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Friday, January 29, 2010


Despite not having Mayweather’s pedigree and proper resources at his disposal at the beginning of his career Pacquiao has become arguably the best boxer of our generation. But, a number of boxing fans and so called boxing “experts” continue to deny him all the credit that he deserves.

His total body of work is second to none when compared to other great boxers of our generation. He’s only one of a handful of fighters in history that has surpassed his potential and expectations. This rare accomplishment should be appreciated by boxing fans and analysts.

Still his wins and accomplishments are too often downgraded and attributed to his opponents’ shortcomings instead of his ability to find a way to win. Many of his critics ignored his win versus Oscar De La Hoya since the latter was supposedly past his prime and weight drained. Yet, many of those critics knew those circumstances beforehand and still picked Oscar because they did not think that Manny had the boxing ability to pull out a victory.

But a funny thing happened as Pacquiao not only beat Oscar but did it in a dominating fashion. Then he followed that up with a performance for the ages against Hatton. Once again, more attention was given to the assumption that Hatton was washed up and no longer an elite fighter. The fact is that no one had beaten Hatton at 140 and was still in his prime.

Pacquiao’s record in the lower weight classes had also been put into question. Some accuse him of ducking Tim Austin and Rafael Marquez by skipping the Bantamweight Division. Pacquiao would have fought those fighters in heart beat if given the chance. What most boxing fans fail to realize was that Filipino fighters despite of their talent and accomplishments had a difficult time obtaining a fight in the U.S.

Many promoters did not think that there was a market for Filipino fighters. The only visible Filipino fighter here in the U.S. during the 90’s was Luisito Espinosa. Pacquiao was a champion at flyweight and had a solid record, yet only Freddie Roach and Murach Muhammad were willing to take a chance on him.

Nonito Donaire validated this issue in an interview at Eastside Boxing when he said " Early in my career I could not get a fight, I was the one that was chosen on two days notice. I never had the choice to make things happen. When I tried to sign with managers in the past I was told that Filipinos were not marketable. I was told that Filipino fighters couldn’t break an egg…but Manny has helped change all of that and we are thankful for everything he has done for the Filipino boxing world."

There is no doubt Pacquiao would have accepted a fight with either Austin or Marquez since a fight with either fighter would have given him his highest payday and the recognition that he had been seeking. The same reason that he took a fight with a respectable champion in Lehlohonolo Ledwaba on two weeks’ notice.

Another criticism that has been thrown at Pacquiao is the issue of catchweights. But many fighters including Leonard, Chavez, Hearns, and Hopkins have all had catchweight fights. Yet, no one has taken more heat than the current Pound for Pound King. He’s only had one catchweight fight, which was against Cotto, who is one of the better welterweights around and it was at a fair weight of 145. Sure, he could have stayed at 140 and cleaned out the division, but he chose to take on a greater challenge as he always does. Oscar De La Hoya, once mentioned that it’s more difficult to become a multi-divisional champion than to clean out a division.

His thirst for the best of challenges is the main reason that he’s now considered by most as the best fighter Pound for Pound today. The impressive win against Cotto further enhanced his legacy and no matter what happens from now on, his place among the greats will remain secured. Even his most ardent critics are finding it more difficult not to give him the respect that he deserves.

But why did it take so long for fans and analysts to fully appreciate Pacquiao? It’s because it’s something different and unexpected. Who would have thought that a Filipino would be considered not only the best boxer, but arguably the most bankable superstar in a sport usually dominated by Americans and Latinos?

Remember when the U.S. basketball team started to lose in the Olympics? We had a difficult time accepting that other nations were catching up with us in terms of basketball skills. Just imagine if the Americans started dominating the sport of soccer. Soccer fans from Latin and European nations no doubt would find excuses to downplay the accomplishment of the U.S soccer team.

It’s just human nature to find it difficult to accept something different. Some have even brought up the issue that Pacquiao supposedly has not face any black fighters. But when confronted with the facts that he fought Agapito Sanchez and Ledwaba; those critics modified their criticism to how Pacquiao had not fought any African American fighters. The fact is when Pacquiao was at the lower weight classes he fought the best and the top fighters just happened to be Asians and Latinos.

It’s also a generational issue; some people just cannot accept the fact that an athlete from today has reached the same level as their sport heroes from the past. It’s impossible to compare fighters from different eras because there is no way to prove who was better. It’s also been proven in history that just as records are made to be broken, another athlete is bound to arise to set new standard in his/her respective sport. We saw this with Tiger Woods in golf and Michael Jordan in basketball.

It’s time to appreciate Manny Pacquiao as he personifies our ideal athlete; one with an undying desire to continually improve and provide the best performance to the fans. He’s earned every bit of the success and accolades that he has garnered. For a non-American who barely spoke English to become one of the most popular athletes in the world only shows the significance of his accomplishments.

However, it should be noted that Pacquiao’s success is not only attributed to his work ethic but by the choices he’s made. While others chose the path of money, Pacquiao chose the path to greatness. He may not be the most technically skilled fighter, but the most gifted and talented don’t always become the best. It’s about maximizing your potential and meeting the expectations that you set for yourself. Manny Pacquiao has achieved that and it’s the reason that he’s secured in his legacy and is in a “win-win” situation no matter what he does from here on out.

Author: Oliver Suarez

Source: PhilBoxing.com


1. The conditioning regimen of Filipino boxers from the Philippines must be improved.

How many times have we seen talented Filipino boxers be given opportunities to display their skills or fight a ‘known’ fighter only to fall short at the end due to their poor conditioning. Most of the time, the conditioning can be attributed to the work ethic of the fighter; but when it’s consistently a problem and not attributed to just one boxer, then the conditioning regimen must be evaluated.

Losing to an opponent because he was better or more skilled might be easier to accept than losing due to poor conditioning. These young Filipino boxers have had to sacrifice a lot of things, which include being away from their families and should be given the best preparation before their bouts.

2. The trainers must be evaluate teaching methods and provide Filipino fighters a more versatile game plan.

When watching many of the Filipino fighters from the Philippines today, it seems that fighters from certain boxing stables have similar styles. From the outside looking in, one can reasonably assume that fighters are being pigeonholed to a specific style. It might assist the fighters attain some level of success but it might not necessarily be conducive in maximizing their talent and athletic abilities

Sometimes it is wiser to suit one’s training methods to a fighter’s own style and physical abilities. Manny Pacquiao is considered one of the best boxers in history and a great percentage of that can be attributed to the guidance of Freddie Roach. But what is overlooked is how Roach never changed Pacquiao’s style. Instead, he polished his skills and added techniques to further enhance the effectiveness of Pacquiao’s agressive and unorthodox style.

Also, there have been numerous fights involving Filipino fighters, where they were clearly winning the early rounds only to lose when their opponent adjusted to what they were doing earlier in the fight and they failed to do the same. The trainers must create a more creative game plan that includes multiple strategies depending on the adjustments made by the opponent.

3. The people who are responsible for managing the young and talented Filipino boxers should place more importance in those decisions that can affect their careers positively in the long term.

In many cases, young Filipino boxers are rushed to take advantage of the rising Filipino market in boxing. In the short term, the boxers and their handlers can quickly make a paycheck.

But is it beneficial for their career in the long term?

