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Sunday, February 28, 2010

I cannot underestimate Clottey, says champion Pacquiao

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - WBO welterweight title holder Manny Pacquiao, who has won world championships in eight divisions, said he would tread carefully when he faces Ghanaian Joshua Clottey in Dallas on March 13.

"Joshua Clottey is taller and bigger than me," Pacquiao told reporters in a conference call on Friday. "He is a former (IBF) champion. I cannot underestimate him."

Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr, widely regarded as the two best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, had been scheduled to fight on March 13.

However, negotiations collapsed when the Filipino refused Mayweather's demands for Olympic-style dope testing procedures.

Pacquiao filed a lawsuit against Mayweather, the American's father Floyd Sr, his uncle Roger and Golden Boy Promotions for falsely accusing him of using performance-enhancing drugs.

"I believe Floyd Mayweather was not ready to fight me," said Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs). "That's why he makes some reasons to cancel the fight.

"I feel bad that he is accusing me of doing drugs, that he tries to ruin my name in boxing. I'm disappointed for what he's accusing me of but I'm not angry at him. That's his style."

After the collapse of the Mayweather fight, Pacquiao turned to Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs).

It is a fight Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach is confident his man will win.

"Clottey's a very strong guy, he's a good puncher," Roach said. "I think his best punch is the uppercut.

"But I have a lot of confidence in my fighter. He's sparring with guys who fight quite a bit like Clottey.

"We have big, strong guys and Manny's handling them with ease. I think we will overwhelm him and I think the fight will end before 12 rounds are over," added Roach.

"I think Manny will be the first to knock him out."


Pacquiao vs. Clottey: Keys to victory

Lot of things happened in the world of boxing in the past few months. And in barely three weeks' time, on 13th of March, we shall witness another action packed boxing action between the WBO welterweight champion and the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world Manny Pacquiao against the formidable worthy opponent from Ghana, former IBF welterweight world champion, Joshua "The Grand Master" Clottey.

Now, the whole world knows about Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s ring exploits were well documented against many legends. Outside of the avid boxing fans, Joshua Clottey's name does not ring a bell like, say, Floyd Mayweather Jr. but that doesn't mean this tough guy from Ghana is a push-over.

If you look at Joshua Clottey's record, won 35 (KO 20) + lost 3 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 39, those 3 of his losses can be negligible. Let's take a look at them one by one shall we?

First loss: Against Carlos Baldomir, former WBC welterweight champion, Joshua Clottey lost via controversial disqualification when Clottey seems to be winning the rounds in the score cards.

Second loss: Against Antonio Margarito, former WBO and WBA welterweight champion. Joshua Clottey lost via controversial decision when Joshua seems to be winning the first half of the fight then broke his hand, giving Antonio " Loaded Gloves" Margarito a gift decision.

Third loss: Against Miguel Angel Cotto, former WBO and WBA welterweight champion. Joshua Clottey lost via controversial split decision when some fight fans saw Clottey winning this fight. But then again, its Cotto's home turf and Cotto was then the champion, so Clottey was expected to do more than that to win via decision against Cotto.

So, Joshua "The Grand Master" Clottey is a very worthy opponent. He is a BIG and strong welterweight! It's amazing how Clottey can weigh 147lbs on the weight-in and then after 1 day at fight night climb up to the ring looking like a hulking super-middleweight!

On the other hand, the whole world knows about Manny Pacquiao by now. He's already transcended the sport and attracted the attention of many Hollywood actors. Here is Manny again, this time defending his WBO belt at 147lbs, facing another bigger, stronger, and taller opponent as usual.


Manny Pacquiao is said to look phenomenal in his training camp. When Pacquiao trains, he gives it his all. He is a machine who goes non-stop!

There have been reports about Manny hurting his sparring partners very bad that some of them were sent home. Numerous posts and articles were published saying that Manny Pacquiao is still very much fit from his fight with Miguel Cotto and had adjusted well in the welterweight division. This is again, a classic blending of Freddie Roach's brilliant work and Manny dedication to the sport.

Recently, there have been reports that Manny could've over-trained and hurt his left leg in training. Thus, was given few days rest. But Manny Pacquiao still opt to train. Freddie Roach has toned his training down a few notches to help Manny recover from his injury. Now, it seems like Manny Pacquiao is back in full gear after passing the medical examinations with flying colors. Statements from Conditioning trainer Alex Ariza saying Manny is recovering very well, and getting close to being 100% or its just that Manny has extremely high tolerance with pain.

We can all hope Manny Pacquiao comes to the ring in the best condition.

Let's look at Joshua Clottey's training camp. Lenny De Jesus, Pacquiao's former cut-man is now Joshua Clottey's lead trainer when Clottey's preferred trainer, Godwin Kotay, also from Ghana, had troubles in getting a visa to the USA. This is such a very important matter because victories are won in the training camp and only manifest themselves in the ring!

Although reports say that Joshua Clottey looked great in training, we shall see how his team handles the pressure come fight night.

We also hope that Joshua Clottey comes in the ring in 100% best condition to give us the best fight they can give.

With regards to training, Manny Pacquiao definitely has the advantage here. He's training with his long time trusted coach Freddie Roach at their home turf at the Wild Card gym doing what they do best. While Joshua Clottey is still in the feeling stages with his new trainer, Lenny De Jesus, a part-time lock smith and more well known as a cut-man than a trainer.


Clottey presents Pacquiao a style he has never encountered before. If there's a style that proves to be troublesome to Manny, it’s the defensive counter-punching style, like that of Juan Manuel Marquez. Manny seems to get caught with some clean punches when his opponents are on the defensive and back-pedaling. We saw that at times when Cotto was on his bicycle throwing sporadic jabs to keep Pacquiao off of him. But unlike Manny's other defensive minded foes, Joshua Clottey doesn't move backward, but rather he stays put or moves forward, with his arms right in front of him as a defensive shield that blocks punches. He uses that style very well in the past. The elongated Antonio "Loaded Gloves" Margarito had a very difficult time penetrating Clottey's defenses. Given that Antonio's style is to overwhelm his opponents with the volume of his punches and use his height and reach advantage. But even so, in the early stages of that fight, most of Margarito's
punches were blocked by Clottey's defenses.

Joshua Clottey fought and beaten Zab Judah, the former undisputed welterweight champion. Take note that Zab Judah, like Manny Pacquiao is a speedy southpaw. What Joshua Clottey did very effectively against Judah was his "peek-a-boo" counter-punching style using the high guard defense. He allowed Zab to come to him and hit him, while Clottey blocks those punches with his arms. Then when he sees an opening, he would time Zab Judah with a straight right hand in the middle and wicked left hook to the body. This strategy nullified Zab Judah's speed and was able to launch his attack the way he wanted it.

Joshua Clottey is not a volume puncher who throws plenty of combinations. He is very conservative with his offenses. This is because he uses his arms as a defensive guard to lure his opponents to attack at him most of the time. You can't throw a punch while your forearms are covering high up in front. A fighter utilizing this kind of defense would find it hard to be the first one to mount an offense simply because, from a high guard position, a fighter needed to pull back his arms or twist his torso to throw an effective punch. Sure, one can throw a punch from an elbows-close-together and forearms parallel in front position, but generally, it would lack power, as it does not have the leverage and momentum to deliver an effective punch. From a high guard position, if a fighter pulls back his arms or twists his torso to punch, he effectively telegraphs his intentions to his opponents. This shall give his opponents time to adjust, evade, block or
counter-punch the coming offensive.

For the high-guard defense to be effective, you must lure your opponent to come at you and then counter-punch him as he attacks. Impeccable timing is the key for this style to be successful. You can observe the same style being employed by former middle weight champion Arthur Abraham, and he uses it brilliantly. That's exactly what Joshua Clottey is also doing. Then again, a fighter using this style of defense must pack some power to make the counter-punches effective. Or else, a good blocking defense plus minimum offensive activity mixed with ineffective counter-punches, equals losing on the score cards. Joshua Clottey has decent power to make this style work for him as we have witnessed during his fight against Zab Judah.

I'm just not sure if Clottey can block all of Manny Pacquiao's punches when Pacquiao fires up 15-punch-combinations in less than two seconds from all sorts of weird angles. We saw Miguel Cotto, who is not too slow himself, able to block two or three of them, but 11 or 12 of those punches still landed by Pacquiao. And those punches packs a lot of hurting power.

Notice also how Clottey often remains stationary with his footwork and depends more on his blocking defense during a fight. I believe this will not work very well with Manny Pacquiao because with Pacquiao's nimble feet, he'll be everywhere in that ring. So Clottey needed to keep up with Manny's speed with regards to footwork in he wants to remain standing in this fight. He needs to keep moving, side to side, around in circles, feint forward then dash backwards then attack, etc.

Back when Pacquiao was about to fight David Diaz, I thought, for him to beat Pacquiao, he must impose his size and strength on the little guy. He must do some rough-housing, a bit of wrestling here and there, just like what Nadel Hussein and Agapito Sanchez did back when Pacquiao was still a bantamweight, which gave Pacquiao some troubles. I also thought of the same when Manny was about to fight Oscar Dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. I realized that the Manny Pacquiao at bantamweight is a totally different version of Manny Pacquiao at welterweight. So, yes, Joshua Clottey is bigger and stronger than Manny Pacquiao, but I believe imposing one's strength against Manny Pacquiao by using his size to try to bully the little guy is NOT the way to beat Manny. Manny Pacquiao is too quick and elusive for Clottey to catch him brawl it from the inside. And though Pacquiao is smaller, he packs a lot of power! So matching power for power against Pacquiao is
not a wise thing to do. Right now, Joshua Clottey's size and strength once again could mean nothing against Manny Pacquiao.

What Joshua Clottey needs to do to beat Pacquiao is to do his own version of Marquez. He needs to time Manny and counter-punch him at the right moment when the little guy attacks. Clottey needs to keep his legs in perpetual motion, employ his superior defensive skills to block Pacquiao's combinations and use his reach advantage to keep him at bay. And he needs to keep at it for 36mins in that fight.

