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Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Clottey victory would be the most historic welterweight upset since Curry-Honeyghan

Manny Pacquiao is a living legend and has already cemented his status as one of the sport’s truly great fighters, but members of the press as well as boxing fans seem to have erroneously dismissed his March 13th match with Joshua Clottey as kind of an appearance fight, a warm up for a fall show down against the winner of Mayweather-Mosley. Pacquiao supporters and members of the press shouldn’t over look Clottey because even though Pacquiao has had as impressive as a run as any fighter in the history of the sport, Joshua Clottey is a very dangerous opponent. He’s never been stopped in his career, he is a big welterweight who always comes in shape, and he’s been competitive in every one of his fights, including the ones he’s lost. With his experience at the world championships level and a 35-3 record, he’s a very live underdog. If Manny Pacquiao is taking the Clottey fight as lightly as the fans and the media, there is a distinct possibility of an upset.

From a historical standpoint, a Clottey victory would be the most the significant upset in the welterweight division since Lloyd Honeyghan upset then welterweight champion Donald Curry in 1986. At the time, Donald Curry was in a position similar to Manny Pacquiao. He was on top of the world and along with Marvin Hagler, was only one of two undisputed champions. Following his second round knockout of Milton McCory in 1985, a number of insiders, including the editors of KO Magazine elevated him to the number one spot in the mythical pound for pound ratings.

McCory had entered the unification bout with Curry as the undefeated WBC 147 pound champion. At 6’1 the Kronk fighter was supposed to take Tommy Hearn’s spot as Detroit’s new Welterweight power house. Plus going into the bout, McCory had never been knocked down and had made four defenses of his WBC title, but Curry just annihilated McCory in two rounds in a bout that was supposed to be one of the better match-ups of 1985. Directly after the fight, praise for Curry began. Insiders were debating if he was indeed better than Sugar Ray Leonard and Curry said, “Bring on Marvin Hagler.”

After the McCory fight, Curry was contemplating moving up to 154 pounds and planning his conquest of Marvin Hagler, but the bout never came off. Curry was upset by Lloyd Honeyghan and stopped in the sixth less than a year later. Honeyghan was a lot like Clottey. He was a solid respected professional, who just didn’t seem to have a chance against the streaking Curry. And just like Clottey, Honeyghan was viewed as a mere bump in road as Curry headed towards superfights against Hagler and Leonard. Pacquiao fans better hope that Clottey doesn’t end up being as big as a bump as Honeyghan was in the division's last great upset.

Author: Brent Alderson

Source: examiner.com

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