Remember Fernando Lumacad, who fought Fernando Montiel? He was outclassed and completely dominated. What is worse is that most people perceive him now as a ‘quitter’, even though he was put in a position where the outcome of the fight was to be expected. Bernabe Concepcion also had a fight with Steven Luevano and was disqualified due to a late hit. He was successful in first couple of rounds, but became frustrated when the Luevano adjusted and started controlling the fight with his jab.

The problem is many times such as the case for Lumacad and Concepcion, is that they’ve never been with any notable opponent prior to facing Montiel and Luevano respectively. They had never even fought a top ten contender before facing the fighters mentioned above. Young fighters must be put in the best position to win, and pitting them against elite opponents without preparing them properly can most often than not affect their career negatively.

4. Young Filipino boxers should be brought along slowly, but at the same time pitting them against fighters that will help them become prepared in future fights against elite opponents.

This includes not padding their record by constantly feeding them journeymen fighters, washed up Thai champions and fighters, whose styles are tailor made for them.

Fighters must be brought up slowly, but the quality of their opponents should also improve in each of their succeeding fights. They should be pitted against fighters of different styles so they can learn to adjust independently inside the ring.

Another important fact that must be considered is to let the best Filipino fighters fight each other. One of the main reasons that many young prospects from the Philippines have not attained the success once envisioned for them is the lack of quality of opponents in their resume. How can one maximize his potential when he doesn’t fight the best? Today it’s rare for a Filipino fighter to fight another Filipino fighter of equal talent.

You will never see a Bernabe Concepcion vs. Rey Bautista because their handlers want to build them up and doesn’t want them to face another high profile Filipino prospect because it might hinder them from getting a chance to fight abroad. In the short term, a greater number of hyped up prospect will receive the chance to be fight abroad and in front of a wider audience, but if they keep achieving only a level of mediocrity, the interest from promoters abroad will soon subside and Filipino boxers might fall again into obscurity especially after Pacquiao retires.

Author: Oliver Suarez

Source: boxing.fighthype.com

The only thing that can KO Manny Pacquiao is Politics

Whether it’s in the sport of boxing or in his homeland, the only thing that can knockout Manny Pacquiao is politics. For a man that has so many God given talents, politics might not be one of them. Manny can unite a country in the ring, but can he do it outside of the ring? Well, the answer to that question depends on who you talk to. Let’s examine this further.

Politics in Boxing
It’s refreshing to see a fighter of Manny’s stature that just wants to fight the top fighters. Actually, it’s beyond refreshing, it’s almost unheard of in today’s sports. However, the negotiations between PacMan’s camp and Money Mayweather’s camp for the “Fight of the Century” crashed and burned because of politics. Politics KO’d the most anticipated fight in years; and only Politics can KO Manny in boxing. But, will the experience of this political disaster help Manny outside of the ring as he runs for political office in 2010?

Pacquiao’s Political desires

* "I have a loud voice, and I wish to use it for those who have not been heard. There are important issues that need to be addressed, and I want to shine the brightest light possible on them."..Manny Pacquiao (source: N.E. Boxing Examiner)

Well, Manny has the brightest light possible to shine on these issues. He has the sincerity and the stardom to bring change. The challenge would be, do his countrymen believe that he can bring change and be a great leader? The world has seen many great athletes try and become politicians. They had the star power and the sincerity but it didn’t translate into success. California is a perfect example of this.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is our Governor and since he took office, our state’s deficit went from dangerous to disastrous. Many people have grown to hate the man even though they were first in line to vote for him in the beginning. Robert Sanchez, Sacramento, CA “I used to love Arnold. I have all his movies and bodybuilding magazines. But, he has led this state straight down the toilet”..

However, on our local front, Sacramento Mayor, and former NBA All-Star, Kevin Johnson has been succeeding as a politician. Doug Jones, Sacramento, CA “All these critics said KJ couldn’t be a successful Mayor. Yet, look at him now. He’s making things happen.”

Personally, I still like Arnold. He’s the greatest body builder of all-time. However, he’s not a great politician. And there are a few who think that Manny shouldn’t even go down this political road and he should just withdraw his candidacy. They believe Manny would be KO’d if he tried.

Pacquiao’s Political Critics

* "No doubt, he is naturally intelligent. But, the intricacy of a congressional seat requires academic intelligence, which Pacquiao does not have nor does he have that par with Roy Chongbian, who is also running for the same seat from the Chiongbian dynasty that reigns in the province of Sarangani for over two decades now. So Pacquiao's best option is to withdraw his candidacy." Monsignor Roger Fuentes (source: Maharlikan Times)

* "Everybody has the right to run if he feels he has the calling as far as politics is concerned. That is his own personal decision but as I was mentioning to him even before when he ran against Darlene Antonino he better stay with boxing and as we can see he's really a world boxing champion, having seven weight divisions. That's where he excels. I think he should stay that way.”.. Erwin Chiongbian (source: N.E. Boxing Examiner)

The Political Knock Out
My biggest concern about Pacquiao’s political aspirations is that we will no longer get to see him as a boxer. In an interview with Examiner.com’s Brad Cooney, Manny made the following comments in response to Brad’s question of boxing while in political “office”: “Maybe I will keep on fighting.”

Maybe? Now that’s concerning news. I know that he can’t go on forever, even though some of us think he’s “immortal”, but nobody wants to see his career end sooner rather than later. If so, then Politics (and only politics) would truly KO Pacquiao.

Author:Rick Rockwell


What if Clottey beats Pacquiao, What Then?

What are the ramifications for Manny Pacquiao if Ghanian Joshua Clottey defeats him at the Cowboy’s stadium on March 13th. Will Pacquiao’s world come tumbling down around him like Tysons did in 1990, when massive underdog James Buster Dougles knocked him out in the Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan.

What will happen with the much anticipated Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather mega-fight? A sure matchup between Tyson and Holyfield was in tatters after Iron Mike’s defeat in Tokyo. The bout did take place six years later, but Tyson’s antics outside the ring had a huge part to play. Nevertheless had Mike Tyson not been sent to Prison a Holyfield bout would have been somewhat in the distance, as he was already rebuilding his career after the Dougles defeat.

Clottey has only fought a few top tier opponents during his career, losing to two of them, Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto. But on occasions fighters rise above, sometimes a fighter has that one moment that defines his career. When against all the odds everything falls into place for him, what better motivation does Joshua Clottey need than sharing a ring with the hugely popular pound for pound king and staged in one of the greatest venues on the planet.

Tommy “The Duke” Morrison was all but ready for a fight with Riddick Bowe until he ran into the right hand of Michell Bentt and was blown away in the first round when the two met in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1993.

You could be forgiven for thinking Wladimir Klitschko was on a collision course with WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, only for Mr Sanders to spoil the party knocking Wladimir out in the second round in Germany, 2003.

Zab Judah was somewhat fortunate to keep the fight with Flod Mayweather on track, considering three months earlier he lost his WBC welterweight title to Carlos Baldomir. But with the defeat the fight lost something and did not seem as important on the greater scheme of things. I have no doubt Miguel Cotto would have shared a ring with Oscar De La Hoya had he got past Antonio Margarito.

And Roy Jones Jr losing to Danny Green could have upset the applecart with a Bernard Hopkins fight on the horizon, and probably would have if it occurred five or six years ago, but this fight is all about cashing in. So was never in doubt from the fighters standpoint.

