DALLAS, Texas — If his chin holds up to Manny Pacquiao’s expected bombardment Saturday night, Ghanaian Joshua Clottey said the Filipino pound-for-pound king would be in for a huge trouble.
“If his punches don’t hurt (me), it’s going to be a big problem for him,” said Clottey on Wednesday, boasting that during his training camp in Florida he never got himself in trouble with the guys he sparred with.
“Those who sparred with me, once they hit me, I didn’t feel nothing,” said Clottey, who is a 5-1 underdog in the scheduled 12-round bout for Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown.
Against Pacquiao before an expected sellout crowd of 45,000 at Cowboys Stadium in the neighboring city of Arlington, Clottey is more than confident that even Pacquiao’s best blows would not be enough to stop him from making history.
Even Pacquiao’s vaunted rapid-fire punches coupled with blinding speed, don’t faze the 32-year-old from Accra.
“He (Pacquiao) can throw a thousand punches, but the few that I will throw are the ones that will land, the punches that will hurt him.”
Armed with a 35-3-0 win-loss-draw record with 20 knockouts, Clottey has earned a reputation of being a durable fighter after years of slugging it out with some of the heaviest hitters of the welterweight class.
Clottey’s most memorable bouts were against Antonio Margarito, Zab Judah and the one versus Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, who went through hell in carving out a split decision in his last outing in June 2009 before a throng of Cotto fans in New York.
Pacquiao enters the ring with a 50-3-2 slate with 38 knockouts and his trainer Freddie Roach insists that Clottey will taste his first knockout loss at the hands of Pacquiao.
But that’s not what a vocal member of Team Clottey imparted to a handful of journalists during the interview session following Wednesday afternoon’s press conference.
“Joshua will make Pacquiao quit,” said Kwaku Gyanfi, known as ‘Alligator’ to members of Clottey’s party.
And if Gyanfi’s words turn out to be prophetic, Clottey said he won’t splurge on the $1.2 million purse and an upside on the pay-per-view sales that he is getting.
“If I win this fight, the only thing that I would like to do is make a party for myself in Africa,” said Clottey.
That will be known Saturday night (Sunday Manila time).
Author: NICK GIONGCO