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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Just being real: Timothy Bradley calls Pacquiao-Clottey a ‘joke’, claims he’d beat Floyd Mayweather

In the March 2010 issue of The Ring magazine, WBO Jr. Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley goes in depth about his recent success in the sport and the newfound attention he is starting to receive as one of the sport’s finer pugilists. Bradley notes that he feels he came up the hard way much like Shane Mosley in that he came through the backdoor.

As the lengthy interview rolled on Bradley also talks about the love he gets from people in Mexico, fighting in ballrooms for short money and growing up in the ghetto. All the while Bradley refused to pull any punches and was extremely candid during his conversation with the Ring’s Joseph Santoliquito.

Bradley’s upfront nature boiled over when asked his thoughts on today’s current pound or pound king, Manny Pacquiao. When asked by Santoliquito if he would have been willing to fight Pacquiao if the chance presented itself the Palm Springs native was beyond adamant.

“It’s not even about the money,” Bradley stated. “I want to fight the best fighter in the world and I want to see if I can beat him. Manny is human just like I am. All I ask is an opportunity. I worked by butt off to get to the number-one spot just to fight him.”

As the world now knows, Pacquiao is set to face Accra, Ghana’s Joshua Clottey next weekend at Dallas Cowboys stadium. While it is a far cry from Pacquiao-Mayweather, a contest with Clottey has been looked at by many as a suitable replacement. Bradley however, isn’t too keen on the matchup.

“I don’t want to see Joshua Clottey and Pacquiao,” Bradley said boldly. “It’s a joke. Miguel Cotto beat Clottey and Pacquiao crushed Cotto. So what do you think Pacquiao will do to Clottey?”

With frustration apparent in his voice, Bradley continued to speak about his lack of chances to prove himself in the sport. At the end of the day all the 25-year old wants is a chance to show himself against the world’s best.

“It’s a matter of time that the guys who don’t want to fight me will one day fight me. If Floyd Mayweather doesn’t retire before I fight him, I’ll be the first man to beat him. I don’t want to be cocky; I’m just being real.”

Mayweather’s view

It’s slightly surprising to hear Bradley critique the Pacquiao-Clottey fight, especially off of the basis that Pacquiao crushed Cotto and will surely do the same to Clottey, who wasn’t able to defeat Miguel. The phrase ‘Styles make fights’ instantly pops up in one’s head but Bradley is entitled to his own opinion.

Bradley’s statements did spark my curiosity as to whether or not he would be a better opponent for Pacquiao than Clottey, who has shown himself to be durable and willing on the grandest of stages. Looking for a little bit of insight I asked one of Las Vegas’ top trainers, Jeff Mayweather, for his thoughts on who would be a better matchup for Pacquiao.

“To be honest I think Bradley would give him a better fight,” Jeff stated. “Clottey is primarily defense while Bradley is a little more offensive minded.”

Fair enough, but not wanting to let the subject die down I asked Mayweather who he felt had the better credentials thus far into their career, Timothy or Joshua. On this question Mayweather seems to take a different route.

“Honestly I think Clottey is more proven,” Jeff claimed. “He’s fought the higher caliber competition. Bradley really is in a division where there is nobody around him. I mean he’s a champion but who has he fought?”

In closing I asked Jeff for his opinion on what the future holds for Bradley. I also gathered his thoughts on how Bradley would fair against the likes of Pacquiao, Mayweather, Clottey and everyone else lurking around in the Welterweight class.

“Bradley’s a good fighter and he’s well conditioned. I think if he stays at 140 he can be a champion for a while because I don’t see many people in that division testing him. Now if he goes up to Welterweight that’s another story, I don’t think he’d have as much success there.”

Author: Chris Robinson

Source: examiner.com

Discourage not in Clottey's vocabulary

Joshua Clottey remembers when, as a kid growing up in Ghana, he got sick to his stomach after being punched there during a street fight. He started training and got his revenge.

"I beat him and I became a boxer," Clottey said.

Not just any boxer, but one who does not discourage easily.