The list goes on, boxing has no script. Anything can happen anywhere, anytime and more importantly to anyone. It’s happened to the best of them and if it happens to the Pac-Man he won’t be the last.

Obviously if Clottey where to win a rematch would be imminent, and that very clause probably resides tucked away in some filing cabinet as of writing (sending a Pacquiao – Mayweather bout even further into the distance). Another opportunity to face the biggest name in boxing, and be in a position to get a bigger slice of the cake, it would be the best offer out there for the Clottey. I’m guessing he would also want to prove the first fight was no fluke either.

Source: theboxinghistorian.com


The World Boxing Council has named pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao as "The Boxer of the Year" following his devastating victories over Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton and WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto last year.

The WBC saluted Pacquiao who has set a record of winning seven world titles in seven different weight divisions and as the First Diamond World Champion of the pre-eminent boxing organization and holder of the very first and historic Diamond green and gold belt.

WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman made the announcement based on voting by the World Boxing Council, Mexican journalists and fans through the WBC website. Sulaiman said the awardees would be hnored in a special gala ceremony in February although no date has been set as yet.

Named "World Champion of the Year" is the king of the heavyweights, Vitali Klitschko, of Ukraine, with a total of three defenses which was more than the usual number of title dvefenses by a heavyweight within within such period of time.

Klitschko knocked out Juan Carlos Gomez and Chris Arreola in March and September, respectively, and also defeated Kevin Johnson in a very clear decision.

Undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr won the award for the "Comeback of the Year". Mayweather returned almost two years after he announced his retirement and scored a lopsided unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.

Mayweather has won five championships as well as five green and gold belts in five different WBC divisions, having faced rivals of the highest level of recognition in the world.

Voted the "Revelation of the Year" was Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, of Mexico, with a record of 30 wins, 22 of them by knockout and a draw.

With seven wins in the year “Canelo” has already become an idol of Mexican fans.

Author: Ronnie Nathanielsz

Source: PhilBoxing.com

Pacquiao – Clottey “The Event” and what’s good for boxing

Pacquiao Vs. Clottey- The Event scheduled on March 13th Live from Cowboys Stadium, will be Pacquiao’s toughest fight. I have been hearing and reading that many believe that this will be an easy fight for the Pac-Man. Many are even saying that Pacquiao is going to knock out Clottey. As much as I love the Pac-Man’s fire assault that he brings, I just feel that Clottey is going to be at his very best. Clottey feels that he has been overlooked alot, a whole lot, Clottey also has been hearing that he can not step on the gas when needed. I am expecting a very determined and trigger happy Clottey to appear come March 13. Pacquiao will need to dart in and out with his blazing speed and fire out his deadly combinations. I see a very close fight that could very well go either way, the fact that Pacquiao has never met anyone close to the style of Clottey, and the fact that Clottey has never faced a anyone close to the style of Pacquiao, makes it harder to pick a winner in this one. The Event can not get here soon enough.

Allan Green to seize the Opportunity- When the Super 6 tournament was first announced, I was loving the idea, I just was not loving the idea of Allan Green not being included. With Jermain Taylor exiting the tournament, Allan Green will now make his entrance. Green will enter the tournment in April, in April Green will take on a major player on the rise in Andre Ward Live from Oaktown. Green will have his hands full with Ward, Tarvis Simms gave Green some trouble this past October, Ward, like Simms is a thinking boxer that can adjust and dig into his bag of tricks. Green, however is coming to the west coast to make a statement. Should be a great battle.

I want Gamboa/Lopez now and not later- I thought that the whole idea of pinning Lopez and Gamboa in these double headers was to pair them up to do battle this year in 2010, and not in 2011. I’m hearing that Uncle Bob stated that we can F ourselves and that he would rather build this into the greatest featherweight fight of all time. I am all for building up a pebble into a mountain, but unless Uncle Bob is planning to keep Gamboa and Lopez undefeated until the Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend of 2011, then what’s the point? I feel that both fighters are hot right now so now is the time to strike while the iron is hot. I would say that it would be best to do another double header with both fighters some time in May, then Gamboa vs. Lopez towards the end of the year. This is a fight that fans want to see, this is a fight that fans want to see now, and not 1 or 2 years from now. In order for our beloved sport to continue to bloom, we must keep watering it daily. The second we take a day off just to do what benefits Uncle Bob’s pockets the most, that is when the sport will live in it’s final days and will no longer continue to grow. I was very turned off by his comment, as you can tell. I feel that giving the fans what they want is always the way to go. Especially the hardcore Fans, the hardcore fans are the most loyal in the sport. Bob has been in this business a long time, so I know that Bob knows what he is doing. In saying that, I don’t tend to wonder much about what Bob has in store for us. The one thing that I find myself wondering about these days is, What will Bob then do when Chris John and Celestino Caballero join forces to run a smear campaign on Gamboa/Lopez 2011? Is keeping Gamboa and Lopez far away from John and Caballero in Bob’s plans? I sure hope not, because that would also be cheating out the fans out of great potential fights.

author: Albert Alvarez

Pac Man's Real Power Pellets: Pacquiao's remarkable dedication to boxing and his country

I'm sure most of us here are young or old enough -- whichever is the case -- to be familiar with the video game character Manny Pacquiao's moniker is taken after.

Take the first syllables of his first and last name, flip its order and there you have it- a nickname that was once synonymous to video gaming is now one of the most recognizable aliases in boxing.

Pac Man.

And just like his video game counterpart, Pacquiao is relentless and does not stop working. He's been a hard worker from day one either doing construction work or hustling some items like garlic and donuts to re-sell.

See that's the difference. Poverty is never a good thing but Pacquiao managed to turn it into motivation to write one of the all-time great success stories.

You have fighters who grew up in boxing gyms. You have poor kids who came from ghetto housing looking for a way out. But you got to understand, America's ghetto, in the Philippines, is called living comfortable. And that's no exaggeration. To be poor in the Philippines means eating one meal a day. Living under makeshift carton houses built by hand. There's no YMCA, welfare, Boys and Girls club or soup kitchens you can run to just like that. Yea, there are humanitarian efforts, but believe me, Americans got it made. Any American who's been to the rough parts of the Philippines can attest to that.

It's that same struggle- real struggle- that toughened up Pacquiao. That he has a kind enough heart to realize that millions are out there still left behind is also a blessing in its own rite. Yes, there are plenty of great athletes out there, but Pacquiao truly has a great heart. And that's what keeps him hungry and motivated- his people. The same people who are living the struggles he hurdled. They live their dreams through his success. And with his success, he is provided means to give back, help out, bring honor and put a sparkle in their weary eyes.

Pacquiao's drug, like the yellow Pac Man's power pellets, is his commitment to his craft which allows him to carry his nation on his back. Checks and cash can be spent. Legacies can be tarnished and characters can be assassinated. But one thing that nobody can take away from him, is his love for his country and boxing- that's why his fans love him that much back. Just take a look around you, not even the biggest names can sway Pacquiao's loyal followers and plant doubts in their heads. You can not manufacture that kind of respect. No amount of press releases, PR moves and ESPN coverage can overcome the truth.

It's not steroids man. It's called commitment. It's called dedication. It's called love. Pacquiao loves the sport of boxing and continues to try to improve despite being the best. A lot of these other athletes, they reach the top, and the fame and fortune gets to their heads.

