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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Welterweight Wars: Manny Pacquiao – Joshua Clottey & Floyd Mayweather, JR – Shane Mosley

By Geno McGahee

Manny Pacquiao, 50-3, 38 KO’s, Joshua Clottey, 35-3, 20 KO’s, Floyd Mayweather, JR., 40-0, 25 KO’s, and Shane Mosley, 46-5, 39 KO’s, all come together in the near future in showdowns that will shape the future of boxing.

On March 13th, we have the return of Filipino national hero, Manny Pacquiao, as he defends his WBO Welterweight Crown against the challenge of Joshua Clottey. The boxing fans watched as the proposed and nearly signed contest between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, JR., disintegrated. It got dirty as steroids allegations against Manny surfaced from Team Mayweather. Manny countered with a lawsuit and opted out of the fight, electing to take on the challenge of Clottey.

In this welterweight foursome, Clottey is the forgotten man. He isn’t much more than “the opponent” in the estimation of most and many writers are now looking ahead to Pacquiao facing the winner of Mosley – Mayweather. I don’t think that the fans realize the incredible threat that the former IBF Welterweight Champ poses to the Pacman.

How Clottey Beats Pacquiao

Clottey will have to start earlier than usual to avoid losing a close decision, which seems like the most likely scenario going into this fight. In 2007, he took on Diego Corrales, another fighter that was moving up and gave him a systematic beating, winning a wide decision. Pacquiao is a better welterweight then Corrales was, but the standard has been set. This is Clottey’s division. He has been there the majority of his career and will be motivated not to lose to a smaller man. This is the same position that Bernard Hopkins was in when he faced off against smaller man, Felix Trinidad, in 2001. He stopped Trinidad. This is what Clottey hopes to do and it will be what he will do to win this fight.

Clottey has a good punch but he will have to be more aggressive as the rounds go by in order to get the upset TKO win. He must stay behind the defense and start backing Manny up. He has to make Pacquiao realize that he is the smaller man and not just stand there and wait for something to happen. Miguel Cotto controlled Pacquiao in the first round of their fight, but could not adjust when Manny made his adjustments. Clottey must control the fight with his jab from the get-go and keep coming forward, using the consistency which has brought him so much success, leading to a late round TKO.

How Pacquiao Beats Clottey

Despite the lack of marquee value, Clottey is a much tougher opponent for Manny then Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, or Miguel Cotto. This is, arguably, the biggest test in the career of Manny. To come out victorious, he has to use his straight punches, which seem to be the punch that gives Clottey trouble. I don’t think that the hooks of Manny will work that well. He needs to use movement and the punches right down the middle. I don’t think that he will be able to stop Clottey, but he could outwork him, taking a decision.


Manny is so confident right now that it is hard to see him losing to anyone and with Freddie Roach in his corner, you have to assume that he is coming with a strong game plan to come out with a victory, most likely by decision. Pacquiao will take an early lead, have some scares down the stretch, but come out with a win in the 115-113 range with claims from the Clottey camp that they were robbed and many siding with them.

On May 1st, Floyd “Money” Mayweather finally faces off with long time rival “Sugar” Shane Mosley. It was the best option for both men, as Floyd’s mega bout with Pacquiao fell apart, and Andre Berto backed out of his showdown with Shane. They were left without opponents and found each other, making for a very exciting fight, on paper at least.

How Mosley Beats Mayweather

At 38 years old, the lightweight turned light middleweight champion, Mosley, is beyond his better days, but you wouldn’t know it from his destruction of Antonio Margarito in his last fight. You may know it from his performance against the strong yet limited Ricardo Mayorga, where he scored a final round stoppage in a fight that was even at the point of the stoppage.

The victory over Margarito may be misleading. What was Margarito without the loaded gloves? Maybe that was the key to his success in boxing and Mosley exposed a mediocrity. I’m not sold that Mosley has a lot left. He is still very strong and has an iron chin, but his reflexes are not as good as they once were and he might be a few steps too slow to beat Mayweather. BUT there is a ray of hope. Mosley, for what he lacks in youth, he makes up for in ring smarts and ambition. He will have to press the fight and work hard in order to stop Floyd, which should be the goal. He cannot make this a chess game with Floyd. An aggressive Mosley that is trying to win by KO is the one that he needs to be come fight night.

How Mayweather Beats Mosley

Floyd is a defensive expert and has great timing. He is undefeated, left the sport to pursue some other things, returned and looked like he didn’t miss a beat, battering Juan Manuel Marquez and taking a decision. He doesn’t have many weaknesses. To beat Mosley, he only has to fight as he normally does. He adapts to any style. He may have to throw harder punches to keep Shane in his place, but if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Mayweather should box, be cautious, and build up points. He won’t stop Shane, but he could and should win a decision clearly when the dust settles.


It’s a no brainer, really. Floyd is too sharp at this point to lose. Barring any big punch surprising him, I think we can bank on a Floyd UD by scores of 117-111 or 118-110.

These two bouts should once again put Manny and Floyd on a collision course and the money will be greater and the demand will be larger and we will eventually see the two in the ring punching it out for pound for pound supremacy.

Source: ringsidereport.com

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