The question is, "Does Joshua Clottey has enough in his tank to do that?" because Pacquiao will definitely be in his face for the full 3 minutes of every round. Clottey cannot afford to fade even just for a minute, like what he did against Cotto, when he faces Manny Pacquiao.

To be concluded...


Pacquiao in final preparations for Cowboys Stadium

Manny Pacquiao ran roughshod through four different sparring partners earlier this week, and boxing's pound-for-pound king plans to churn through just as many on Saturday.

He's been peppering the speed bag, pounding the heavy bag and doing enough running to make Usain Bolt fall over in a heap. Under the watchful eye of trainer Freddie Roach, Pacquiao is putting himself in position to knock out Joshua Clottey when they fight March 13 in Dallas.

"Manny is getting better all the time," Roach marveled after a training session Friday at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. "I know Clottey is a big, strong guy. I respect him, he's a great fighter. But Manny I feel is going to overwhelm him with his speed and combinations, and I do believe we will be the first one to stop him in 12 rounds."

If it sounds simple, that's because Pacquiao has little trouble when fights are decided in the ring. Things aren't so easy when the fight is contested with words.

That continues to be the case with Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., after their proposed blockbuster fell through because of drug testing protocol. Mayweather and his relatives have accused Pacquiao of using performance-enhancing drugs, either directly or by innuendo, while the Filipino champion has balked at taking a blood test within 14 days of a fight.

Pacquiao will instead fight Clottey at Cowboys Stadium, while Mayweather is headed for a showdown May 1 against welterweight champion Shane Mosley. Along with the verbal jabs, Pacquiao and Mayweather can also fight over who generates bigger pay-per-view numbers.

"We're not happy with his remarks and Manny really wants to fight him in the future because of the remarks he made," Roach said. "Manny, sometimes when he's shadowboxing, he shows me how Mayweather fights and how he'll take care of the problem, and I've never seen that before.

"He's trying to ruin our reputations and so forth," Roach added, "but we want to fight him and we'll knock him out."

Promoter Bob Arum still believes that Mayweather never wanted to fight Pacquiao, and his strict adherence to blood testing — which is far more extensive than urine analysis required by the Nevada Athletic Commission — was his way of getting out of it.

"We don't have to be geniuses to know what they were trying to do. They were trying to get into Manny's head so he'd be discombobulated," Arum said. "Mayweather against Manny is a no-contest, no contest. Manny would wipe the ring with Floyd Mayweather."

If that's ever to happen, he'll first have to wipe the ring with Clottey.

The fight appears to be a mismatch on paper, especially considering the rugged fighter from Ghana lost to Miguel Cotto — the same guy Pacquiao dominated last fall. But just like fights aren't decided with words, they aren't decided on paper, either.

"Joshua Clottey I know is taller and bigger than me, and you cannot underestimate him," Pacquiao said, "because he's a former world champion also."

Clottey has been training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the first seven-figure payday of his career. It would go a long way toward helping his family back home in the dusty city of Accra, where Clottey acknowledges that poverty is a way of life.

"I'm coming to do my best," he said by phone earlier this week. "He is a good fighter. He is the best now. This is the test and I am going for the WBO title. I'm going all out. I have my game plan and I always come to fight."

It's a difficult fight to market because it's not the fight demanded by the public, but that doesn't mean there isn't significant interest. Pacquiao is making an encore appearance on Jimmy Kimmel next week and will soon have a profile in Time Magazine, while Clottey was the subject of a lengthy expose in ESPN The Magazine.

And of course, Pacquiao is running for Congress in the Philippines.

More than 30,000 tickets have already been sold for the fight, and Arum expects the $1.2 billion football stadium just outside Dallas to be filled with about 45,000 fans on March 13.

It may not be Mayweather, but it's something to tide fans over.

"People were looking forward to a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, that's clear. But Manny has a huge, huge fan base," Arum said. "Every sports fan knows Manny Pacquiao. Our job is to present Joshua Clottey as he is, a bigger guy, a stronger guy probably, a guy who has never been off his feet — a real test for Manny Pacquiao. That's what will sell this fight.

"I think the public gets it, and I think the pay-per-view is going to do extremely well."


Pacman all set and rarin' to KO Clottey

MANILA, Philippines - Barely six weeks into training and Freddie Roach believes that Manny Pacquiao is ready to fight.

And ready to knock Joshua Clottey out.

“Manny Pacquiao is in great shape. We boxed 11 rounds yesterday with four different sparring partners. With all four of them, he’s looking really good. He’s got the gameplan in place,” Roach told

Roach said Pacquiao will spar 12 rounds today (Saturday in Los Angeles) and will start tapering off with two weeks left for the fight at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

For this fight, Roach has reduced the number of sparring rounds from close to 150 as in the previous fights to just a little over a hundred. He said they’re not underestimating Clottey but Pacquiao is just as sharp as when he defeated Miguel Cotto last November.

It took Pacquiao just a couple of weeks of training for Roach to feel that both the power and speed were there. And it was just a matter of days for Pacquiao to work on his timing and his strength and conditioning.

“He did such a good job yesterday I almost wanted to give him a day off. But Manny won’t take a day off. We’ll box 12 rounds on Saturday. That will be our peak day then we’ll start tapering off from that point,” said Roach.

The four-time Trainer of the Year recognizes the ability of Clottey but is getting even more confident that Pacquiao will be the first one to knock out the 33-year-old former champion from Ghana.

“I do believe he will be the first person to stop him (Clottey) before the 12th round,” said Roach.

Pacquiao, who fielded questions Friday during a media conference, will head to Dallas on March 8 after a morning session at the Wild Card Gym.

Yet, Clottey remained unfazed. To him, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be up against the greatest fighter of this era, and he’s not going to waste it.

“I have more confidence this time around because I’m taking this fight like if I win, I have bigger things ahead. I have so much respect for Manny, so that gives me more confidence because I respect the guy,” he said.

“I respect the guy because, if he has the chance, he can stop me. So I respect him because of that, and because of that, I’m more confident,” he said.


Joshua Clottey: "God Gave Manny Pacquiao His Power"

Challenger Joshua Clottey says he knows where Manny Pacquiao got all of his power.

"Manny is a good man. He prays a lot. God gave him his power," Clottey said. "He is a great champion and this is going to be a difficult fight. However, I have a plan - hard punching, back him up, don't let him take charge. I will pressure him."

Clottey, training in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., plans to break camp this weekend and go to New York City. He will have his Media Day at the Kingsway Gym, 1 West 28th St., 1 pm in New York on Thursday, March 4.

Pacquiao vs. Clottey is scheduled for March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao vs. Clottey will be available on HBO Pay Per View.

Top Rank Live! Kendall Holt at Bally's Atlantic City

Former world champion Kendall Holt of Paterson, N.J. is in an IBF eliminator bout when he takes on Kaizer 'The Hammer' Mabuza of Johannesburg on Saturday night in a sold-out ballroom at Bally's Atlantic City.

Holt, now handled by Brandon Jacobs of the NY Giants, is a former junior welterweight world champion. This is Holt's first bout since he cracked and knocked down Timothy Bradley twice - the first knockdown was on a left hook which sent Bradley flat onto his back in the first round. Holt knocked down Bradley again in the 12th, although Bradley battled and won the world title on points.

Mabuza has won seven straight bouts and is coming off a points win over 23-0 Sergey Fedchenko in the Ukraine.

The Holt vs. Mabuzza bout is being taped by FSN and highlights are expected to be on Top Rank Live!

The Top Rank Live! telecast on FSN will be on the air Saturday night 10 pm eastern/7 pm pacific.


Joshua Clottey confident Pacquiao plays by the rules

As the year began, the attention of the boxing world was on the negotiations between Top Rank and Golden Boy, rival promoters who were attempting to finalize the biggest fight in the sport -- a showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

We all know by now what happened -- how the fight fell apart over a single issue when the sides wouldn't compromise on drug-testing protocol.

Pacquiao and Mayweather went their separate ways after weeks of one of the more rancor-filled negotiations in recent history.

Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) quickly came to terms with former welterweight titlist Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs), who is also promoted by Top Rank, making their deal a snap to finalize. They'll meet for Pacquiao's welterweight title on March 13 (HBO PPV) at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Mayweather ultimately came to terms to challenge welterweight titleholder Shane Mosley for his belt on May 1 (also HBO PPV) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The replacement fights certainly have merit. Both shape up as competitive bouts in which all four fighters have reasonable chances to win, even if Pacquiao and Mayweather are the favorites in their respective bouts.

But even with two strong bouts taking the place of Pacquiao-Mayweather, there is still the feeling that the new bouts are merely a consolation. Even Top Rank's Bob Arum can't escape that feeling, although he tried to put a happy face on it.

"Are they consolation prizes? Maybe," Arum said on a media conference call with Clottey to promote the fight with Pacquiao on Thursday. "[Pacquiao-Mayweather] didn't happen for one reason or another. I am not here to cast blame. But it didn't happen and now we have this fight that could go either way that I believe is Manny's toughest fight."

As for the possibility of putting Pacquiao-Mayweather together in the future if each wins, Arum was unsure.

"Life goes on," he said. "That's what these boys fight for. If Joshua beats Manny and Mosley beats Mayweather, maybe we do a Mosley-Clottey fight. That's what makes boxing interesting. If I did a walkover fight like Pacquiao-[Paulie] Malignaggi, which was talked about, then people would say I'm just keeping Pacquiao busy and there is no danger in him losing the fight.

"But there is danger in him losing the fight. Joshua Clottey is a very dangerous fighter. Similarly, maybe Mosley goes back to the fountain of youth that he had for the [Antonio] Margarito fight [13 months ago]. That Mosley could very well beat Mayweather. That's what makes boxing interesting. If these would be walkover fights nobody would give a damn. You'll see fireworks [in Pacquiao-Clottey] and if there is an upset, that's what boxing is all about."

For his part, Clottey sounded happy to be in the position of having the biggest fight -- and first seven-figure payday -- of his career, especially because he is coming off a split-decision loss last summer to Miguel Cotto, who was later battered by Pacquiao in a 12th-round knockout in November.