Think about it. Wasn't it just a couple of months ago when Pacquiao went to war with Cotto? Pac could've rested. Pac could've chilled. He could've very well cherry-picked an easy opponent or focused on enjoying his money or his ambitions in politics. But where is Pac now? He is up there at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood training his heart out while these other big named fighters focus on running their mouths. NOBODY OUT THERE WORKS HARDER THAN MANNY PACQUIAO. Believe it! I've seen it. And everyone else who has, will agree with that statement.

What's scary, Pacquiao really just keeps on upgrading. Did you see him doing mitts with Roach while in an orthodox stance in a video from a local Philippine TV station? I don't care what steroids a person takes, and the Mayweathers said it themselves, you can't take anything to gain skills and intellect in the ring. Just ask Fernando Vargas. Pacquiao has improved dramatically through the years under Roach. He always had speed, power and all of these physical attributes these doubters keep on wanting to point out. Since fighting in America, Pacquiao has never been knocked down (Well, there was that slip against Barrera and that low blow from Sanchez, but you get my point) and has been knocking people out left and right. Roach has done a fine job putting everything together and turning Pacquiao into the ultimate boxing machine.

None of that is possible if it weren't for Pacquiao's dedication to the sport of boxing. Gone were the days where he was staying late shooting pool and drinking beer. How come people forget about that? This is the focused and upgraded version of what was already a sensation. Give the man his due respect instead of spitting ridiculous baseless stories talking about he's on some ancient 'bulletproofing' stuff. As long as Pacquiao has that desire in him to be the best and make his country proud, he will continue to astonish and defy logic just like Pac Man will continue to chomp on his villains.
And just like the game, make sure you enjoy it while you can because no matter how great something is, nothing lasts forever.

Author: Dennis "dSource" Guillermo

Source: examiner.com

10 questions going into the Pacquiao-Clottey fight

1. Is Clottey a worthy opponent? Short answer: yes. Pacquiao is THE RING’s No. 1-rated welterweight; Clottey is No. 5. That’s a good matchup. The Ghanian is coming off a loss to Miguel Cotto, one of the most-respected fighters in the world, but some believe he did enough to win a close decision. Clottey has never been knocked out and has good defensive skills, which means he’ll probably survive at least until the late rounds. That said, it’s difficult to get excited about Clottey’s chances or the fighter himself. He’s merely a very good boxer with pretty good power, which won’t be enough to stave off a fierce, quick-handed marvel like Pacquiao. The Filipino is roughly a 4-1 favorite for a reason. And Pacquiao went from Floyd Mayweather Jr. to a relative unknown for his opponent. A drop off that enormous will limit the buzz surrounding the fight.

2. Can Pacquiao hurt Clottey? Pacquiao has faced two welterweights. One, Oscar De La Hoya, could barely fight back. The other, Cotto, doesn’t have the best chin in the world. Clottey is different. The reason he has never been knocked out is he can take a punch. He has proved that over and over again. Thus, there is a very real possibility that the Clottey will remain standing for the full 12 rounds. I don’t see that happening, though. I believe Pacquiao has legitimate welterweight power. Plus, Clottey has never seen this kind of hand speed or punches coming from so many unpredictable directions. The punches that hurt opponents most are the ones they don’t see coming. Pacquiao might not take Clottey out with one punch but an accumulation of them should do the job. If not? Doesn’t matter. Pacquiao will just outbox his inferior foe.

3. Are Pacquiao’s last four victories misleading because of the opposition? Pacquiao supporters will roll their eyes when they read this but it’s a legitimate question. Diaz is good but limited; De La Hoya had nothing left; Hatton was overrated and some will argue that Cotto never fully recovered from the beating he took from Margarito. So what does that say about Pacquiao? Not much. As his trainer, Freddie Roach, has pointed out, we thought these opponents were all pretty good going into their meetings with Pacquiao. It was afterward, for the most part, that we began to question to them. Clottey might actually be the most-difficult to criticize even after the fact because he has had a fine career and has shown no signs of decline. Still, some will find serious fault with him and anyone else Pacquiao fights short of Mayweather or Mosley. The bottom line is that he’s destroying whomever they put in front of him. Let’s enjoy it.

4. Has Pacquiao’s reputation taken a hit after the failed negotiations with Mayweather? I don’t think so. Most fans seemed to blame Mayweather for the impasse, insisting that he was out of line to make blood-testing demands outside normal protocol even though Pacquiao has never failed a drug test. I also don’t think many people believe he has taken performance-enhancing drugs. Most adhere to the innocent-until-proven-guilty philosophy, which is the only fair approach to take. Undoubtedly, a small percentage feel strongly that he should’ve taken the blood test two weeks before the fight if he had nothing to hide. And a smaller percentage, those convinced he couldn’t have such success at heavier weights without some help, will accuse Pacquiao of wrong doing. That’s a very small group, though. He is relatively unscathed.

5. Will Pacquiao suffer a letdown after his epic showdown with Mayweather fell through? Not a chance. Pacquiao is the most-focused, most-professional boxer I’ve ever seen in spite of myriad distractions. In part, that’s just how he is. He is so committed that he left his homeland and traveled halfway around the world seeking a good trainer simply because he wanted to tap into what he knew was vast potential. The fact he has the hopes and dreams of an entire nation on his shoulders also is an immensely powerful motivating factor. He knows too much is riding on every fight to let down. And even if he were to slip up, Roach would be there to give him a good kick in the behind. Pacquiao will be as ready as ever on March 13.

6. Could Pacquiao’s demanding schedule the past few years catch up to him? Pacquiao, 31, hasn’t had a particularly hard fight since the rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez in March of 2008. He cruised past David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, although the first few rounds against Cotto were brutal. However, Pacquiao, one of the hardest workers in the world, has been training diligently to perfect his craft for 15 years without a significant break. That includes countless sparring sessions in which he has absorbed considerable punishment. Also, no one has a more hectic and demanding personal schedule than the Filipino idol. It’s not farfetched to wonder whether all of the above will take a toll on him at some point.

7. How many people will attend the fight at the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas? An estimated 20,000 tickets were sold the first day they were available. That’s probably a tribute to Pacquiao’s growing popularity in the U.S., a large number of boxing-friendly Latinos in the Dallas area, a strong sports culture in Texas and the novelty of the first boxing card there. The stadium reportedly will be configured for 45,000 seats. I doubt that many people will buy tickets but I won’t be surprised to see a large crowd. I suspect the atmosphere will be festive but those in attendance shouldn’t necessarily expect electricity. I attended the Wladimir Klitschko-Ruslan Chagaev fight at a packed 60,000-seat soccer stadium in Germany and the energy dwindled to nothing when it became clear that Klitschko was going to win easily. Then again, the 126,000-seat Estadio Azteca in Mexico City rocked throughout the Julio Cesar Chavez-Greg Haugen fight.

8. How many pay-per-view buys will the fight generate? Pacquiao-Mayweather, featuring the two biggest pay-per-view draws in the U.S., might’ve smashed records by generating a record 3 million-plus buys. Pacquiao-Clottey? I think 800,000-900,000 –- or just shy of the 1 million Pacquiao-Cotto drew -- is realistic. Clottey isn’t nearly the attraction Cotto is in part because he doesn’t have a Latino fan base in the U.S. However, the fascination with Pacquiao is still growing and the unusual venue -– Cowboys Stadium -– adds to the appeal of the event. Plus, Antonio Margarito’s return from suspension would give the show a significant bump if he receives a license in Texas.

