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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How Clottey’s training struggles might impact Pacquiao’s future fights

Bob Arum has said that Manny Pacquiao is ready to fight already, several weeks out from his March 13th date with Joshua Clottey.

Freddie Roach countered this by saying that he was still a few weeks away in terms of complete preparations, but that he is in good shape already.

At the same time though there are several reports which suggest that Clottey’s training isn’t going so well, mainly because his trainer was denied entrance to the United States.

Visa’s can be denied for all manner of reasons, although are usually a result of either incorrect paperwork or some kind of criminal record or incident when last in the States.

Clottey’s trainers problems aren’t being made public, and in fact the reasons for a Visa being denied are not always even shared fully with the person applying for one, but at this stage it doesn’t look like he will be there for the majority of Clottey’s training.

You might think that this is great news for Pacquiao, and that he should have an even bigger advantage against Clottey than many are already giving him.

In actual fact though this is probably bad news for all concerned because if enough people think that the fight will be one sided, then the pay per view figures could be affected.

As fun as it might be watching a one sided beating due to skill, it isn’t that much fun when one guy is clearly not in shape.

Clottey, who has a tendency for spells of inactivity within fights anyway, needs to be on top of his game against someone like Pacquiao who won’t stop coming so long as he’s conscious.

Normally this wouldn’t be that much of a problem, and a few hundred thousand people buying or not buying is simply an inconvenience and a few million less dollars in the pockets of each fighter.

This time out though Pacquiao will be looking to draw every buyer he can so that future negotiations with Floyd Mayweather are kept on an even footing.

The last time out the drug testing issue was what stopped the fight being made, and the purse split was agreed fairly quickly at 50/50 for each fighter.

As first reported by my Examiner cohort Michael Marley though, this agreement will be blown out of the water unless both Pacquiao and Mayweather do similar numbers in pay per view sales against Clottey and Shane Mosley in the coming months.

IF either fighter sells substantially more than the other, then they will claim to be the bigger star, and no doubt demand a bigger share of the purse than 50%.

As it stands, Mosley is a much bigger star than Clottey to begin with, and Pacquiao isn’t known for hyping fights up with lots of trash talk and attention grabbing. Perhaps not the most genuine means of selling a fight, but it works either way.

That looked to have been equaled out by way of the Cowboys stadium and all the extra media attention that the fight was given because of the venue, although this now might not be enough.

If the casual fans are deciding which pay per view to buy and have a choice between Pacquiao beating a guy who didn’t even train properly and Mayweather finally fighting a top welterweight who has a decent chance of beating him, then a lot of them will buy Floyd rather than Manny.

There are fans of either who will want to watch their guy and fans who will just watch both, but if Mayweather can convince enough of the people that his fight will be more competitive, then he might well win the ratings war.

Top Rank needs to send some of their fleet of lawyers to get Clottey’s trainer into the country quickly, or at least get Joshua’s head on straight and make sure he’s training to give it his all.

Author: Scott Heritage

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