"I'm coming to do my best," Clottey, a native of Ghana living in New York, said from his training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "Like I always said, he is a good fighter. He is the best now. This is the test and I am going for the WBO title. I'm going all out. I have my game plan and I always come to fight.

"I am so happy about this opportunity. He's the man now and he is giving me a chance. If I win, I will be on top of the world."

Unlike Mayweather did in the talks for the fight with Pacquiao, Clottey and manager Vinny Scolpino didn't ask for any special drug testing.

"I don't want to do that because I respect him so much," Clottey said. "He's a very nice guy. I feel comfortable around him. He's a nice, classy guy, he respects everybody."

Mayweather and his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., accused Pacquiao of using performance-enhancing drugs, even though they had no proof.

Clottey said he didn't think Pacquiao was doing anything against the rules.

"I don't think Manny Pacquiao does that," he said. "But if he does, then he is cheating the sport. I don't think he did that steroid thing. I believe that."

Scolpino said additional drug testing never came up in the negotiations with Arum. Of course, Clottey had zero leverage in the talks to demand more testing even if he wanted it.

"If the [Texas] commission wants to implement other drug-testing rules, let them and we will follow it," Scolpino said. "We abide by the rules set forth. Manny is a super champion and we all hope he is doing the right thing. If they find something in the drug testing, that's the way it is.

"We were going to abide by the rules set forth in the state. We're not getting into extra testing. We're professionals in the sport. Joshua is a professional, Manny is a pro. If the commission says do it, we do it."

Arum, who was against additional testing during the Pacquiao-Mayweather talks, agreed with Scolpino.

"My view is that [drug testing] is not a topic for negotiations," Arum said. "That is something for the commission to decide. Any participant in a boxing match who wants more stringent testing than is applicable in that state can go before the commission and ask for it. It's not for amateurs to make a bunch of demands. That is called chaos. Every fighter has the right to go before the commission and say I want such and such done on the testing and you let the commissioners decide. That is what they are getting paid for."

Although HBO isn't producing a "24/7" series ahead of the March 13 HBO PPV fight between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey, the network will debut "Road to Dallas: Pacquiao vs. Clottey" on March 6. The 30-minute preview show will take an in-depth look at the fight, which will be the first fight to be held at the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The special, which features fighter profiles and expert analysis, begins at approximately 11 p.m. ET/PT, immediately following live coverage of the Devon Alexander-Juan Urango junior welterweight unification bout on "Boxing After Dark," with numerous replays leading up to the bout.

On Showtime, the fourth episode of "Fight Camp 360°: Inside The Super Six World Boxing Classic" debuts Saturday night (7:30 ET/PT). The series has delivered compelling behind-the-scenes footage during the buildup and the aftermath of the bouts in the six-man super middleweight tournament.

The new installment features what Showtime is billing as an "an emotional interview with Jermain Taylor as he discusses his withdrawal from the tournament."

Also on tap for the episode is footage of the Super Six promoters candidly discussing Allan Green, Taylor's replacement, and of Arthur Abraham and Andre Dirrell preparing for their March 27 fight, which opens Group Stage 2.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Arum: Seating capacity could expand

Boxing promoter Bob Arum said Thursday the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey WBO welterweight title fight scheduled for March 13 at Cowboys Stadium is nearly a sellout.

Arum said the seating capacity for the first boxing match at the new $1.2 billion facility will be 45,000. However, it could expand if the demand for tickets increases.

"Right now we're on target to sell the 45,000 seats and we'll be happy when we do that," Arum said on a conference call with reporters. "We sold 350 tickets [Wednesday] and are on target of doing that [again] today."

Cowboys officials said over 30,000 seats have been purchased.

Arum said if 3,000 to 4,000 tickets are unsold leading into the final week before the fight, promoters would have no problem selling those.


Joshua Clottey 'respects' Manny Pacquiao

Joshua Clottey didn't ask for additional drug testing for his upcoming fight with Manny Pacquiao, believing Pacquiao is a "nice guy" and can be relied upon to be honest in his preparation for their March 13 bout at Cowboys Stadium.

Perhaps Clottey didn't ask for further drug testing because the Lone Star State has lax drug testing rules for boxers. The Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation won't be drug testing the boxers before and after their bout, a spokesman told the Daily News. Since the bout is for Pacquaio's WBO welterweight title, however, the WBO will require both fighters to undergo urine testing after the bout, promoter Bob Arum said.

Pacquiao's potential super fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. was torpedoed when Mayweather Jr. demanded Olympic-style drug testing and Pacquiao balked. The Clottey matchup was made after that.

Clottey's unusual reasoning for not asking for harsher drug testing came during a pre-fight conference call Thursday involving Clottey, Arum and Clottey's manager, Vinny Scolpino. "I respect him so much because he is a sportsman and I respect him, and he is nice and I feel comfortable around him," said Clottey, who resides in the Bronx but is originally from Ghana. "I don't think Manny did that thing. If he did, then he is cheating the sport, and I don't believe he is doing that."

Most state commissions have boxers submit to only urine tests before and after a fight. The Texas agency doesn't even do that. Its executive director, William Kuntz, can order a drug screen for boxers if there is "good cause." But Susan Stanford, a public information officer for the department, doesn't envision that happening for this fight, even though Pacquiao has come under increased scrutiny of late over the issue of performance-enhancing drugs. "At the present time, no drug testing will be required of the boxers," she told The News Thursday. "We don't see rumors as good cause. There is a medical examination before the fight, but that doesn't include drug testing."

Arum said he chose to stage the fight in Texas for the amenities, not the lack of drug testing. "I always assumed (that Texas) did drug testing, but I know for sure that the WBO insists on that," Arum said in a phone interview. "The reason the fight is in Texas is because it's in Cowboys Stadium, not because of the (lack of) drug testing."

Pacquiao turned pro at 106 pounds, rose through the ranks quickly and is now knocking out 147-pound fighters at an age (31) when boxers tend to slow down. Pacquiao, who has reportedly never failed a drug test, has been accused by the Mayweather camp and recently by former junior welterweight champ Paulie Malignaggi of doping.

Since Clottey didn't make drug testing an issue in the negotiations and because both fighters are promoted by Arum, the fight was made in little more than 24 hours.


Clottey believes Pacquiao is no drug cheat

MANILA, Philippines – Challenger Joshua Clottey of Ghana said he didn’t even think of requiring pound-for-pound champ Manny Pacquiao to undergo blood tests when talks leading to “The Event” started months ago.

Clottey, who will clash with the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight king on March 13, said he has too much respect for Pacquiao.

"I don't want to do that (seek blood test) because I respect him so much," Clottey said in a report posted on

The drug testing demand was the reason the negotiations between the camps of Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. collapsed.

The American fighter insisted that they both undergo Olympic-style drug testing, insinuating that the Filipino fighter may have been using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

"I don't think Manny Pacquiao would do that. If he is, he's cheating the sport, but I believe he's not," said Clottey.

The Ghanaian even described the change to fight Pacquiao as "a blessing".

Life goes on even without Floyd
Meanwhile, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who handles both Clottey and Pacquiao, said fight fans will still see a great fight between the two boxers even as their effort with Mayweather didn’t go quite well.

"Life goes on. If Joshua beats Manny, who knows? Maybe Mosley beats Mayweather and we do a Mosley vs. Clottey fight. Who the hell knows?” Arum said.

"If these were walkover fights, nobody would give a damn. Are they consolation prizes? Well, in a way. The one fight everybody wanted to see didn't happen for one reason or another but now we've got, on March 13, a really good, competitive fight that I believe is Manny Pacquiao's toughest fight yet."

"The Event" will take place on March 13 (14 in Manila) at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas Texas.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey Profiled in 'Road To Dallas'

The leadup to the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title defense of seven-division champion, Manny Pacquiao, against former welterweight king, Joshua Clottey (pictured above), on March 13 will be the focus of Road To Dallas: Pacquiao vs. Clottey, which will premiere on HBO's various channels on March 6.

The 30-minute special will analyze the upcoming bout, which will take place at The Dallas Cowboys' Stadium in Arlington, Tex., as Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts) looks to earn his 12th straight victory, and his ninth stoppage during time.

Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs), who never has been stopped, will look to end the winning streak of Pacquiao, whom he will face in the Cowboys' $1.2 billion venue, owned by Jerry Jones.

The clash, to be televised on HBO pay-per-view, represent the first boxing match to be held at the stadium, whose domed facility seats 80,000, but is expandable enough so that it can hold up to 111,000.

The venue also has a retractable ceiling that protects against rain, and boasts over 3,000 Sony LCD displays throughout the luxury suites, concourses, concession areas and more.

The setup allows fans the ability to watch the action beyond just the field, as, all, if not most, of the displays will be operating on fight night, according to Jones.

By the time the fighters enter the ring, it will have been nearly five years -- in fact, only six days short of five years -- since the the 31-year-old Pacquiao's last suffered defeat.

For since falling in a unanimous decision to Mexico's Erik Morales in March of 2005, Pacquiao is 11-0, with eight knockouts.

That run includes stoppages of David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and, Miguel Cotto, respectively, in nine, eight, two, and, 12 rounds.

Pacquaio's streak includes having twice avenged the loss to Morales, whom he stopped in 10, and, three rounds, in January and November 2006.

It also includes 12-round triumphs over Mexican legends Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez, as well as an eighth-round knockout of Jorge Solis, who entered their matchup unbeaten at 33-0-2, with 24 knockouts.

Clottey's three losses have been against former world champs, Cotto, Carlos Baldomir, and, Antonio Margarito, all of which he disputes.

Clottey, a native of Ghana who lives in New York's Bronx, straight up felt that he was ripped off following his split-decision loss to Cotto in June.

Clottey was ahead against Baldomir when he was disqualified for head-butting, and was also in front against Margarito before having to fight the final eight rounds with injuries to both hands.

Thus, Clottey enters his bout with Pacquiao still believing that he is all-but undefeated.

"The Road To Dallas" is available to HBO On Demand 24 hours daily, begining Wednesday, March 10, through Monday, April 12.


Manny Pacquiao Returns to Jimmy Kimmel Live on March 3

Manny Pacquiao began the show by punching pumpkins, and ended it by singing Sometimes When We Touch with the band.