9. What if Pacquiao wins? Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, has come up with a fascinating plan to have his star attraction fight Antonio Margarito this year if the disgraced Mexican fighter receives a license in Texas. That would be a very lucrative matchup. The fact Margarito would be returning from his suspension in California –- for illegal hand wraps -– and a large following among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans would make him a hot commodity and the fight much more attractive than Pacquiao-Clottey. Thus, we might be looking at 2011 for the Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown. That’s assuming neither of the star participants slips up in the meantime and can get past blood-testing issues in the end.

10. What if Clottey wins? A Clottey victory would turn the boxing world upside down. Suddenly, the sport’s most-popular figure would be exposed as human after all and lose the remarkable momentum that has experts comparing him to the greatest fighters of all time. The landscape would be far less interesting, to say the least. Pacquiao would remain an attraction –- particularly if he could beat Clottey in a rematch -– but he probably would never be quite the same. Pacquiao-Mayweather or Pacquiao-Mosley would still be big but, with a diminished Pacquiao, wouldn’t smash pay-per-view records. Clottey would set himself up for some healthy paydays but will never be a true star. This is fantasy, though: Clottey isn’t going to win.

Author: By Michael Rosenthal

Source: ringtv.com

Pacquiao pulls no punches and neither do the fans

The pound for pound king, Manny Pacquiao seems fed up. Yes, he has a big fight coming up on March 13th against Joshua Clottey, but he and everyone else knows that it was supposed to have been against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Of course everyone knows by now what happened. Mayweather's demands on random blood testing threw a wrench into the planned fight, and that was that.

Recently this writer spoke with Pacquiao and got his thoughts on the Floyd Mayweather Jr saga, " I don't what his story is. I don't know why he (Mayweather) would accuse me like that." Pacquiao would go on to say, "The boxing fans and the Filipino boxing fans believe that Floyd is just making an alibi to cancel the fight, he's not ready to fight."

Mississippians chimed in with their thoughts on what Pacquiao had to say. Recently this writer toured the local Jackson, MS sports bar scene and learned that the majority of the fans favored Pacquiao. After reading this latest interview, most fans gained even more respect for Manny. David Jones of Jackson, MS is disgusted with Mayweather, and he pulled no punches, "Man this Mayweather character sure knows how to screw up a good thing. I think Manny is right, Mayweather is just afraid that he will lose. Pacquiao told it like it is, Mayweather is afraid."

During the tour in Jackson, this writer discovered that although most favored Pacquiao, not everyone did. Ricky Ranson, a Floyd Mayweather fan didn't pull any punches with his thoughts on Pacquiao. Ranson agrees that Pacquiao is a dangerous fighter, but feels that Mayweather is better, " Yea Pacquiao is doing his thing, but he never in his life ever faced someone as good as Floyd. And you know what? Maybe it's Manny that is scared. Why throw millions away because you don't want to give a little blood? What is he hiding?"
Manny Pacquiao has his theory as to why this fight didn't happen, he said it clearly yesterday, "I think he is scared to lose. I think he knows that if he fights me, he has a good chance to lose."

There are a lot of opinions on this whole Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao saga. Most favor Pacquiao, but not everyone does. Next up for Pacquiao is Joshua Clottey, and after that fight we will see if a Mayweather fight can ever get done. Time will tell what the future will hold, but one thing is clear and that is that on March 13th Pacquiao will be in action, and Floyd Mayweather will be watching.

Author: Brad Cooney

Source: examiner.com

Clottey appeals to Ghana President for visa

WBO welterweight title challenger and Ghana native Joshua Clottey may be receiving the full support of his countrymen for his upcoming March 13th bout with pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao in Arlington, Texas. However, U.S. embassy officials in Ghana's capital, Accra, are giving the boxer fits.

Having denied Clottey's coach Godwin Kotey and his assistant Daniel Clottey could prove to be a big liability for a fighter facing the speedy and powerful Pacquiao. Clottey interrupted his training schedule and flew from New York to Ghana earlier this week to personally press his team's case for the temporary visas.

At a press conference organized by the Ghana Boxing Authority, several officials and boxing personalities were in attendance to support their fellow Ghanaian. Clottey, however, appeared emotional at the prospect of not being able to work with his trusted coach.

Modern Ghana reports that Clottey broke down in tears midway through his press conference due to his coach's inability to travel to the U.S. Clottey has repeatedly stated that facing Manny Pacquiao is the biggest fight of his career.

U.S. State Department officials remain extremely cautious with temporary visas, especially from applications originating from Africa, due to the negative fallout from being unable to recognize security threats that came from the continent late last year. Clottey is reportedly appealing to Ghana President Atta Mills to resolve the matter. Ghanaian officials are also said to be working behind closed doors with U.S. embassy officials stationed in Accra.

Working with a new trainer could prove costly for Clottey as he faces an unconventional southpaw fighter with speed and movement, and one who throws punches at a variety of angles.
Houston-based trainer Jay Johns offered his thoughts on the upcoming Pacquiao vs Clottey bout. Johns has worked with boxers such as Evander Holyfield, Kermit Cintron, Juan Diaz, and Omar Henry.

Author: Marv Dumon

Source: examiner.com

Pacquiao wants Mayweather, but is the feeling mutual?

Freddie Roach has gone on the record as saying that Floyd Mayweather is still the fight Manny wants, and that he wants to shut Floyd up once and for all for damaging his reputation. While usually this might sound like the beginnings of another attempt to get the fight made by the two camps, one question remaining is whether Floyd still wants the fight after all.

While Manny and several members of his team have said that they think the fight will be made eventually, Mayweather and his Golden Boy representatives have been largely quiet on the subject

While still mulling over opponents for his next fight, Mayweather’s mind might well be far away from the idea of Manny Pacquiao and the whole mess that took place over the new year between them.

So far all we know about Mayweather and his intentions for the future are that he will be fighting someone around May time, Shane Mosley being the front runner. Also we know that Mayweather will probably still be insisting on the extra testing for a future Pacquiao bout, which is something that Pac-man and team don’t approve of.

If there is one thing that will motivate Mayweather into making the Pacquiao fight happen though is the money involved. Reportedly Floyd is habitually short of cash at the moment following robberies and being ripped off my scam artists for millions. He needs a big pay day or two to right his financial ship and continue his lavish lifestyle.

Whether that will be enough of a motivation for Mayweather will remain to be seen, but clearly he’s the one under a lot of pressure to make the fight happen. Although he has tried to spin the breakdown in negotiations in his favor, most of the public seem to be siding with Pacquiao and his unwillingness to undergo completely random testing.

Its difficult to see which side is really in the right on that issue, because I don’t think Mayweather really believes Pacquiao is on anything illegal. More likely he was using the extra testing as a bargaining chip or means to inconvenience Pacquiao and the whole issue went too far, eventually stopping the entire fight from happening.

From the other side, Pacquiao probably didn’t believe he needed to be dictated to by the lower ranked fighter when he is the champion, and rightly so under normal circumstances.
This isn’t any ordinary situation though, and whether Mayweather was really trying to expose the inadequate testing in the sport at the moment as he claims, this wasn’t the right way of going about it.

The biggest problem seems to be that both fighters are used to getting their own way when it comes to negotiations. as the pound for pound champion, both are used to dictating terms and having challengers go along with them. The trouble is that both of them think they are the top fighter in the sport.

