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Friday, March 5, 2010

First-round KO will make Roach happy

HOLLYWOOD— the sooner the better.

Sticking to his prediction that Manny Pacquiao is going to knock challenger Joshua Clottey out, Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach said Thursday he’d be glad if it comes early in the fight.

“If he (Pacquiao) gets him in the first round, then I’d be much happier,” said Roach, who expressed satisfaction with the way the Filipino seven-time world champion performed against sparmates Abdullai Amidu of Ghana and David Rodela at the Wild Card Gym here.

“But that (first-round knockout) is unlikely to happen as Clottey had never been knocked out,” said Roach, who insists that the Ghanaian is certain to fall in the later stages.

“It won’t go 12 rounds. The game plan is in place and Manny’s going to implement it.”

Roach said he and Pacquiao have watched tapes of Clottey in action and they have everything figured out.

“We compare notes and we know how to fight him,” added Roach.

Though he initially planned to limit Pacquiao’s sparring to 100 rounds, Roach said he’ll raise it to 142 on the insistence of the seven-time world champ.

In his successive stoppages of David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, Pacquiao sparred at least 150 rounds.

Team Pacquiao will leave for Dallas via a chartered plane on Monday, well in time for Pacquiao’s defense of his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown against Clottey on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in nearby Arlington, Texas.

Roach said Clottey’s going to be overwhelmed by Pacquiao’s speed and power as the Ghanaian hasn’t fought anybody in the mold of Pacquiao, who’s going to “swarm all over him.”

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