Friday, March 5, 2010
CLOTTEY READY TO ROLL
Ghana’s Joshua Clottey and his trainer, the well-known and respected cut-man Lenny De Jesus have a great deal of respect for pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao but that doesn’t mean they are not ready to beat him in their showdown at the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium on March 13 in a fight to be telecast in the Philippines on Sunday by Solar Sports.
The strategy will be for Clottey who will come in around 155 pounds at fight time to try to wear down Pacquiao by making him punch himself out in seeking to fulfill trainer Freddie Roach’s prediction of a knockout in nine rounds.
Clottey’s manager Vinny Scolpino was quoted by Mark Vester of boxingscene.com as saying Clottey wants to shut the mouth of Roach … “He wants to beat Freddie Roach. That’s his motivation. He wants to put him in his place. He beats Pacquiao, he puts Freddie in his place too.”
In a telephone conversation with insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports after Clottey’s media workout at the Kingsway Gym in New York, trainer De Jesus said he plans to let Clottey come in at 155 pounds “at the most, so he can move , so he can do his thing. We are ready to roll.”
Asked whether he feels Clottey has an even, fifty-fifty chance, De Jesus shot back, “No, I got a 75 percent chance. The reason being I’m the guy who trained him. I’m the guy that put him in condition. Believe me when I say this is going to be a good fight and a tough fight for Manny Pacquiao in many years and he’s got a real 147 pounder on his hands.”
De Jesus who earlier claimed that Pacquiao made Roach and not the other way around said “it’s going to be tough work for Manny to knock out his kid (Clottey)” pointing out that he can take a big shot.
The trainer who has been in boxing for over 30 years said he had Clottey spar with 175 pounder Alejandro Berrio of Colombia, a knockout artist and said "he did very, very well.” Berrio who lost to Lucien Bute in an IBF super middleweight title fight in October 2007 has a record of 28 knockouts in 29 wins with 5 defeats.
Despite his handling Clottey’s preparation for the WBO welterweight title fight against Pacquiao and predicting that his fighter has a more than even chance of scoring a stunning upset, De Jesus who worked in Pacquiao’s corner in six fights with the last being his first bout with Erik “El Terrible” Morales in 2004 spoke highly of Pacquiao.
De Jesus said “you’ve got to give it to Manny Pacquiao. He has done wonders for boxing and I think he’s the best, even better than the great little guy Flash Elorde.”
Clottey himself noted that Pacquiao comes in and starts throwing punches and said he’ll be ready because, the Ghanian pointed out, “ My body can take it. When he throws punches at me I will block him and that will confuse him.”
Clottey said in reply to Pacquiao’s 30 punches he will throw 4 and “the four will connect while I will block most of the 30. I will wear him down for sure.”
Author: Ronnie Nathanielsz