In reality although both are near the top, Pacquiao has the best claim by far at the moment, and most sources rank him well above Mayweather. Largely because Floyd has yet to challenge the best fighters at welterweight, instead having smaller opponents move up and fight him when clearly at a big disadvantage.

Ironically both fighters will probably take on opponents who have been caught cheating in the near future. Antonio Margarito is already talking up a potential Pacquiao bout in the near future, and Mayweather himself is currently negotiating to fight a known steroid user in Shane Mosley.

Author: Scott Heritage

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Top Rank promoter Bob Arum showed up at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles on Wednesday to watch his prized possession Manny Pacquiao train and said later he was “very impressed.”

The pound-for-pound icon went through his usual routine as well as nine rounds on the punch-mitts without a break.

Conditioning coach Alex Ariza told us that Pacquiao started his strength training and noted “he looked a lot stronger than he has been in the past and in some of the exercises it was nice to see on my part that it's like he’s not starting from the beginning.”

He said Pacquiao will begin sparring on Thursday (LA Time) but there was no word on who trainer Freddie Roach had picked to serve as sparring partners.

Ariza said Roach was “trying to put everything in order” which includes strict restrictions on who could remain inside while Pacquiao trains. He said the gym was virtually empty with only a few people from Team Pacquiao including Filipino trainer Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez present.

Ariza informed us that Gerry Penalosa who fights former two-division world champion Eric Morel on the “Pinoy Power III” card at the Las Vegas Hilton on February 13 which will be telecast in the Philippines by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN said Penalosa was “aggressive, active and comes forward and is nice to watch.”

However, Ariza was most impressed by Philippine bantamweight champion Eden Sonsona, the flashy southpaw. He said “he looks really good. He’s strong and I really like him.”

Author: Ronnie Nathanielsz

Source: philboxing.com

Pacquiao-Clottey, and Pacquiao-Morales IV

Is there anything or anyone that can stop Manny Pacquiao these days? It seems like he’s on a winning streak for the ages now with the man who shares arguably the number 1 spot in Boxing’s mythical pound for pound list being afraid to step in the ring with him. Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s baseless PED’s accusations and extraordinary stipulations caused the March 13th superfight to fall through. Bob Arum has defended his prized ward very well, and has now turned the tables on Oscar Dela Hoya, calling for the once Golden Boy to “sign the PED waiver”.

“The Pacman” has no time to deal with such cowardice. That is why Manny Pacquiao has moved on and is scheduled to fight against a battle tank in Joshua Clottey in Dallas this March, in a fight dubbed “The Event” because of the sheer magnitude and scale of the entire production, and Floyd Mayweather is still struggling to sign the dotted line on a rumored bout with Sugar Shane Mosley.

For Pacquiao, the fight with the tough Ghanaian will be an even tougher test than his bout with Miguel Cotto. Clottey, who hunches and plods forward in attack mode, will be the largest and strongest fighter Pacquiao will have ever fought. The man has a chin made of granite. Clottey has taken the heaviest punches from the top Welterweights including Cotto and the once feared Antonio Margarito. And there is every indication that he will be able to withstand the power of Pacquiao. Pacquiao will once again have to rely on his speed and boxing ability to break down the warrior
Clottey in hopes of a late round KO/stoppage, which is the only way to win against Clottey to send a message to the Mayweather camp.
Clottey on the other hand, will attempt to do what David Diaz, Oscar Dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto failed to do in their respective bouts with Pacquiao. He will have to overpower Pacquiao and run him over like a ‘battle tank’, imposing his superior size and strength to wear down the Welterweight kingpin. A win for Joshua Clottey could set him up for bigger paydays against his division’s elite, including rematches with both Cotto and Margarito, whom he both lost decisions to. Not to mention the fame and noteriety of being one of the only few people to ever beat Pacquiao.

One man who has, Erik “El Terible” Morales, makes his comeback against Jose Alfaro in Mexico also this March. Morales, who Pacquiao sent to retirement via 3rd round TKO back in 2006, will be competing in the Lightweight division and working his way back up. At 33 years old, Morales attempts to once again discover the fountain of youth that has eluded him for so long, thus losing his last 4 fights. However, one has to wonder if Morales does indeed recapture the form that made him one of the sports most dangerous fighters, he could enter the mix and challenge both Mexican countryman Juan Manuel Marquez, and Pacquiao at the 147 lb. limit. If so, Morales would not have to drop weight so much which is what really piles on the wear and tear in a fighter’s body through the years. This idea has been thrown around a lot but I think Pacquiao would literally kill him at the Welterweight limit. In my opinion, Morales should never be allowed to step in the ring with Pacquiao ever again. At 147 lbs, prime Morales or not, Pacquiao would obliterate him.

Still, Morales is one man Clottey should turn to, at least in tapes as Morales is the only one to ever deal with Pacquiao’s ferociousness straight up, and come away with a victory. Clottey hopes for the same success in March.

Author: Defyance Carlos Cinco

Source: officialscorecard.com

Sad but True; Manny Pacquiao does have something to hide

The boxing world has been turned upside down over the disastrous failed negotiations between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions over the “Fight of the Century”, Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Rising young boxing sensation Brandon Gonzales from Sacramento called it “a tragedy for boxing”. And yes it was a tragedy. However, there was something very serious to come out of all this chaos and that was the fact that Manny Pacquiao does have something to hide.

If a man were innocent, he would not hide behind a set dates for blood tests. He would not hide behind excuses. Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Teddy Atlas, and Oscar De La Hoya are all correct at being suspicious of Manny’s “secret”. Manny Pacquiao is hiding something and it’s something very scary.

Through in-depth investigations, fact checking, countless hours of research, and hundreds of long distance phone calls to the Philippines I have discovered what Manny Pacquiao is TRULY hiding and why he won’t take any blood tests:

Manny Pacquiao is IMMORTAL!!! That’s right, Manny Pacquiao is IMMORTAL!!! You have read it here first. I, Rick Rockwell have broke the “Story of the Century”. Let’s examine what led to my discovery.

* I have discovered that Manny Pacquiao has a huge following which rivals God’s of various religions and cultures.
* Manny Pacquiao has hand speed made of lightning and punches made of thunder.
* When Manny is in the ring, he is “all knowing” and “all powerful”.
* Manny’s footwork defies gravity.
* Manny is so quick that he can be in two places at once.
* Manny has inside him “blood of kings”.

Now, there will of course be other boxers who deny his immortality but Pay no attention to them:

* "I know its Pacquiao but I don’t want people thinking that Manny is super, that nobody can beat him. He is a human being like me.”.. Joshua Clottey (source: EastsideBoxing)

Joshua Clottey is obviously wrong because Pacquiao is not human. He is the pound for pound greatest boxer in the world and he’s immortal.

In efforts to spread the joy of what I've discovered, I hit the streets of Sacramento, CA to find Mayweather Jr fans and get their reactions to my discovery:

* Jason Johnson of North Highlands, CA ... “Are you smoking crack? Pacquiao being immortal? Pacquiao isn’t even as good as Mayweather. He’s ducking Mayweather. He’s scared of Mayweather.”
* Cameron Williams Rancho Cordova, CA... “Did you say immortal? You’ve got your head so far up Pacquiao’s (censored) that you are a fool. Your immortal Pacquiao will get jacked up by Mayweather when they fight.”
* Alan Matthews, Folsom, CA... “Dude, you are hilarious. He’s not even a good boxer. He’s not undefeated like Money Mayweather”.
* Barry Hall, Rancho Cordova, CA.. “Yeah, I’m sure Manny Pacquiao feels like he’s immortal when he’s on all those performance enhancers. Take the tests Manny. Floyd exposed you for the cheater that you are.”