In December 2006, he challenged Antonio Margarito for his welterweight title, but lost a unanimous decision. Undeterred, Clottey began a five-fight winning streak by winning a wide decision over former lightweight champion Diego Corrales.

In the fifth fight of that streak, Clottey won the vacant welterweight championship with a nine-round technical decision over Zab Judah in August 2008. Clottey then challenged Miguel Cotto for his welterweight title, but lost a close split decision last June.

But again, Clottey is not the sort to hang his head. And a week from today, he will challenge Manny Pacquiao for his welterweight belt at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas (HBO pay-per-view).

Not only will Clottey be without his longtime trainer, Godwin Dzanie Kotey, he will be taking on a fighter whose epic rise to stardom has resulted in him being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.

Clottey's credo: No problem.

Kotey was not going to be able to get a work visa in time to make the fight, so Clottey decided to use his cut man, Lenny DeJesus, who will be trying to match wits with Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach.

Roach was recently named Trainer of the Year for a record fourth time by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

"It is true," said Clottey, when asked if reports he cried upon hearing Kotey would not be in his corner were accurate. "We have been together for a very long time. If he could get his visa, I would fly him here.

"They are not going to give him his visa and I can't wait for him because I have to get ready to fight and my life is on the line. In my other fights, my cut man, Lenny, was pushing me a lot so I thought I would use him as my trainer."

Clottey's manager, Vinny Scolpino, is not concerned because DeJesus has more than 40 years in boxing.

"Lenny has always been more than a cut man," Scolpino said. "He also trains a lot of fighters. He brings a wealth of experience, he knows the business."

Clottey and Scolpino also have no issue with the accusations and insinuations that have come Pacquiao's way regarding performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao has fought in Las Vegas 11 times and has never had a test come back dirty.

But Pacquiao's fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. was killed when Pacquiao refused to submit to Olympic-style testing that requires random blood samples and urinalysis.

Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs) said he didn't consider asking Pacquiao for more drug-testing than any state commission requires, meaning urinalysis only.

"I don't want him to do that because I respect him too much," Clottey said. "He is a very nice guy, to be honest with you, and I feel comfortable around him. He is nice and respects everybody and I know where he is from. I don't think Manny Pacquiao is doing that thing.

"If he is doing that thing, he is killing the sport."

Bob Arum, who promotes Clottey and Pacquiao, said if any commission ever requires more than standard urinalysis, Pacquiao will do it. But he would never agree to it as part of a negotiation, which is what happened with Mayweather.

Scolpino is on board with that way of thinking.

"I couldn't agree with Bob more," Scolpino said. "If the commission wants to implement other drug-testing rules, let them implement them. We abide by the rules that are set forth for us, then we move forward.

"Manny is a super champion and we all hope he is doing the right thing. If the commission finds it in their drug-testing - they find it."

Besides, Clottey is not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. He is more the bring-it-on sort. He knows how fortunate he is to have a chance to dethrone boxing's pound-for-pound king. If not for Pacquiao-Mayweather falling apart, Clottey would not be getting this shot.

"A victory would mean very, very more than a lot to me," said Clottey, 32, who these days lives in the Bronx. "That's why I am so happy about this opportunity. He (Pacquiao) is the man now and he's giving me a chance to fight him and if I beat him, I'm going to be on top of the world."

Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) is the favorite. But Arum suggested he wouldn't be surprised at anything that might transpire.

"The more I play it over in my head, I realize how competitive this fight is going to be," Arum said. "Nobody, with any real certainty, can predict this fight. Everybody knows how Manny Pacquiao fights. Everybody knows the angles that he throws punches from.

"Everybody knows that Joshua Clottey is a tremendous defensive fighter and can put a real hurting on an opponent."

Cotto can attest to that.

Author: Robert Morales

Source: pasadenastarnews.com/

The Accidental Trainer

NEW YORK --- You don’t hear much about it otherwise, but the Kingsway Gym periodically gets its moment of fame whenever there’s a big fight in New York -- and sometimes even when the big fight is in, say, Dallas. Its location, at Fifth Avenue and 28th Street, makes it easy to reach for Manhattan-based media types, many of whom are prone to developing allergies at the very mention of words like “Bronx” and “Brooklyn,” and, as boxing gyms go, you’d have to say that it borders on the hygienic, in that the toilets flush and nobody spits on the floor. The interior is sufficiently bright that photographers and TV crews know they won’t have to hump in a bunch of lighting equipment up a flight of stairs from street level, so they like it too.