In between, the seven-division champion was introduced by Jimmy Kimmel as "The Pride Of The Philippines," asked if he preferred being called, "The Pac-Man," or, "The Mexicutioner," and responded, "My Dog," when the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live asked him, "Do you play Pac-Man [the video game] at all," and, "Do you know what Pac-Man is?"

Throughout Pacquiao's November 3 appearance on that late-night show, nearly every move or comment made by the 31-year-old, cross-over star was cheered or laughed at by a largely Filipino audience -- a testament to his international appeal.

Considered boxing's premiere fighter, pound-for-pound, Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts) will return to Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday, March 3 -- this to promote his first defense of the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title he won by dethroning Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto via 12th-round knockout on November 14.

A Philippines' congressional candidate who has been named Fighter Of The Year in 2008, 2009, and, for 2010, Pacquiao will put his belt on the line against Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs) on March 13 at The Dallas Cowboys' Stadium in Arlington, Tex.

And just as he did on the eve of his bout with Cotto, Pacquiao is headed for late-night television, where the crowd chanted his first name, "Manny!" rather than his preferred nickname, "Pac-Man," throughout his time on Jimmy Kimmel Live.


Outpointing Manny Pacquiao will be difficult for Joshua Clottey

MANILA, Philippines – Former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion Joshua Clottey of Ghana will have to change his strategy if he wants to beat pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao on March 13, a boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) trainer said.

“He will have to open up his offensive game if he plans on beating a guy like Pacquiao and I just don't know if he has that in him at this late stage of his career,” Ron Frazier told Percy Crawford of

Frazier is a trainer at Xtreme Couture, which is owned by former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, Randy Couture.

The trainer holds private lessons and boxing lessons (beginner, intermediate and advanced sparring). He is also the head coach of Xtreme Couture’s professional and amateur MMA teams.

Frazier said the Ghanian will find it difficult to upend Pacquiao given the Filipino’s immense speed and power.

“Clottey is just not busy enough. He's a tough guy, a big guy and very durable and he's a tough task for anybody, but just because he doesn't open up offensively, it's very difficult for him to outpoint a guy like Manny Pacquiao, a guy that has perpetual motion and constantly changing angles,” he noted.

The 7-division world champion Pacquiao (50-3-2, with 38 knockouts) will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt against Clottey (35-3, with 20 KOs) at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.


Clottey to attack early!!!

Joshua Clottey is going to fight Manny Pacquiao on March 13 as though a cab would be waiting outside Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

Speaking from his training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Thursday, Clottey said he will wage a war right away in the hope of catching the Filipino boxing icon flat-footed.

“I plan to go right at him. There’s no way he’s chasing me around,” said Clottey, the heavy underdog going into the 12-round World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight.

Guided by New York-based Puerto Rican Lenny De Jesus, who served as Pacquiao’s cutman from 2003 until 2005, the Ghanaian slugger bragged that he has the Filipino all figured out.

“I already know what he’s all about. He’s a great champion. This is a difficult fight. But I am going for the win right away as soon as the bell rings,” added Clottey.

According to Lee Samuels, the award-winning publicist for Top Rank, Clottey is breaking camp in Florida and returning to New York early next week in time for an open media workout at Kingsway Gym on March 4.

“After a couple of days, Team Clottey will depart for Dallas on March 7,” said Samuels.

Clottey has entered the fourth week of training in Florida and is said to be in tremendous shape.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao went 10 rounds during Tuesday’s sparring session at the Wild Card in Hollywood, shrugging off earlier complains of pain in his leg.

Pacquiao will wind up his preparation at the Wild Card on March 8, the day he and his team travel to Dallas on a private plane that Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum will send to Los Angeles to pick up the pound-for-pound king.

Before leaving for Texas, Pacquiao will once again appear on the popular late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live on March 3.


Pacquiao vs. Clottey is a Waste of Time

By Kirk Jackson: The fight between Pacquiao and Clottey on the 13th of march is a waste of time. The fight shouldn’t even be happening. To start off, no one really cares about this fight. The only real fight everyone wants to see is Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, which arguably would be one of the biggest fights in the history of boxing. Pacquiao goes for making at least 40 million dollars if fighting Floyd Mayweather to now making maybe around 12 million. Nice money to make even still, but you’d probably be better off maximizing your financial opportunities in such a deadly sport.

We already know the likely outcome of this fight. Anything can happen when it comes to boxing, but everything is set up for Pacquiao to win. This can be a real easy fight for Pacquiao. Although Clottey is a solid defensive fighter who does a good job of shielding himself from harm with his Winky Wright like defense, he is flat footed and like recent Pacquiao opponents, or actually like most of the opponents Pacquiao has faced. Clottey also likes to press forward which suits perfectly with Pacquiao’s plans. The Ghanaian warrior simply does not have the style to beat Pacquiao, and he also lacks the speed and power to seriously leave an imprint on Pacquiao. I can visualize Manny bouncing around the ring moving in and out, while Clottey slowly drags his feet forward and will end up getting tagged by the much quicker Pacquiao all night long. Clottey is far from weak, but he does not possess devastating knock out power so there is no threat there. Although Clottey is the bigger fighter coming into this match up, he may not even get the chance to impose his size on Manny. And I have a suspicion even if Clottey makes it a close fight and it goes the full 12 rounds, the judges will award Pacquiao with the automatic decision because of the politics of the sport.
Another strike against Joshua is his level of opposition. The only marquee names on his resume include Cotto, Judah, Baldomir, and Margarito. Clottey has not really stood out against the few good opponents he has faced. He basically stopped fighting against Margarito after he broke his hands mid way through the fight, he lost composure and could not control his emotions and got disqualified against Baldomir. He had a decent showing against a faded Zab Judah, who by the way was coming off a knock out loss to Miguel Cotto, a sound defeat by the hands of Floyd Mayweather, and some inner turmoil and inactivity. Then we have the late great Diego Corrales. The problem with the Corrales victory is the proud warrior was only a shell of his former self and was moving up from his natural light weight class up to welterweight.

This isn’t to knock Joshua Clottey because he is a tough fighter and possess qualities that make him a solid contender. But you can surely question his status as an elite fighter, and seeing as he is coming off a loss, he probably shouldn’t be stepping in the ring with the likes of Manny Pacquiao. If you’re Manny, why fight a guy who recently lost to the guy you just beat?

Why even put this on ppv? Why waste the time of boxing fans putting this together? Especially in wake of the elections going on in the Philippines, and with the recent leg injury to Pacquiao suffered in camp, wouldn’t it be best to put a halt to everything and wait for things to play out? Ok you couldn’t secure a fight with Mayweather, so maybe you can find another fight right? Like maybe against the likes of Shane Mosley, or Paul Williams, or even Yuri Foreman. The Foreman fight would work out because he is a Top Rank fighter so Arum can make more money off that and keep the cash in-house just like he would with Clottey. Also in fighting Foreman, Pacquiao would also being chasing history with the 8th title. Or you could just let Pacquiao rest and handle the elections and try to make a fight with Mayweather later in the year.

Apparently, Mr. Arum had other plans. And lets say the impossible happens and Pacquiao loses to Joshua Clottey March 13th what happens then? Clottey vs. the winner of Mayweather/Mosley? Do you know how much money Arum would lose out on? The dream match everyone had hoped for between Mayweather and Pacquiao probably wouldn’t even happen and boxing would suffer another huge blow.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Don’t write me off, says Clottey

MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao may be the overwhelming favorite in their upcoming fight, but Joshua Clottey believes he’s got the tools to beat the pound-for-pound king.

Fact is, the New York-based Ghanaian insists it’s no upset if he emerges triumphant in their showdown for the Filipino icon’s World Boxing Organization welterweight crown on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“I’m in shape,” Clottey told editor Lem Satterfield. “I want to prove to the whole world that this is a fight that I can win, and that they should be careful not to write me off.”

Though he’ll be the biggest fighter Pacquiao has ever faced, bettors and boxing pundits have listed the 33-year-old Clottey a 3-1 underdog in their pay-per-view duel dubbed “The Event.”

This glaring lack of appreciation for his skills, has spurred Clottey to prepare and train even harder at his base camp at the Contender’s Gym in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“My training is going very well for this one. I work out in the morning, running from here to the beach. I run on the beach. I go to the gym. I spar,” said Clottey.

“Today, I sparred 10 rounds with four-minute rounds and a 30-second rest in between. I’m not really even tired after I’m finished.”

With all his three losses against former world champions coming by way of disputable scores, if not circumstances, Clottey feels he still owns an unblemished record.

And thus, people shouldn’t consider it as a big upset if he ends Pacquiao’s win-streak at 11, the last four coming by way of knockouts.

“Manny Pacquiao is a human being, like everyone else. He’s just a really good fighter who is out there now, who is No. 1 now,” said Clottey.

Admitting that he’s going to be out-punched by Pacquiao, the 33-year-old Clottey reasoned out that it’s not the volume of punches, but the number of connections that would sway the balance in his favor.


Pacquiao Spars With Tough Fighters

Fighter of the decade and the world's best pound-for-pound boxer Manny Pacman Pacquiao has intensified his preparations for the March 13 fight against Joshua Clottey at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas, USA.

According to reports monitored by DAILY GUIDE SPORTS, the classic boxer is sparring with two tough fighters in order to be ready for the Ghanaian hard hitting pugilist.

The report indicates that Pacman is sparring with Steve Fobres who once fought Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya and went the distance with him; and Raymund Beltran, a regular spar-mate.

Conditioning expert, Alex Ariza said, “Pacquiao showed amazing speed and power and was ready to go anytime.

“It was obvious that he was relaxed and happy and looking forward to the clash with Clottey (35-3, 21KOs)”, he noted.

He added that there is no welterweight in the world now who could beat Pacquiao and that includes Floyd Mayweathr Jnr and Shane Mosley.

Meanwhile, the city of Dallas is readying itself for the biggest boxing showpiece of the year.

By all indications, the Dallas area and its fans are ready to host another grand event and all-set to watch Pacquiao deliver another knockout show.

