Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Is Pacquiao ready for Clottey? Roach “Not yet, almost” plus Pinoy Power exclusive coverage
On Saturday, February 13thI had the pleasure of watching Nonito Donaire go to work. Las Vegas Hilton looked like an ant farm, booming with people running around in excitement for their favorite fighter to display their skills, and make the fellow countrymen proud. It was a high energy environment, as the staff and fighters of the Pinoy Power and Top Rank began showing up for their warm-up in the dressing rooms. Who made the biggest splash? Of course Nonito himself brought the crowd to a tremendous roar as he arrived, with people screaming his name and waving the “Filipino Flash” flags. But that was nothing in comparison to what the arrival of Manny Pacquiao did to the fans who never expected him to show up. The high-pitched screams of the females and the overwhelming macho roar of the men at Manny’s arrival were so loud, that even my video camera microphone was unable to handle the frequency. There were others who pleased the fans with picture taking and short interviews, such as Winky Wright, Freddie Roach, and Juan Manuel Lopez.
At the beginning of the event, everything went pretty much as expected. Fights were interesting, but still lacked that crowd effect that brings the energy to the venue. As the undercard bouts progressed, more and more people started showing up, and the venue started looking like the read deal. Matt Korobov was able to keep his record blemish- free, stopping Lamar Harris at 1:05 of the first round. When speaking with Matt post fight, he assured me that this was as expected, and that he is ready to fight the top dog any time.
Eric Morel and Gerry Penalosa, in the first half of the fight, Morel was able to cause some cuts by accidental head-buts for the most part, making Gerry’s face a bloody mess. After Freddie Roach made some very aggressive hand gestures, Penalosa put on some pressure in the remainder of the fight, making it seem like the decision was his to win without any doubt. Gerry was landing clean power shots, making Morel wobble a couple of times. When Morel was announced the winner, a very small percentage of the crowd was clapping and screaming in excitement, while the majority booing made the other guys very hard to hear. Scores were 115-113, 116-112 Morel, 115-113 Penelosa.
Many expected Fernando Montiel to get a run for his money from previously unbeaten Ciso Morales. Apparently, Montiel had a different plan in mind. Just after 2:06 of the first round, Morales was on the floor, seemingly in a terrible amount of pain, after Fernando landed a solid left hand to the body. Morale’s first loss was one that he will always feel in the back of his mind, painful and too quick to analyze.
Manuel Vargas was the substitute for Gerson Guererro in his fight against Nonito Donaire. After failing the physical exam, Guererro was unable to proceed with the fight, and Vargas was given this golden opportunity. Some would have called it a blessing then, but are likely calling it a curse now. Vargas seemed out of place when the bell rang. For three consecutive rounds, he had nothing to give or return as Nonito made the fight seem like a sparring session. At 1:33 of the third round, Donaire delivered a left uppercut, sending Vargas to the canvas for good. Vargas did have to go up in weight two divisions to make this fight happen, but the way Nonito handled the fight, it’s hard to believe the weight had anything to do with it.
Before and after the event, I had the opportunity to speak to a few people and ask them some questions. Here are some of the quotes:
V: Is Pacquiao ready for the fight against Clottey?
F: No. Not yet. Almost.
V: Do you think that a change in opponent will have any effect on Nonito?
F: No, he is ready. He will do fine.
V: Freddie, what are your thoughts on the proposed and seemingly signed Jones Jr. vs. Hopkins fight?
F: Who cares. Jones just lost in the first round in Australia. I don’t even know why he would want to take a fight like this.
Nonito Donaire post fight:
V: Nonito, who do you want to fight next? We all know that Vic Darcinyan is looking to fight you…
N: I am looking for him too. I think we are ready to go ahead with this, and I am ready to fight him.
V: When can we expect this fight to happen?
N: It’s hard to tell, but I think that they are ready on their part, and so are we. Maybe late summer.
PS: I am working on a meeting with Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao in the near future. I don’t want to make it an interview kind of meeting, instead I would like to get some questions from the loyal fans of Diamond Boxing. I will ask the questions on behalf of the people, and Freddie along with Manny will reply to them on video. Please feel free to send in your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks
Author: Vitali Shaposhnikov