Of course, the very factors that make it an ideal location for these Media Day extravaganzas are counterintuitive to boxing tradition. A boxing gym is supposed to be dark and dank and, if not foul-smelling, exude that blend of 40 year-old cigar ash, human body odor, rodent excretia, and backed-up plumbing that provides a gym with its own distinctive aroma.

In that respect the Kingsway can only function as an impostor. It doesn’t smell like a gym, feel like a gym, or even look much like a gym in any traditional sense.

On the other hand, on this day at least, Lenny DeJesus looks every inch a trainer: As he waits for Joshua Clottey to go to work he is wearing clean dungarees a zippered jacket over a t-shirt, a jaunty black Kangol cap on his head, and a white towel draped over his left shoulder.

DeJesus is a 64 year-old boxing lifer, one of those guys most boxing fans have seen climb up and down the steps for years without ever knowing his name. On the other hand, you’ve probably read his name a lot in the last two weeks. That was when the March issue of ESPN: The Magazine hit the stands, with a story (“The Substitute”) on Clottey that described DeJesus as a “part-time locksmith and long-time boxing satellite” and conveyed the distinct impression that as he heads into he biggest fight of his life against Manny Pacquiao, the supervisory role in Clottey’s corner had been entrusted to the Village Idiot.

Now it looks like one of the PR minions had instructed Lenny to drop by the wardrobe department and pick up a trainer’s uniform.

1:15: Josh is in the ring

DeJesus stands off to one side and watches Clottey go through the motions while a large Ghanaian named Bruce wields the mitts. The other one-third of the corner DeJesus will be running, an even larger Ghanaian named Kwaku Gyamfi, keeps time. Lenny just watches. He seems to be paying attention, but he issues no instructions.

“Look,” says one member of the fight mob as he watches Clottey’s workout, “Clottey is 32 years old. He’s had almost 40 fights. There’s nothing you can tell him now that’s going to turn him into a different fighter. You just wind him up and let him go.

“And what’s the corner going to tell him during the fight -- other than “Get up, Josh!”

Maybe “Josh! Stay down!”?

1:35: Josh hits the double-end bag

Irish middleweight John Duddy has had a place on the Pacquiao-Clottey undercard since its inception, but he was just added to the Media Day lineup this morning. Half the photographers and most of the print guys seem more interested in Duddy, and they keep watching the door behind Clottey.

In December of 2007 De Jesus was in Duddy’s corner at the King’s Hall in Belfast when the Irishman beat former Commonwealth champion Howard Eastman. Irish Ropes had just begun to shake up the Duddy corner; Don Turner had replaced Harry Keitt, and Lenny was the cut man, taking George Mitchell’s place. Both Keitt and Mitchell are back and De Jesus long since moved along. That is the live of a vagabond cornerman. Hell, earlier in the Filipino champion’s career he even worked as Pacquiao’s cut man.

“There are five things you can do in a corner and I’ve done all of ‘em,” says Lenny. “Not even Freddie Roach can say that. I’ve been the bucket guy, the stool guy, the advisor, the cut-man, and I’ve been the head guy before, too. But mostly I’ve been a cut man.”

It has been nearly 22 years, in fact, since the last time De Jesus was the chief second in a world title fight. He was in charge of Miguel Santana’s corner, and led the celebration when IBF lightweight champ Greg Haugen, his face bloodied from a deep cut to his right eyebrow, failed to answer the bell for the 12th round.

“We had the title for about 15 minutes,” he recalled. “The fight was in Seattle [Tacoma, actually], and after they’d raised Santana’s hand they decided that the cut had come from a butt, so they went back to the scorecards.”