“I can't wait to see Pacquiao in action here in Dallas," exclaimed Ronald “Popeye" Jones, former 11-year veteran for the Mavericks turned Mavericks Player Development Coach.

“You see that burning fire in Pacquiao to win, to be successful. It's the same fire that Michael Jordan had." Tickets for the fight had already been sold, selling from US$50 to US$700.


Pacquiao's Left Leg Pain is Not a Big Problem, Says Koncz

By Ronnie Nathanielsz

The reported pain in Manny Pacquiao’s left leg is no cause for concern according to adviser Michael Koncz.

Koncz said “its nothing serious. Just cramps” even as he asked us as well as Pacquiao’s fans to “relax, don’t worry. He’ll be ready for the fight.”

He said Pacquiao’s sparring was “great as always” and emphasized that the “Fighter of the Decade” and the reigning pound-for-pound king was “ready and I have no concerns.”

Among those who went nine rounds with Pacquiao were longtime sparring partner, super lightweight Raymund Beltran and undefeated light welterweight Mike Dallas Jr, an undefeated 23 year old with a record of 11-0-1 with 2 knockouts.

Pacquiao initially didn’t tell anybody about his discomfort while jogging but when he began to go through his shadow boxing routine at La Brea park he said his leg ached.

In an interview with Chino Trinidad of GMA 7 at the Wild Card Gym after he was attended to by conditioning expert Alex Ariza, Pacquiao said it was the same ailment he suffered in his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez and that “we are doing what we did before so it won’t ache.”

However, trainer Freddie Roach asked Pacquiao to ease off a little in training where he tends to push himself extra hard.

Roach himself had expressed concern in the past over the possibility that Pacquiao could aggravate an old leg injury caused by playing basketball regularly which Roach has tried to stop, unsuccessfully.

Pacquiao’s opponent. Former world champion Joshua Clottey continued his training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida under Pacquiao’s former cutman Lenny De Jesus who worked his corner in the first Erik Morales fight and also trains fighters in New Jersey.

Clottey said he was in top condition for the March 13 showdown with Pacquiao at the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium adding, “I’ve worked hard for weeks in Florida” and claimed that “we have a game plan which will give Pacquiao a lot of problems. “

The Ghanian fighter who dropped a controversial decision to Miguel Cotto prior to Pacquiao stopping the Puerto Rican in the twelfth round said “no one is unbeatable including Manny and I personally know he’s worried about me, how big and strong I will be in the ring that night.”

Pacquiao’s speed and power are key factors in his recent remarkable run of victories where his ability to move in and out in rapid fire movements may be hampered if his leg doesn’t heal and although Pacquiao's team plays down the problem, there appears to be a tinge of concern over it.


Roach on Pacquiao's preparation

Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, will talk with each week leading up to Pacquiao's March 13 welterweight title fight with Joshua Clottey.

This is the first in a four-part series. How tough is it to get up for this fight when you were so close to the mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

Roach: There is no problem getting up for this fight. It's a good challenge. It's a little disappointing. I was looking for the challenge of getting ready for Mayweather's difficult style. But you know Clottey is a suitable opponent. He's a dangerous guy. And so we have been pretty set. And it wasn't a huge challenge getting up for him. How furious are you guys about the steroid allegations thrown out by Team Mayweather and that you can't fight Floyd Jr. in the ring?

Roach: Pretty much the allegations are unproven and there's a lawsuit pending and I think he'll lose that lawsuit. You can't go around saying stuff like that without evidence. You know, I hope we can fight him someday to shut him up. If that ever happens, so be it. How have the allegations affected Manny?

Roach: He's got a reputation, of course, and it's the first time I've seen Manny angry at another fighter. It's the first time I've ever seen him like that. How tough is it to switch from preparing for Mayweather to preparing for Clottey, who's a totally different fighter?

Roach: Well, we've given a chance to Clottey, and we stand by that. It's really not that bad. He's in the same condition as us. We know how tough the guy is, and he fights a certain style. How do you keep Manny focused despite the increasing number of distractions?

Roach: We fight our fight. We try our best, but we have distractions. We've been able to step it in our training. But we've been able to say that's it. How do you feel about fighting in a building that's as palatial as Cowboys Stadium?

Roach: We're really excited to fight in Cowboys Stadium. It's a beautiful, beautiful place. Manny's said it's an honor to fight there. He loves it.


Pacman to win by KO – Donaire

Nonito Donaire is putting his money on a late-rounds stoppage by Manny Pacquiao on March 13.

Donaire, regarded as the heir apparent of Pacquiao, told the weekly PSA Forum last Tuesday that the Filipino’s speed and power will be too much for Ghanaian Joshua Clottey to handle when the two tangle at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

“Clottey is a tough fighter and has a very good defense,” Donaire noted.

Pacquiao will inflict damage early in the fight and he will catch him (Clottey) later on,” the Bohol-born, US-raised fighter said.

Donaire, meanwhile, revealed that he will likely return to the ring on May 8 in Mexico against an opponent soon-to-be-named and that he will plunge into training by the middle of March since he has to have “eight weeks of good training.”

On Donaire’s radar screen are Fernando Montiel of Mexico and Hozumi Hasagewa of Japan.

“I want that fight (on May 8) to be a world title fight at 118 lbs,” said the 27-year-old Donaire, who reigns as the World Boxing Association (WBA) interim super-fly titleholder.

While there is still plenty of free time, Donaire is concentrating on some showbiz commitments, including a stint in Pacquiao’s comedy show "Show Me D Manny".

“I have to be in training soon,” answered Donaire when asked about his appearance on the show, adding that he will possibly pinch-hit a maximum of four episodes.


Donaire on Pacquiao-Clottey: Pacman by stoppage

Nonito Donaire, Jr. agreed with trainer Freddie Roach that Filipino ring superstar Manny Pacquiao will hand Joshua Clottey the first knockout loss of his career when they lock mitts on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

The reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) interim super-flyweight king conceded that Clottey is one tough customer but expressed belief Pacquiao will eventually wear the Ghanaian challenger down and blast him away.

“I hope Manny is not thinking that this is an easy fight. Clottey is big and has nothing to lose in this fight. But I really believe Manny will score a late-round stoppage since Clottey will feel the punches thrown by Manny late in the fight," Donaire said during Tuesday’s PSA Forum in Manila.

His observation echoed that of the outspoken Roach who has said that good chin notwithstanding, Clottey won’t last 12 rounds with Pacquiao.

“The Filipino Flash" recently easily retained his 115-lb belt via a third-round dismantling of Manuel Vargas of Mexico in a Las Vegas fight card witnessed by Pacquiao himself two weeks ago.

The Pacman, who is in the thick of training in Los Angeles, took the time out to grace the card to support Donaire and other Filipino bets Gerry Penalosa, Ciso Morales, Bernabe Concepcion and Mark Jason Melligen while aiming to solicit funding for sick fighter Z Gorres, who was at ringside that night.

Donaire is back in the Philippines to share his victory with his countrymen. He’s set to go on a motorcade around Manila on Wednesday, visit the recuperating Gorres in the latter’s hometown in Cebu, accept a major award from the Philippine Sportswriters’ Association (PSA) and tape episodes for Pacquiao’s GMA 7 sitcom “Show me da Manny."

WBA interim super-flyweight champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. with wife Rachel during Tuesday’s PSA forum in Manila. Jeff Venancio

He plans to be in the US by March 7 or 8 to start a more intensive training camp for his scheduled May 8 fight in Mexico City against a still undetermined rival and of course, cheer for Pacquiao against Clottey.

“I want to be in top shape because my opponent in my next fight will surely have more advantage than me with the fight to be held in Mexico. But I will give my best and make the country proud again," Donaire said.

The 26-year-old fighter is eyeing fights at higher weight classes (118 and even 122 lbs) possibly against Mexico's Fernando Montiel at bantam or Israel Vasquez or Rafael Marquez at super bantam.

He’s also considering a major bout at his current division – super-flyweight – possibly against old nemesis Vic Darchinyan or Jorge Arce.

"I'd fight anybody if it's for the world title," said Donaire. – GMANews.TV


Pacquiao to join Villar’s campaign sorties after Clottey bout

BOXING champion Manny Pacquiao has promised to join the campaign sorties of Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manny Villar after his fight with Joshua Clottey in March.

“Soon after my return to the Philippines, I will join my beloved president Manny Villar so I can introduce him to our countrymen,” Pacquiao said on Sunday night in Pilipino in a video-taped message shown at a concert rally in Mandaue City that capped the NP’s two-day barnstorming of vote-rich Cebu province.

In endorsing Villar, Pacquiao said: “He’s the only person who can help the poor because he defied poverty to become a successful businessman.”

The video clip was shown by noontime host Willie Revillame as a surprise for Villar, who has then just finished delivering his speech to a crowd of over 80,000 in a reclamation area in Cebu.

“Let us support our beloved president, Manny Villar. Sa dami ng taon na lumipas, wala pa rin tayong pagbabago, lalo pa pong padami nang padami ang mga taong mahihirap at walang trabaho,” said Pacquiao, who referred to Villar as his “beloved president.”

The boxing champ said he is confident that propoor Villar, who, like him, overcame poverty, will solve poverty.

“The way I see it, we need people who have experienced how it is to be poor. I myself come from that sector, and I feel the hurt when the poor cry for help from the government, Pacquiao said in Tagalog.

He added: “This is Manny Villar, the answer to our problems because I know he came from poverty, we need a leader who can relate to the sentiments of the poor…I sincerely plead that we support Manny Villar. F. Marasigan


Monday, February 22, 2010

Pacquiao knows he’ll be a constant target

MANILA, Philippines – Seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao knows that for as long as he keeps on winning, he will remain the target of very strong contenders.

Pacquiao said that this is the reason why he trains tirelessly each time he is scheduled to fight.

“Iyong mga lumalaban sa akin, nag-eensayo nang mabuti kasi gusto nila talunin ako... kaya kailangan practice talaga,” said the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champ.

The Filipino boxing icon is preparing against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey for their March 13 bout at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

In his latest sparring session, Pacquiao faced American Mike Dallas and Ghanaian Abdullai Amidu for 4 rounds each.