Even in the greatest of discoveries, Mayweather fans are still extremely delusional. How can they continue to be a fan of someone so inferior? How can they still root for a mere mortal when they can root for a superior boxer who is Immortal?

In closing, please note the sarcasm towards the Mayweathers and all the other Pac-haters. However, I do want to leave you with the following comments from Maria Ramirez of Orangevale, CA “Pacquiao’s kindness and love for his fellow countrymen will never be forgotten. So in a way, he is immortal.” Maria, I couldn't have said it any better.

Author: Rick Rockwell

Source: Examiner.com

Joshua Clottey exemplifies the right way to land a superfight

When Joshua Clottey was announced to do what Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been reluctant on doing, which is to fight Manny Pacquiao on March 13, my initial reaction was to say "Wow!".

I could not believe Pacquiao decided to fight such a big threat like Clottey especially when the biggest payday in boxing history is just around the corner.
A loss to Clottey would definitely cost him billions in his local currency and several million dollars.

Pacquiao could've opted for an easier opponent like Paulie Malignaggi, Nate Campbell, Edwin Valero, Juan Manuel Marquez or all these other names that have thrown themselves in the Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes. Each of those names I mentioned would've been quick work for someone in Clottey's caliber.

Many among my peers in boxing even consider Clottey as a bigger threat than Mayweather. Our Boxing Odds Examiner and co-host of the highly popular Boxing Truth radio show John Chavez says the Dallas showdown between Pacquiao and Clottey is great for boxing as it matches not only two names, but two real fighters in a real city. He also told me back when first news broke of the Pac-Clottey clash that Clottey's defense may even be tougher than Mayweather and he does not see one significant area where Clottey isn't better than 'Money'. I, 95% agree. The last 5% Floyd beats Clottey in is self-promotion. Mayweather can talk up a storm and sell bibles to an atheist.

With that said however, Clottey is a throwback Cinderella man type of fighter. The reason why a lot of people were surprised his name was called up to take Money's place is because outside boxing fans who have been following the sport closely, Clottey is a virtual unknown. Clottey took on all comers and was never dominated in any shape or form. Loaded or not, he almost beat Margarito back when the Mexican was a feared man. And if he only let his hands go in the final few rounds against Cotto, he very well could've won that one too. Physically, Clottey is the truth. He has come in the ring at 170 on fight night before and is definitely the biggest and strongest Pacquiao opponent to date. As unlikely his selection seemed, it was also actually a great decision.

Clottey earned the right to fight Pacquiao. He earned it through hard work and by gaining the respect of many within boxing- not by trash talking or over-hyping himself through the media and disrespecting people around him. This historic fight at Dallas stadium could not have been given to a worthier challenger. Clottey is a former welterweight champion and is a number one welterweight contender. Mosley was scheduled to fight Berto then and Money was busy kicking the Neveda desert sand.

This is Clottey's chance of a lifetime. If he is tough and rugged enough as it is, the motivation of beating the biggest name in boxing and the promise of fame and riches that it brings can only motivate him and make him that more dangerous. You got to remember, Dela Hoya, Hatton, Cotto, Mosley and Mayweather have tasted superstardom before. Clottey on the other hand has always had to peek in from the outside.

Don't ever estimate a man's hunger and desire to fulfill his dream. Clottey is no sacrificial lamb and will not lay down for anyone. If anything, his record is proof of it. Don't expect a Pacquiao knockout win, but do expect Clottey to go for the win or go down trying.

Author: Dennis "dSource" Guillermo

Source: examiner.com

Josh Clottey and The Solid Opposition

First noted are the reactions. With the mega bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao decimated by trivialities, both fighters have turned away from each other to exert their dominance elsewhere. It took almost no time for Bob Arum to step in and ostensibly brush over the disappointment by placing Welterweight contender Joshua Clottey in Mayweather’s stead. While Arum has undoubtedly overstated the attractiveness of the substitute bout, it is compelling enough to draw interest.

Pacquiao should not be chastised for cutting the stalemate with Mayweather short. After all, the dissolution of the super bout didn’t see him off to graze leisurely in a field of lighter weights. Instead, he chose a solid challenger. And this challenger has a formidable hunger to succeed at the highest level. He won’t likely take this opportunity for granted.

Joshua Clottey presents a different kind of opposition than what Pacquiao has faced. It is crucial not to consider him as merely the vanquished of the vanquished. True, the chain exists: Clottey lost to Miguel Cotto who lost to Pacquiao. But Clottey’s loss was controversial, and to many eyes he had actually won the fight. Obviously, the controversy in this case helps to legitimize the contest with Pacquiao. It is the ultimate adage in boxing that styles make fights. The two styles that will meet in Texas on March 13th could potentially make for an interesting contrast.

Classifying the style of Clottey is somewhat challenging. He is mindful of defense, utilizing a high guard; but his style isn’t exactly defense driven. He can punch powerfully and effectively in combination; but his style isn’t exactly offense driven either. What he does exhibit is his own individual arsenal of skills. It’s an arsenal that can be effective, but is mostly so when Clottey remains focused, and when he does not allow himself to be rattled by his opponent’s tactics. When he retains composure, he has proven the quality of his style, and it has recommended him to contender status.

Traditionally, the biggest stages have not brought the greatest rewards for Clottey. At times, it has seemed to be the result of sheer misfortune. He lost a title shot to Antonio Margarito in a frustrating 12 round decision in Atlantic City in 2006. Reportedly he had broken his hand during the bout, an injury that would obviously have impeded his punch output. It left him to be stalked down by Margarito. It is worth mention, though, that Clottey fought Margarito at a time when others were not so eager to get into the ring with him. This was prior to the notorious hand wraps incident, back when the power of Margarito’s punches was assumed to be granted by nature alone. Whether modified at the time or not, Margarito was not able to dispose of the opponent who was lessened by a busted hand.

Clottey was coming off of a five fight winning streak when he met Miguel Cotto in the ring in New York last June. In this outing, his technique was tedious to watch. The performance was in large part due to his perceptible loss of focus. He spent the evening stifled behind his high guard. He held his arms in front of his face in a manner so unrelenting, it seemed like he must have been obstructing his own vision. Good defense is traditionally a strong attribute, but that’s only true when the defensive actions are fluid and interchangeable. Literally walling up the body as a means of protecting it limits the capability to initiate attacks. It interferes with the response to the timing and rhythm of the opponent. It interrupts effective exchange. “Hit and don’t be hit” may be the mantra on unbloodied lips, but a defense that forces an overly conservative punch output will generate a poor figure on scorecards.

In the fight against Cotto, Clottey’s offense was essentially pared down to sporadic bursts of activity. He spent much precious time enshrined behind the safety of his arms, and he seemed to become the victim of his own pent up energy. He would punch aggressively in combination, often lunging forward as he did so. At times, he became awkward and was thrown off balance. Still, these bursts were met with some success, because Cotto was moving forward in a relatively straight line. But Clottey’s unyielding preoccupation with protecting himself cut these successful onslaughts short, and he ceded points to Cotto. Clottey was disappointed with the result, and he wasn’t alone.

