it when underdogs end up upsetting the odds-on favorites. Loved it when Rahman knocked out Lewis, when Corales knocked out Castillo after being knocked down thrice in the same round, and of course when Pacquiao defeated Sasakul, Barrera, and de la Hoya.

This blog is for underdogs, boxing and beyond, who work everyday to win even if the world tells you that you can’t.

PS: I’ll still be contributing articles to philboxing.com and eastsideboxing.com from time to time.

your favorite boxing writer,

Carlo Pamintuan