Dallas and Amidu admitted the Filipino champ is quite tough to handle.

“He's got the power, the speed… He never gets tired,” said Amidu.

After the sparring, Pacquiao hit the mitts with his coach Freddie Roach.

To the delight of the crowd who visited the Wild Card Gym that day, the Filipino champ displayed mastery of the boxing combinations, the lateral movements, and even the follow up punches they have chosen to beat Clottey.

Even after the session ended, Pacquiao asked for more rounds.

Next week, he will have former Oscar de la Hoya opponent Steve Forbes as his training partner.

It was in the Forbes-De la Hoya fight in 2008 when Roach discovered the possibility that Pacquiao could beat the boxing great.

Although Forbes lost by a unanimous decision to the taller De la Hoya, he was able to connect well-time punches despite the Mexican-American’s longer reach. With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News


Joshua Clottey: "I Will Wear Manny Pacquiao Down"

Former champion Joshua Clottey has no idea what all the fuss is about. He had a few setbacks against fighters like Carlos Baldomir, Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto. He doesn't think about those defeats. He still views himself as an unbeaten fighter. Clottey tells Lem Satterfield of AOL FanHouse that he won't view a win over Pacquiao as an upset, but just another win in the bank. Clottey faces Pacquiao on March 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

"I've never left the ring feeling like I lost. I feel like I'm undefeated. If I win this fight against Manny Pacquiao, I will never feel like I beat the best fighter in the world," said Clottey. "I will feel like I had a fight with Manny Pacquiao, the best fighter out there, and I won," said Clottey. "So even if I beat Pacquaio, and people talk about it like it's a big upset, I'll say, 'It's not an upset, but a win.'"

Some people treat Manny Pacquiao like a super hero. Not Clottey. He sees him as just another fighter and plans to beat him as such.

"Manny Pacquiao is a human being, like everyone else. He's just a really good fighter who is out there now who is No. 1 now," said Clottey. "I don't know how he's coming to fight me, but I can tell you that I'm a different fighter altogether than anyone else that he's faced. I'm a really difficult fighter, you see."

Clottey understands what he brings to the table, and what Pacquiao brings to the table. Pacquiao has the big advantage in speed. Clottey plans to stay in there and work Pacquiao over to wear him down. He wants to punish the Filipino fighter enough to slow him down.

"Pacquiao is coming from a smaller weight to welterweight, and he's going to have an advantage in speed already because he's a smaller guy. I can't throw a lot of punches like Pacquiao will do. But I will connect enough to make him slow down and wear down, and bring his speed down," said Clottey.


Clottey aims to slow down speedy Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Joshua Clottey of Ghana seems to be unthreatened by his match-up against the only 7-division world champion and pound-for-pound king, Manny Pacquiao, on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“Manny Pacquiao is a human being, like everyone else. He's just a really good fighter who is out there now who is No. 1 now,” Clottey told Lem Satterfield of

“If I win this fight against Manny Pacquiao, I will never feel like I beat the best fighter in the world,” he said. “I will feel like I had a fight with Manny Pacquiao, the best fighter out there, and I won.”

He also clarified that just in case he wins on March 13, people should not regard his victory as an upset.

“I'll say, ‘It's not an upset, but a win,’” the Ghanaian stated.

But before the 33-year-old Clottey talks about his possible triumph over Pacquiao, he knows that he first has to overcome the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion.

He said he plans to beat Pacquiao by connecting his shots and wearing him down.

“I can't throw a lot of punches like Pacquiao will do. But I will connect enough to make him slow down and wear down, and bring his speed down,” he shared.

“I will also rely on my pressure. But I don't know what Pacquiao is coming to do, so I have to use my head. I don't know if he's planning to move around. But I'm not going to make him chase me. I will be right there.”

Happy with training

Clottey, meantime, was more positive about his ongoing training camp in Florida.

“I went to Ghana to try get a visa for my trainer, and it didn't work out for Godwin Kotey. I think that was three weeks ago, and I've moved on. I'm training with Lenny DeJesus, we're training hard, and we're very happy,” he said.

He added that his training has been going very well: “I'm in shape. I want to prove to the whole world that this [is] a fight that I can win, and that they should be careful not to write me off.”

The 31-year-old Pacquiao is said to be feeling great about his training camp in Los Angeles, California.

Conditioning coach Alex Ariza told Ronnie Nathanielsz of that the Filipino boxing superstar was “feeling good and Freddie was obviously happy and had a smile on his face and when they are happy, I am happy.”

He noted that they cannot ask for anything more from Pacquiao as he showed “amazing speed and power and is ready to go anytime.”

Pacquiao has a record of 50-3-2, with 38 KOs while Clottey, a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight titleholder, has a record of 35-3, with 20 knockouts. – With reports from and


Fit Pacman: Pacquiao passes pre-fight exams

Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao underwent the required pre-fight physical examinations over the weekend and was declared fit to duke it out with Joshua Clottey on March 13 in Texas.

Pacquiao trooped to the San Pedro Medical Center in San Pedro, California to have his reflexes and vital signs checked and according to sportscaster Chino Trinidad, easily passed the battery of tests that included a check on his blood pressure, eye-hand coordination and balance, as well as an eye exam.

The 31-year-old pride of the Philippines also went through blood tests over two weeks before his WBO welterweight title defense against the tough Clottey.

Pacquiao, according to Trinidad, was visibly shaken having his blood taken for tests against performance-enhancing substances.

“Mahirap kapag ikaw ay kinunan ng dugo, lalo na sa aming mga atleta. Ang kailangan namin ay lakas so pag kinunan ng dugo, manghihina ka. Makaka-recover ka lang mga three or four days pa (after)," the Pacman told Trinidad in his TV interview.

The blood testing issue was interestingly the main reason for the fallout of negotiations for his botched megafight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Pacquiao had frowned upon Mayweather’s demands for random blood testing and instead pitched a procedure no more than 24 days before fight night.

For the Clottey fight, Pacquiao believed he has more than enough time to “recover" his strength.

“OK naman yan (blood tests) 24 days before the fight. Makaka-recover pa tayo," he said.

Pacquiao and his team are extremely confident against Clottey, whom trainer Freddie Roach said will fall for the first time in his career.

“Well, the more I watch Clottey, the more mistakes I find in him and I’m very confident Manny is going to knock him out and be the first person to knock him out," Roach said in an interview with the show “On the Ropes" posted on The Mushroom Magazine.

"I know he (Clottey) has a good chin. He’s a tough guy and he’s a nice guy, but just studying the tapes of him, he won’t last 12 rounds with Manny Pacquiao in my opinion," he added.

Pacquiao, whom Roach said is doing great in training, will continue to hold camp at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles until March 8, the day they head to Dallas for fight week.

The Pacman, according to Fight News, is scheduled to hold an open workout on March 10 at the basement of the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas and join Clottey for a press conference at the Dallas Stadium on the same day. - GMANews.TV


No HBO 24/7 could hurt Pacquiao vs. Clottey PPV numbers

The Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Pay-Per-View event is vast approaching, and the buzz for this fight is almost non-existent.

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather negotiations got significant media coverage and was a top search on Yahoo for quite sometime before the fight officially died over random Olympic steroid testing.

So, Bob Arum put together a last minute back up plan after the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight fell through. “The Event” on March 13, 2010 on HBO PPV against fellow Top Rank promotions stablemate, Joshua Clottey, was Bob Arum’s answer.

Some say this fight is not worthy of Pay-Per-View and should be on regular HBO World Championship Boxing instead, I agree with this notion.

This feels like when Manny fought David Diaz for the WBC lightweight title on HBO Pay-Per-View, fans wanted to see Pacquiao fight Nate Campbell and felt David Diaz was a paper champion as well as a meaningless fight for Pacquiao.

The PPV numbers spoke volumes, the fight with Diaz did something in the 200,000 buy range, numbers that were way below Bob Arum’s expectations of doing more than 400,000 buys.

The Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight doesn’t seem to be pushed all that much from a marketing stand point. Having no HBO boxing Pacquiao/Clottey 24/7, will hurt the number of buys, I believe.

What makes matters worse is having the fight in the giant 100,000 seat Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas, Bob Arum and Jerry Jones will adjust the seating for the event to accommodate a smaller audience of 40,000 fans.

Only a few weeks away, the fight still hasn’t sold out yet, and plenty of tickets are available at reasonable prices, the cheapest ticket being $50 and the most expensive at $700.

HBO 24/7 is the greatest marketing tool for boxing matches. The series has helped Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. turn into household names by increasing the viewing audiences interest through weekly episode build ups leading up to the fight.

Instead of 24/7, Pacquiao vs. Clottey will have a 30-minute countdown show to air on March 6 one week before the actual fight, and rerun will show several times after, but is this enough publicity to help build up the fight and guarantee good PPV numbers?

Maybe the build up for this fight will get stronger as the fight nears, but if the buzz is not there, the fight could do poorly at the box office and hurt Pacquiao’s chances at a 50-50 purse split with Mayweather, should Pacquiao get by Clottey.


Friday, February 19, 2010

A Clottey Win Means Attack Pacquiao Early

Joshua Clottey, former IBF world champion at the welterweight division and currently the face of Ghana’s boxing, will have his ultimate test come March 13th – stop Manny Pacquiao’s meteoric rise.
A herculean task to begin with, considering Pacquiao has been steamrolling his opponents and has not been stopped since that night when Erik Morales outboxed the then left-handed Filipino slugger five years ago.
Almost every aspect of the fight billed “The Event” lean heavily on the Filipino. Pacquiao is brimming with confidence if one has to acknowledge the fact that his he defeated every big guy placed in front of him, from David Diaz to Miguel Cotto. Almost with absolute certainty, Clottey will be perhaps another big guy Pacquiao will face.

