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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Clottey's lethal weapons - uppercut, headbutt

DALLAS – Freddie Roach said there are only two things to avoid when you’re up against Joshua Clottey.

One, the uppercut, and two, the headbutt.

“If you fall into the pocket with him, his best punch is an uppercut and his second best punch is a headbutt,” said Roach Tuesday when Manny Pacquiao held a media workout that turned out to be fans day as well.

More than 400 fans and media trooped to the Convential Hall of the Gaylord Texan Hotel here to watch the pound-for-pound champion break a sweat just four days before the big showdown at the Cowboys Stadium.

Pacquiao did a couple of rounds with the mitts, worked the speed bag, did a lot of crunches, and spent close to an hour fielding questions from the media. He sat with Roach on the edge of the ring to face the press.

Roach said Clottey could be a dirty fighter if and when he wants to, but said they’ve worked out a plan to avoid any of it.

“We’re not going to go in there. We’re going to fight him at a distance,” said Roach.

Over the last seven weeks at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, Roach and Pacquiao, the hottest tandem in boxing today, have worked on the moves that would keep Clottey guessing, not knowing what to do, what to expect.

They plan to run rings around the bigger, stronger but older fighter from Ghana, the way they did against Oscar dela Hoya or even Miguel Cotto. They had very little time to do it against Ricky Hatton who was out in two rounds.

“He’ll wait for you to throw a combination and then, when you’ve stopped, he’ll throw back. So if you stand in front of him, you’re an idiot,” he said. “We’re not going to do that. He’s not going to be able to find us,” said Roach.

“My quickness will be the key, my speed,” said Pacquiao, who will defend his WBO welterweight title for the first time, almost four months before he took it away from Cotto and became the sport’s only seven-time world champion.

Pacquiao and Clottey will come face-to-face Wednesday for the final press conference at the Cowboys Stadium, and on Thursday they should spend their last day at the gym in preparation for Friday’s official weigh-in.


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