For Clottey, what will happen in Texas on March 13th probably comes as an uncommonly pleasant surprise. Part of Clottey’s determination to beat Cotto was doubtlessly fueled by a potential match up with Pacquiao. When he lost that fight, he most likely saw the opportunity evaporating in front of his eyes. Circumstances shifted across the boxing landscape, and now Clottey sees his chance coming around again.

What will the bout actually look like? In the best case scenario, Clottey will retain composure and will not allow a repeat performance of the one against Cotto. There are certain things he simply must not do if he wants a chance at a decisive victory over Pacquiao. He needs to be prepared for Pacquiao’s spectacular and peculiar choreography. Not simply for the obvious reason that any fighter prepares for his opponent’s style, but because he needs to be mentally prepared for it. Pacquiao will address him with a rate of speed unfamiliar to him. The punches will not only come at rapid pace, but also with power and at unforeseeable angles. This is Pacquiao’s magic, and it is very difficult to dispel. Most of Pacquiao’s opponents of late have looked like they’re shadowboxing some menacing spirit. They cannot target the cause, but are nonetheless left to react to bruises on their faces and dents in their sides. Pacquiao’s “invisible man” type of style will be the ultimate test of Clottey’s constitution. If he can retain his composure during this fight, he has kicked the bad habit.

Clottey will have to do away with the reliance on his unrelenting guard. This guard is inflexible, and Pacquiao will quickly find a way around it. He will dig beneath the elbows and attack the body. He is sharp enough to throw jabs and straight hands right between the gloves. If Clottey doesn’t use his guard wisely and sparingly, he will give away points in every round. He has to fight Pacquiao. And it’s not difficult to draw him into a fight. He enjoys active combat. Clottey should use his size and strength as a combined advantage and come forward. The chances of hurting Pacquiao increase with the level of activity. He certainly cannot be harmed by a man encased in a shell.

In the end, even if Clottey does not emerge victorious, he can still increase his reputation by putting on a proud display commensurate with his abilities. That alone would set him apart from the pack. If it is Pacquiao who does as is widely expected, and wins the fight, he will have yet another gleaming jewel to add to his crown. But when the excitement subsides, the issue of greeting the stalemate with Mayweather will inevitably arise. And again will come the exposure to petty wars waged outside of the battle grounds, where the possibility for a decisive clash is dissolved day by day in wasted energies.

Author: Julie Cockerham

Source: 8countnews.com


Oscar de la Hoya - President of Golden Boy Promotions

"We are extremely excited to announce the return of 'Fight Night Club.' These are events where every match-up has been exciting and we've managed to produce great fights as well as great upsets."

"For the fans, it's a night to enjoy boxing, whether you're sitting ringside or in the back row."

"At 'Fight Night Club' we have fighters who believe in themselves. They're here to win. They're here to fight."

"We have a great main event lined up for February 25. In one corner will be a veteran fighter who is tough as nails (Alatorre) and in the other we have a title-contender looking forward to his return to LA (Ortiz). With a fight like this, the people guaranteed to come out happy are the fans."

"Our featured fighter for the co-main event is no stranger to 'Fight Night Club,' as he has demonstrated a combination of speed and power that led him to win three match-ups at Club Nokia in 2009. Luis Ramos has been fighting very often and has been impressive in his recent outings. We're going to move him forward fast, as fast as he wants to go."

Victor Ortiz - Top Junior Welterweight Contender

"It's true, Hector and I go back a few years, but we're both warriors and as a boxer you want to fight the best of the best and never back down."

"I've had my own share of ups and downs. Ups are always great, downs always hurt, but you have to come back strong. I don't think I'm gonna be able to just walk right through Hector because he's tough, but I'm ready."

Hector Alatorre - Junior Welterweight

"You can tell by his record that he hits hard, but I'm no chump."

"Some people see me as a ladder for Victor to climb, but people forget that some ladders lead down and some ladders are slippery."

"Some people see me as a stepping stone, but don't step on me lightly."

"I'm not here to lose. I'm here to make a statement. I'm here to win. For me, this is a rematch from seven years ago when I wasn't mentally prepared. Now I'm ready."

Luis Ramos Jr. - Undefeated Lightweight Prospect

"What I did in 2009 was great experience for me, starting with signing a contract with someone I used to idolize on TV (De La Hoya). It goes to show you dreams do come true."

"I'm looking forward to my first fight of 2010 and seeing where it takes me next."

Rolando Arellano - Ortiz's Co-Manager

"What we're experiencing here today is the vision of Oscar de la Hoya turning into reality. He asked us to help bring the boxing world fight nights that are not only exciting, but accessible and affordable as well."

"Victor is in the best shape of his career. He's stronger, he's committed and on February 25 we are going to open the gates of hell (on Hector) at Oscar's request."

Michael Roth - Vice President of Communications of AEG

"We didn't have boxing in mind when we built Club Nokia, but we're fortunate Golden Boy has selected our venue because "Fight Night Club" has made it the place to go to watch a fight in LA."

"It really feels like you're in the ring. You see the sweat flying off the fighters and with LA LIVE just outside, fans can come for entertainment before, during and after the fight - its a great experience."

The main event of this season's first "Fight Night Club" show features exciting top junior welterweight contender "Vicious" Victor Ortiz return to fight in front of his Southern California fans in a ten round fight against ultra-tough Hector Alatorre of Tulare, California on February 25, 2010 at LA LIVE's Club Nokia. In the co-featured bout, rising star Luis Ramos Jr. will see action against an opponent to be announced in a six round lightweight contest.

"Fight Night Club" is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and AEG and is sponsored by DeWalt Tools, Budweiser and Vitamin Water. The series will return to Club Nokia on March 25, April 29, May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30, October 28 and November 18. Doors open at 6:00pm PT and the first bell rings at 7:00pm PT

Tickets, priced at $250 (VIP On-Stage Seats, which are limited to only ten per show and allow purchasers to sit ringside on Club Nokia's stage near VIP's attending the fight [De La Hoya, Mosley, etc.], receive an Oscar de la Hoya autographed boxing glove and provide buyers access to the Club Nokia VIP Room [must be 21 years of age and over]), $100 (VIP Front Row Balcony Seats which come with a "Fight Night Club" autographed boxing glove and grant buyers access to the Club Nokia VIP Room [must be 21 years of age and over]), $60 (VIP Balcony Seats which grant buyers access to the Club Nokia VIP Room [must be 21 years of age and over]) and $19.75 (General Admission: Floor Standing Room & Balcony Seats), are on sale now and may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 online at http://www.ticketmaster.com or thru any Ticketmaster outlet or the STAPLES Center box office. Group tickets and full series tickets at a discounted rate are also available by calling 1-877-AEG TICKETS (1-877-234-8425).

"Fight Night Club," is Golden Boy Promotions' and AEG's critically acclaimed live monthly boxing series, that presents boxing in a night club atmosphere, with a DJ, music, great food and a VIP room, as well as a unique setup where the ring is on Club Nokia's stage with standing room for fans in front of the ring, as well as great seating in the balcony. After the boxing action ends, fans are invited to stay to hear great music played by LA's hottest DJ's, dance and mingle with the fighters as the venue converts back into a night club.

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