Clottey’s last outing, a controversial loss to Cotto, would probably make a huge dent of his confidence. Can he really stop the Pacman and come with perhaps one of boxing’s monumental upset? He could. There is a faint yet distinct possibility that the banger from Accra, Ghana will manage to score a victory. Clottey is perhaps the sturdiest boxer Pacquiao will face. Oscar Larios is sturdy. David Diaz is sturdy. Miguel Cotto is sturdy. But Joshua Clottey is sturdier by any standards in contrast to Pacquiao previous opponents. But sturdy alone is not enough. And Diaz is a bloody testament to that. After nine rounds of absorbing almost everything the Pacman can dish, the Chicago native’s armor was pierced and the night was not his. For Clottey to win, he has to be more than an iron jaw.

Pacquiao’s strength is his speed and his ability to launch punches from angles unheard of. It would be unwise to try to match speed for speed, as Clottey never has that advantage and never will.

What Clottey needs to do is what Rustico Torrecampo and Medgoen Singsurat have done – hurt Pacquiao in the early rounds. This is not a comparison of Pacquiao then and Pacquiao today, but Clottey’s chances of scoring a win is good if, and only if, he can bring on the pain to Pacman as early as possible.

The logic of this reasoning being:

• It becomes increasingly hard to beat Pacquiao as time passes;
• Pacquiao can fight 15 rounds or more without gassing out;
• In contrast, Clottey slightly fades in the later rounds;
• Clottey is a straightforward fighter who is a bit polished and has tighter defense than Ricky Hatton, but still a straightforward fighter;
• If Clottey attacks early, he might achieve the element of surprise against the Pacman.

Of course, one can make a plausible argument that Hatton did press the attack early on and got knock down three times before getting blitzed in the second round. But as mentioned earlier, Clottey is perhaps the sturdiest fighter Pacquiao has ever faced. Coupled with a tight defense, an early attack is perhaps the most logical move for Clottey, who also happens to be the bigger guy.

In retrospect, let us look at the other bigger guys who fought Pacquiao and decided to feel him out and gauged him with jabs rather than bully him the way Hatton did. Oscar de la Hoya enjoyed a great advantage both in height and reach. However, instead of using his size to press Pacquiao, a much smaller man, to the ropes, peppered Pacquiao with flicking jabs that failed to keep the Filipino away. Miguel Cotto, another big guy, was able to press and put Pacquiao on the ropes and busted the Fiilipino southpaw’s right eardrum in the process. But after suffering two knockdowns, Cotto simply went on full retreat and never engaged Pacquiao again. Would the story have been different if Cotto pressed on despite tasting the canvas twice? The result could have been different.

Clottey may not have that punching power but he has some pop in his hands. He will definitely be able match Pacquiao’s speed. But sheer degree of impregnability and the ability to absorb hard punches are traits Clottey and his team must work on and the Pacquiao camp should worry about.


Pacquiao not bothered by disqualification case

Not even the disqualification case filed by a local political party in Sarangani can stop boxing icon Manny Pacquiao from concentrating on his fight with Joshua Clottey of Ghana scheduled next month in Texas.

“I don’t think about it because my lawyers in Manila are taking care of that matter,” said Pacquiao Friday from Los Angeles, where he has been training the last four weeks for the March 13 bout at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

“I am focused on my preparation for my next fight,” said Pacquiao, regarded as the world’s best boxer today.

Despite the case, Pacquiao said nothing can deter him from pushing through with his lofty political ambitions.

His wife Jinkee hails from Kiamba town in Sarangani where they also own a house.

“I believe that it is not me but my opponent who should be disqualified,” said Pacquiao, referring to businessman Roy Chiongbian, who will challenge the boxing star for the lone congressional seat in the province.

Last week, the Sarangani Reconciliation and Reformation Organization, which has strong ties with Chiongbian, filed a disqualification case against Pacquiao, who said he has complied with all the residency requirements in Sarangani that will allow him to run for public office.

Pacquiao said it is Chiongbian, whose family is the undisputed political kingpin of Sarangani, who has to be disqualified owing to residency woes, claiming that Chiongbian resides in Metro Manila and whose transfer of residency the boxer has put in question.

The Chiongbians have built an enormous fortune in shipping, agri-business and real estate.

The Comelec had junked Pacquiao’s earlier plea that Chiongbian be disqualified but the fighter’s lawyer, Sixto Brillantes, said his camp has filed a motion for reconsideration.

Brillantes is one of two topnotch lawyers Pacquiao tapped to represent him and handle him in legal matters. Also lending a hand to Pacquiao’s cause is Romulo Makalintal.

Brillantes admits that while the issues being raised by both camps are somewhat trivial, he can’t afford to take it nice and easy what with the spate of rulings by the Comelec disqualifying certain celebrity political aspirants on the issue of residency.

“Kailangan din nating bantayan ang Comelec (We have to keep an eye on the decisions of the Comelec),” said Brillantes.


Red-Hot NBA player Anthony Morrow is big-time Pacquiao fan

Chicago, IL – Lost in the frenzy of last-minute NBA trades are NBA players who are smoking-hot in February. If Anthony Morrow, a quiet participant during the Rookies-Sophomores game in Dallas, wasn’t a headliner during All-Star week, he’s making headlines in Golden State now.

After he missed 10 games because of a sprained knee, Morrow returned to the Warriors’ line-up last February 6 a changed man. He used to be an offensive threat. In his last four games, however, Morrow became an offensive dynamo. In his first game back, he scored five points and played just 14 minutes. As it turned out, it was the drizzle before the downpour.

All of a sudden, Morrow is playing like he’s Lebron James. After his 5-point output, the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, put on a four-game scoring exhibition. 33 points. 26 points. 23 points. 25 points. I mean we’re talking about Lebron, Kobe, Kevin Durant numbers here. Morrow is averaging 27 points in his last four games.

It’s hard to believe that Morrow was a late replacement for Derrick Rose on the NBA Sophomores team. It’s nice to know, however, that the league replaced Rose, a Floyd Mayweather, Jr. die-hard, with Morrow, a Manny Pacquiao devotee.

"I’ve seen Pacquiao fight. He has quick hands," Morrow, who often watches PPV boxing bouts with his teammates, said. "He’s really aggressive."

If Pacquiao blasted into the boxing scene like a left hook out of nowhere, Morrow barged into the NBA like a surprising three-point shot from the last guy on the bench. Each time Morrow scored, I can imagine opponents say, "Hey, who was that guy?" Undrafted in 2008, Morrow shocked the league when he fired 37 points against the Clippers in November 2008 to score the most points in a game by an undrafted rookie. Morrow startled the league even more by becoming the first-ever rookie to lead the NBA in 3-point accuracy (47%).

Morrow, after all, a classic NBA underdog, draws inspiration from little fighters with big punches. He believes Pacquiao, among little guys, is the biggest puncher of them all.

It amazes me how those guys are so little," the 6-foot5 Morrow exclaimed. "But they’re in great shape."

Morrow looked forward to the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout. Like many of us, he was disappointed to learn that the fight between Floyd and Morrow’s favorite "little" fighter was off.

"I would love to see that fight," Morrow said. "Those are two great boxers, two great fighters. Floyd and Pacquiao are two of the most electrifying fighters right now."

In the meantime, Morrow plans to watch Pacquiao-Clottey on March 13 with teammates while he tries to sustain a shooting spree beyond reason. Aside from scoring 27 points per game, he’s also tallying 44 minutes, four three-pointers, seven rebounds and four assists in his last four assignments. If he miraculously keeps this up, he might end up in the 2011 All-Star Game in Los Angeles and shock the world just like his favorite power-punching little man Manny Pacquiao. - GMANews.TV


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pacquiao’s training hits a high chord

With folk music blaring on the background, Manny Pacquiao, the current king of boxing, spoke the language of confidence Thursday moments after another tough day at the Wild Card Boxing Club, his training headquarters for the March 13 clash with Joshua Clottey in Dallas.

“No problem, I feel very good,” Pacquiao told The Bulletin after having his favorite meal at a Thai food restaurant located a few steps from the gym. "Tell our people that there's nothing to worry as I am training hard."

Pacquiao stressed that having little time for a good vacation after beating Miguel Cotto late last year turned out to be a blessing since he is not having a hard time getting back in shape.

“After only two weeks in the gym, I already felt great and I think it was not only because I am coming off a tough fight but I had to immediately report back to training camp,” said Pacquiao, who asked his interviewer to hold the long distance call while he sings the final notes of a song on karaoke.

As soon as he belted out the last note, Pacquiao was on the line again, assuring the man on the other end that there’s nothing to worry about as far as his preparation is concerned.

Pacquiao’s assurance that everything is right on track was echoed by Alex Ariza, the Filipino fighter’s touted conditioning coach.

“Manny is ready to fight this Saturday,” said Ariza, who marveled at the way the 32-year-old pound-for-pound king handled himself with the punch mitts during Wednesday’s workout.

“He did 15 rounds in the mitts without even a sip of water,” narrated Ariza.

Over at Clottey’s training camp in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, the boxingscene website reported that the Ghana slugger is also right on the money.

Clottey has been working out at the Contender’s Gym the last three weeks under the guidance of a new set of trainers since Godwin Dzanie Kotey, his long-time trainer, has yet to be granted a renewal of his US visa.

Despite the drawback, Clottey said he has no other choice but to move on.

“I already know in my head what I am going to do and how I am going to win,” Clottey said.


Roach: Opening rounds hard for Pacquiao, Clottey

MANILA, Philippines – Although boxing coach Freddie Roach is confident that Manny Pacquiao will demolish Joshua Clottey, he sees a very hard fight for both boxers.

The prized trainer said he thinks the March 13 bout between reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champ Pacquiao and challenger Clottey might even turn out just like the Miguel Cotto fight last November.

“Just like the Cotto fight... the first half of the fight will be really, really hard for both guys,” Roach said in an interview with

Roach, who oversees Pacquiao’s training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California, acknowledges Clottey’s durability.

He, however, said the Ghanaian’s defense leaves much to be desired so he expects his Filipino ward to assert himself by the middle rounds.

“We will take over in the middle or late rounds,” said Roach.

Passive defense
Roach said he has patterned some of Pacquiao’s strategies against the Ghanaian’s “amateurish” defense.

“He's passive, he's way too passive,” he said while describing Clottey’s defensive stance. “That works in the amateurs. There's no counter punching in that defense. He waits for you to finish your combinations then he throws.”

