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Friday, February 26, 2010

Clottey's $1.2 million question: Is he mentally prepared for Pacquiao?

There is concern within the Joshua Clottey fight camp as to the mental outlook of the March 13 Manny Pacquiao WBO welterweight title challenger.

You might call it the $1.2 million question as I've learned that the African boxer will earn $900,000 while his manager, Vinny Scolpino, gets the remainder.

But don't hit the panic button. It's par for the course, this wonderment about the Ghanaian's brain waves.

Gjin Gjini owns and operates Clottey's home training base in the South Bronx, John's Gym.

Clottey and his team were planning to return there this weekend but snowy weather around New York may delay those plans.

Clottey has been training in Fort Lauderdale.

Gjini, a former fighter orginally from Albania, said you never know what Clottey's mental state will be on fight night. It's not just that he's fighting the widely acclaimed pound for pound king of all boxing.

Clottey could have outpointed Miguel Cotto last June at Madison Square Garden but he went into a mental fog and stopped being aggressive in the final rounds. Clottey lost a split decision to the rugged Puerto Rican.

Gjin Gijini, owner of John's Gym in South Bronx where Joshua Clottey trains (Bronx Times, Your Nabe.com, Daniel Weissman Photo)

"You can't really know what's in Joshua's mind," Gjini told me on Thursday. "He's different in that way than guys like Pacquiao, like Cotto and Mosley. Joshua always come to fight and he will do so against Manny. He's not like Mayweather who just comes to run and do his moneymaking business.

"Physically, Joshua is always good. But you don't know what he will be like mentally. I don't know, either, and I will be with him and the team in Dallas."

Beyond the psychic wild card, Gijini envisions an enthralling scrap in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

"The fans will get their money's worth from this one. These two will give the fans what they're paying for, I think, as they should for a purse. People pay to see real fights, not to see one guy running around like a track meet."

Author: Michael Marley

Source: examiner.com

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