Clottey Stinks It Up As Pacquiao Dominates

March 14, 2010 in Boxing by pacejmiller

I just got back from watching the Manny Pacquiao – Joshua Clottey fight at a public venue with a mega screen.

The atmosphere was electric, and I think I am going a little deaf from the noise of the live crowd, who acted like they were there at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas along with the 51,000 other boxing fans.  Or should I say Manny Pacquiao fans.

Pacquiao cruises to unanimous victory in a virtual shut-out

Oh, the result.  As expected, Pacquiao dominated over 12 rounds to win an easy unanimous decision (120-108, 119-109, 119-109) against a bizarrely passive Clottey, who spent most of the night covering up.  Sure, he avoided getting knocked out like Pacquiao’s previous four opponents, but Clottey never really gave himself a chance out there.

On the rare occasions Clottey did decide to engage, he was very effective, landing some solid jabs and jolting uppercuts on Pacquiao’s jaw, creating a noticeable bruise under the Pacman’s right eye.  But Clottey never followed it up and Pacquiao was never in danger.  To be honest, Clottey stunk up the joint.  Pacquiao (and the fans) wanted a fight and tried to goad Clottey into trading, but for some inexplicable reason Clottey just stood there, covering up, and only threw a couple of punches here and there so that people won’t think Pacquiao’s just in the ring by himself punching a slab of black marble.

From the third round onwards, Clottey’s corner kept telling him to throw more punches and take chances, but Clottey refused to open up.  Even when they told him he was losing every round, Clottey was still going out there and doing the same thing.

On the other hand, Pacquiao was in and out all night, throwing stiff shots from all angles and every now and then a crazy barrage that kept Clottey covering up like a turtle.  Most of Pacquiao’s shots to the head were blocked or partially blocked by Clottey’s gloves and arms, but he did manage to land a fair few ripping body shots, especially at the start of the fight.  Towards the later rounds, the blows were starting to penetrate the defense, bloodying Clottey’s nose and driving him into the ropes a few times, but to Clottey’s credit he didn’t go down or look to be in serious trouble.

Pacquiao landed 246 of 1,231 punches (20%) while Clottey was limited to landing 108 of 399 punches (27%).

So yeah, the fight was still pretty exciting thanks to Pacquiao’s offense and multiple punch combinations (like seven or eight in a second), but Clottey prevented it from being a good fight.  He didn’t get knocked out, and he got a big payday, but that was about it.  After this performance, it’s no surprise Clottey isn’t a bigger star, and it’s unlikely he’ll ever be.

What the boxers said after the fight

Manny Pacquiao

“It was not an easy fight. He’s a good fighter. I threw a lot of jabs in the beginning to counter his hook and uppercut. I felt his power. He’s so strong. I could tell he was looking to land the big shot throughout the fight.”

“I was in control from the first round, but I never felt overconfident.”

“He took a lot of punches and never even seemed hurt.”

Re inability to get the KO: “I am not disappointed. I know he is a defensive fighter. I felt some of his punches. I was focussed on a strategy to dominate him.”

Joshua Clottey

“He has very good movement. He has great speed. It was very difficult for me to handle. I didn’t feel Manny’s power. It’s just that his speed was too much for me.”

“He has speed, I lost the fight. He’s fast, that’s why I was taking my time.”

“I won a couple of rounds. I don’t think I lost all the rounds.”

“I always accept defeat. I didn’t lose to (Miguel) Cotto or (Antonio) Margarito but I did lose to Manny Pacquiao.”

“I want to apologize to my fans. Next time, I’ll come back big.”

Freddie Roach (Pacquiao’s trainer)

“I thought we won every round. We pressured him. He had a good defense but good defense isn’t enough to win the fight.”

“He fought a defensive fight. When you fight for the world title it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I thought he would have thrown more punches. He was in survival mode and when guy is trying to survive it is hard to knock him out.”

Lenny de Jesus (Clottey’s trainer)

“Joshua had the power to knock him out, but was reluctant to punch. We clearly got beat. I don’t think we won a round.”

Bob Arum (promoter)

“What was he supposed to do? If he played offense he’d get knocked out. I can’t blame the kid for trying to wear him down.”

On the potential bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr (provided he beats Shane Mosley)

Pacquiao: “The people want that fight, they want to see that fight. It’s up to him. For me, it’s no problem to fight him. I will fight him any time. He should win against Mosley. If not, Mosley and I will fight. [Mayweather’s] style is not a difficult style. He needs to handle his business in his next fight.”

“I want that fight, the world wants that fight, but it’s up to him. I’m ready to fight any time.”

Roach: “It’s the fight the world wants to see. Me and Manny want to see it. Floyd, let the commission do their job. You don’t run the sport. Get in the ring and fight us.”

Arum: “Manny will break down any defense. He never gets tired. He throws a million punches. If Mayweather doesn’t come out of his shell Manny will pile up the points like he did tonight. When you’re in with a buzz saw, it’s very difficult to do anything. Manny prevented Clottey from throwing his punches by throwing his own punches, and he throws from so many angles.”

Undercard action

The undercard was a bit of a snore fest.  The match-ups suggested slug fests but they were all tactical fights, with a couple going the full distance.

Of the notable bouts: Humberto Soto dominated former Pacquiao victim David Diaz via unanimous decision.  Alfonso Gomez made Jose Luis Castillo quit after the fifth round.  John Duddy took a split decision from Michael Medina.

That’s about it.

Final thoughts

  • Great crowd, but seriously, most of the people there would have had no idea what was going on sitting so far away from the ring.  They would have had to watch the screens.  Watching the ring would have been like watching two ants in a matchbox.
  • What a bloody long walk to the ring for both fighters!  I was worried they’d be too tired to fight by the time they finally got there.
  • Clottey showed the best Prince Naseem Hamed impersonation with his hilarious dancing all the way to the ring.  Even his corner got into it.  Pacquiao should sing and Clottey should dance.
  • What was the deal with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders singing the American national anthem?  Hilarious.  To be honest though, they were surprisingly good.
  • Good on Manny for using a double-handed head squeeze on Clottey just to try and wake him up.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
  • And if (and it’s a big if) Mayweather can down Mosley and if (an even bigger if) the fight with Pacquiao can be made, it’s hard to see Mayweather winning unless he takes some big risks or can somehow land a big counter to knock Manny out.  Otherwise, the most likely outcome is Pacquiao by unanimous decision.