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Friday, March 5, 2010

'Fight won't go full route'

HOLLYWOOD – On the eve of his 50th birthday, Freddie Roach said he’s sticking to what he had said that Joshua Clottey, who’s never been knocked out in his life, is going down in Texas.

“It won’t go twelve rounds. That’s my prediction,” said Roach Thursday as he tried to cool down after Manny Pacquiao sparred for eight rounds, behind closed doors, at the Wild Card Gym.

It seems that Roach is slowly getting under Clottey’s skin as the hero from Ghana, during his own media workout in New York Thursday, hinted that he’s going after Roach, and not Pacquiao.

Clottey’s manager, Vinnie Scolpino, said that’s the case.

“He wants to beat Freddie Roach. That’s his motivation. He wants to put him in his place. He beats Pacquiao, he puts Freddie in his place, too. Roach says he (Pacquiao) is going to knock him out,” said Scolpino.

Roach said Wednesday the fight could be over in nine rounds. He made the same prediction against David Diaz, who was stopped by Pacquiao in the ninth round, and Oscar dela Hoya, who quit after eight rounds.

And he’s not about to change his mind. Not on the eve of his birthday.

“They (reporters) forced me to pick a number. I pick number all the time because that’s my favorite number. If he gets him in one, I’m much happier, believe me. But I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he said.

“The thing is he’ll be going to be overwhelmed by the punches. He’ll get it from so many angles. He’s never fought a guy who swarms over him like Manny Pacquiao does. He’s not used to that. Like Oscar, we’ll let him quit it, I feel.”

After three rounds, Dave Rodela got off the ring bleeding from the nose. Later on, he said he “didn’t move well” and got caught with a left straight.

It’s been a typical scene at the Wild Card Gym, Pacquiao beating the lights out of his sparring partners. It’s a good thing that it’s almost over, with only two more sparring days on Saturday and Monday.

We boxed eight rounds today. He looked really good, really sharp. We’ll box six rounds on Saturday and four rounds on Monday and we’re done. He looked very good today, I’m very happy where he’s at. The game plan is in place and he know’s what to do,” said Roach.

Roach couldn’t exactly recall the number of sparring rounds they’ve had in this camp, and had to walk in to his office because he said he had it written down somewhere. He came out and said they’ve had 132 so far.

“We’re pretty much there. We know how to fight this guy,” he said.

Notes: Here’s Pacquiao’s birthday wish for his trainer: More years to come, a good life and more winnings. “Yun lang (That’s all),” he said... Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley, who will fight each other on May 1, held a press conference Thursday in downtown Los Angeles. So many questions were asked but not all of them were answered, especially when it concerned Pacquiao. A Filipino TV crew, led by Chino Trinidad, towed the line for an interview with Mayweather, but when their time came, they were told that Mayweather, the flamboyant American champion who would have been better off facing Pacquiao than Mosley, wasn’t granting any interview with the crew. “No interviews with Filipinos,” Trinidad quoted someone as telling them just when they had Mayweather within arm’s reach. So, they had to go.... It’s unconfirmed but word sneaked out from within Team Pacquiao that Arnel Pineda, the Filipino lead singer of the iconic band Journey, will sing the Philippine national anthem on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium.


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