Roach said the only way Clottey would be effective against Pacquiao is if the Ghanaian engages the Filipino into a full fight.

This means Clottey would have himself get hit before he can tag Pacquiao with power punches.

“For him to be effective, he has to hit while we're engaging also for him to land that power shot, but he seems like he doesn't do that a lot,” said the boxing coach.

Waiting for Pacquiao to get tired would only bring Clottey more trouble.

“[Because] Pacquiao… doesn't get tired,” said Roach.


Clottey unveils game plan to beat Pacquiao

WASHINGTON D.C.: Unfazed by the failure of his long-time trainer to come to the United States because of visa problems, Joshua Clottey still believes he has a “game plan” to dethrone Manny Pacquiao in their March 13 world welterweight title showdown.

“I am working hard and will be ready for the fight. I still have a good team around me and am confident I will come out victorious,” Clottey told Ryan Burton of in an exclusive interview.

Without delving into details, the iron-chinned Ghanaian slugger said he knows what he has to do to defeat the Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts), the world’s reigning pound-for-pound best boxer.

“I have all my plans and that is what I am training for right now. I need to practice them so I can execute them when I step in the ring. I have all my plans in my head,” said Clottey (35-3, 21 knockouts), who also said he has fought effectively against southpaws before.

In fact, Clottey’s biggest win was his unanimous decision victory over former undisputed world welterweight champion Zab Judah, a lefty like Pacquiao, in August 2008 to win the International Boxing Federation welterweight title.

Clottey, 33, shrugged off Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach’s prediction that the Filipino ring superstar would break down Clottey’s game and knock him out in the late rounds.

“[Pacquiao’s] team is saying they are going to knock me out and really I don’t mind them saying that. They can say whatever they want to say. I already know in my head what I am going to do and how I am going to win,” Clottey said.

He said he is currently training with two undefeated sparring mates at training camp. The first one is very quick just like Pacquiao to get ready for the Filipino’s vaunted speed and explosiveness. And the bigger one is helping him hone his power for the biggest fight of his career.


Fight Picks: Who Has The Better Defense In Pacquiao Vs. Clottey?

Fight Picks Who Has The Better Defense in Pacquiao vs. Clottey? With the March 13th Superfight between Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey from Dallas Stadium closing in, our fight picks experts have decided to break down each man’s skill sets leading up to the bout. We are starting with defense because so often in fights at the world-class level it is the fighter with superior defense that provides gamblers with value on the boxing betting line. Over the years defensive wizards like Pernell Whitaker, Winky Wright, Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have been gambling gold.

The Pacquiao vs. Clottey boxing betting odds have Pacquiao as a -450 boxing betting favorite at SBGGLOBAL.COM.

Fight Picks Analysis: As good as Manny Pacquiao’s dynamic offense has been, Pacquiao’s defense has developed nicely under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach. Pacquiao has learned how to make effective use of his excellent footwork by springing in an out of range. Pacquiao also showed in the Miguel Cotto fight that he can go into a tight shell defense and catch blows with a high guard on the ropes. Pacquiao’s darting style, along with improved head movement make him an elusive target. Pacquiao is elusive but he is hittable. Manny Pacquiao can sometimes forget about defense when unloading on offense and can leave himself to be an available target. The Pacquiao vs. Clottey boxing betting odds TOTAL is at 9.5 ROUNDS with the OVER at -170.

Joshua Clottey has perfected a Winky Wright-like shell defense that involves catching incoming blows on the gloves, arms and elbows. Clottey’s air-tight high guard is extremely tough to penetrate and he knows how to roll with punches out of the defensive posture. As with Winky Wright however there are some spots that can be available to hit on the mostly stationary Clottey. At times Clottey can also be too defensive and his counterpunching opportunities are somewhat limited. The Pacquiao vs. Clottey boxing betting odds gives Pacquiao an 82% chance of winning.

Defensive Edge 1-10: Joshua Clottey 9-8


Why should I purchase the Pacquiao-Clottey card?

By Chris Williams: Besides the Mach 13th main even between World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey looking more and more like a gross mismatch of epic proportions, the undercard frankly stinks to the high heavens in my view. I’ve already seen four mismatches in a row involving Pacquiao being put in with old or pretty much shot fighters, but I don’t think I can stomach seeing him fight another hopelessly out classed fighter and having to pay $49.95 to see it.

Clottey’ a good fighter when put in with a nice 2nd tier opponent, but if you match him tough like against Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto, Clottey losses. So why should I want to see him face an even better fighter than those guys and end up losing again for the price of $49.95.
Let’s look at what we get on the undercard to see if it would be somehow worthwhile to ignore the mismatch in the main event:

Roberto Marroquin vs. TBA – This guy’s a prospect. I have no interest in paying to see him fight.

Salvador Sanchez vs. TBA – That’s five fights that I don’t want to see. I’ve heard of the great Salvador Sanchez, but the one that will be fighting on this card has a record of 18-3-2. Somehow, that’s a little short of the original great Salvador Sanchez. For that reason, I have no interest in seeing this dude fight.

Alfonso Gomez vs. Jose Luis Castillo – Gomez is ranked #10 in the IBF and WBO, while the 36-year-old Castillo is ranked #7 by the WBC. I have no idea why Castillo is ranked at all in the welterweight division. Castillo, a former lightweight champion, looks out of his league fighting at welterweight. He was totally dominated by welterweight contender Sebastian Andres Lujan in a 10 round decision loss two years ago. Since that time, Castillo has beaten four 2nd tier opponents. I have no interest in seeing him get beaten by Gomez. Besides that, I don’t see either of these guys as potential welterweight champions now or ever. Therefore, why should I want to see them fight?

John Duddy vs. Michael Medina – I’ve seen Duddy fight on numerous occasions, and have always wondered how he gets put on television. He got torn apart by a 2nd tier fighter Walid Smichet in 2008, and recently Duddy was beaten by Billy Lyell. So why is Duddy on the Pacquiao-Clottey fight? That seems like a total waste to me. I don’t want to see this dude fight when I don’t even agree with him being ranked in the top tier. He looks like a 2nd tier fighter to me.

Humberto Soto vs. David Diaz – This is probably going to be as bad a mismatch as the main event. Soto is a great fighter, but Diaz has done almost zero since being destroyed by Pacquiao in a one-sided 9th round stoppage in June 2008. Diaz has fought once since that time, beating an old Jesus Chavez by a 10 round majority decision last year in September. Even if Diaz had stayed active since being destroyed by Pacquiao, he would likely be way over his head in a fight against Soto.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Clottey: "Pacquiao First, Mayweather-Mosley Winner Next"

Welterweight Joshua Clottey puts aside some time to speak with about his training camp to prepare for the biggest fight of his career. He faces WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao on March 13 in Texas. Clottey says that everything is running very smooth and he is confident of victory in this exclusive interview. He also touches on the significance of this fight in his native Ghana, Mosley vs. Mayweather and more. How is training camp going so far?

Joshua Clottey: Everything is good. Everything is fine. We are working hard and just getting ready for the fight on March 13th. Are you looking good weight wise?

Joshua Clottey: Oh yeah. That won't be a problem. I train hard and always come in on weight. That is something I really haven't ever had a problem with. What exactly happened with your trainers not getting their visas?

Joshua Clottey: I can't really get down or be too disappointed about it. Life always has to go on and I still have to train. I guess these things happen for a reason. I am working hard and will be ready for the fight. I still have a good team around me and am confident I will come out victorious. How is sparring going? I assume your team found some short quick southpaws?

Joshua Clottey: Sparring is going just fine. I am sparring with these two guys, real good fighters but I can't remember their names. Both undefeated guys. We brought in one who is real fast and he is shorter so I can get ready for the speed and the other one is big and has the power to help me prepare. Obviously this is the biggest fight of your career. Most of the experts are picking Pacquiao to win. What do you have to do to make sure you come out with the win?

Joshua Clottey: I have all my plans and that is what I am training for right now. I need to practice them so I can execute them when I step in the ring. I have all my plans in my head. He and his team is saying they are going to knock me out and really I don't mind them saying that. They can say whatever they want to say. I already know in my head what I am going to do and how I am going to win. Pacquiao hasn't said much but I have read articles where Freddie Roach said that he thinks Pacquiao will knock you out. Do you feel they are disrespecting you?

Joshua Clottey: Well you know I am not taking it like they are disrespecting me or taking me lightly. I always feel like I am getting respect from Roach. Whenever I see him or have spoken to him he talked to me with respect. Whatever he says is fine by me. He is hyping up the fight you know. He has every right to talk. It is a free country and he can speak his mind and say what he wants to say. How big is this fight in your native Ghana? What is the buzz like there?

Joshua Clottey: Everybody back home is real excited about this fight. I told them that they shouldn't worry because we always are hoping and trying to improve our lives. We keep trying and good things will come. I am going to go out there and fight my best and try to come out with the win. I am confident and my people are confident. If you pull off the upset and come out victorious what do you want to do after that?

Joshua Clottey: If I win the fight and beat Manny Pacquiao, the number one pound for pound fighter ,my country will be so proud. I would like to fight the Mosley-Mayweather winner. You know one thing about me Ryan. I will fight anybody. If I win this fight I will be ready and willing to fight anybody. Paul Williams is still looking for an opponent. I know you wanted to fight him in the past. Would you fight him?

Joshua Clottey: If he wants to fight me I can fight him. I will fight anybody who wants to fight me. Who do you think wins the Mayweather vs. Mosley fight?

Joshua Clottey: It is a very tough fight. Shane Mosley is going to come out ready and hungry because he has wanted this fight for a long time. He has wanted a big fight for a long time. Now that he has one he will come in prepared and give Mayweather everything he has but Mayweather is a very smart guy who has a great defense and is a great boxer. This is a very tough one to call so I can't really pick a winner. Do you have a message for the fans?

Joshua Clottey: Well I just want to tell everybody that I am going to fight with the best fighter in the world and I am going to come in the ring prepared and do something that no one thinks I can do. That is the only thing I can say now. I have a plan and I will make it a good fight.