Thursday, March 4, 2010
CLOTTEY TRAINER LENNY DE JESUS SAYS PACQUIAO HAS A REAL FIGHT ON HIS HANDS
Well known boxing trainer and respected cut-man Lenny De Jesus says Ghana’s Joshua Clottey is going to give pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao a rough time when they clash in “The Event” at the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium on March 13.
In an exclusive overseas telephone interview with insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports, De Jesus said Clottey “ is in tremendous condition and I think we are going to give all we’ve got against Manny Pacquiao.” And by De Jesus' estimates that may be a little too much for the "Fighter of the Decade."
De Jesus noted that the former world champion is “a solid 147 pounder, very strong. A lot of people underestimate him but I stress that Manny Pacquiao has a real fight on his hands. I think this is going to be a real test with a strong and a willing competitor.”
The Clottey trainer who is in charge of his training camp and basically does everything, reminded us that he had worked with Pacquiao in six fights, the last being the first Erik Morales bout in June 2004 in which Pacquiao suffered a nasty gash over his eye because of an accidental clash of heads although referee Joe Cortez mistakenly ruled the cut was caused by a punch.
De Jesus’ work on the cut contributed to Pacquiao being able to go the full twelve rounds although he lost a unanimous decision. De Jesus was dropped from Team Pacquiao after a new management team headed by Shelly Finkel took over from Murad Muhammad and business manager Rod Nazario.
De Jesus who trained Clottey in Fort Lauderdale, Florida told us he is back in New York along with Clottey who trains at John’s Gym in the Bronx and they would be leaving for Dallas on Monday.
He described Clottey as “a wonderful person and an athlete like anybody else” even as he conceded that he lost a close fight to Miguel Cotto because Clottey “needed to do a little more in the winner’s rounds and if you do nothing in those rounds” the judges won’t take notice. De Jesus worked as cut-man of Clottey in that fight.
The likeable De Jesus who is Puerto Rican said he’s into boxing more than before and working with many fighters since he parted from Pacquiao after the new management team took over.
De Jesus was shocked over the news that Nazario passed away a few months ago and extended his condolences to Nazario’s family having worked with Nazario during the early years of Pacquiao.
De Jesus admitted that he would have “loved to stay with Manny Pacquiao because he was a rough diamond” even as he made it clear that in his mind “Freddie Roach didn’t make Manny Pacquiao, Manny Pacquiao made Freddie Roach because Manny was already a star when he got here from Manila.”
De Jesus who has been in boxing for over three decades was thrust into the role of Clottey’s trainer after the Ghana fighter’s regular trainer Godwin Nii Dzanie Kotey failed to obtain a renewal of his American visa at the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana.
Clottey’s manager Vinny Scolpino had earlier dismissed attempts to picture Clottey as having an inferior corner to that of Pacquiao with Roach. He said “We are happy with Lenny. He has 30 years of experience in boxing and much more experience beyond being a cut-man.”
Author: Ronnie Nathanielsz