Referee Jim Cassidy said that he was aware of the rule, but assumed that Santana was ahead on all three cards anyway. As it turned out he was ahead on only one of them, and, long after most of the crowd had gone home, a “stunned” Haugen was awarded the decision. The headline in the local paper read “Santana ‘robbed’ as Haugen gets bizarre win,” and the story noted that “Santana’s trainer, Lenny DeJesus, of New York City, thought his fighter had been robbed. ‘My fighter’s hand was raised in victory, and my fighter was awarded this fight!” said the distressed DeJesus.

“They never looked a replay or nothing. Even the referee told is he knew it was a punch and not a butt,” adds Lenny. “The reason they did it was everybody knew Haugen had already signed to fight Jim Watt in London -- for a lot of money.”

Lenny has been doing pretty well until he says that. And here we thought cut men didn’t have to worry about taking too many blows to the head.

Watt had retired after his 1981 loss to Alexis Argello -- seven years before Haugen-Santana.

1:40: Josh hits the heavy bag

When the gloves are pulled off Clottey, the towel comes off Lenny’s shoulder for the first time all day. He vigorously sets about drying the fighters forearms and hands, sending a spray of sweat that glistens beneath the lights. Joshua is wearing a dark red t-shirt with a baseball on the front. On the back it says “Baseball.”

Does Clottey play baseball? DeJesus is asked.

“I don’t think so,” says Lenny.

After a January press tour that opened at Cowboys Stadium and moved on to New York, Clottey returned to Accra, where he hoped to secure a visa that would have allowed his trainer, Godwin Nil Dzanie Kotey, to work his corner against Pacquiao. Kotey’s previous visa expired in December of 2009, and the security regulations involved in the process had changed dramatically between then and the time he applied for a new one; over Christmastime a Nigerian passenger had attempted to turn himself into a Roman candle on approach to Detroit.

So when Clottey flew back in February to open camp in Fort Lauderdale barely a month before the Pacquiao fight, De Jesus had more or less by default become his trainer.

“I guess I’m it,” he told ESPN’s Chris Jones at the time. Jones did not, it should be noted, seem exactly bowled over when Lenny explained that his “first job will be getting this kid up those stairs and into the ring.”

Lenny assumes that Clottey must have worked while he was back in Ghana. DeJesus, in any case, was there to meet him in Florida, and claims that over the last several weeks the challenger has sparred close to 90 rounds.

“I got the sparring partners,” he says. “They was all lefthanders, too.”

1:45: Josh hits the speed bag

John Duddy shows up, in street clothes, and announces that he is not going to work out.

“Nobody told me about this until it was too late,” he explains. “I already did all my work this morning.”

He does pose for a few pictures with Clottey, and chats amiably with boxing writers. Around the gym, grumbling photographers begin to pack away their equipment.

Over on the other side of the gym, Media Works’ Ed Keenan describes the Clottey camp in Florida.

“I finally went to Lenny and said ‘Look, you have to give me your phone number. I keep setting up these interviews with Clottey, but then he won’t answer his phone.”

“Lenny tells me ‘Aw, mine won’t work either. A few days ago I fell in the swimming pool with my clothes on and my phone was in my pocket.’

“That was last week. He still hasn’t gotten a phone.”

This might mark Lenny as old school, or maybe just stubborn. Just imagine for a moment, for instance, having to make a split second decision which to carry out of a burning building, his training mitts or his cell phone. It wouldn’t even be close.

But Lenny, we felt like asking him, doesn’t a locksmith need a phone, too?

1:50: Josh talks

Albeit briefly.

For the past month the question has been whether DeJesus or anyone else actually had enough time to get Clottey ready for this fight. The groundwork in Florida was by all accounts preliminary jousting, and from a preparation standpoint, the dog-and-pony show at the Kingsway has largely been a wasted day.

Now Joshua Clottey says “I have done all the work I need. I wish I did not even go to Texas for the next eight days. I want the fight to be now.”

Is the tail wagging the dog here, or what?

1:53: Josh done talking

Josh says he’s ready. Lenny says he’s not.

“But that’s not exactly what I’ll say to him,” says Lenny. “Dealing with fighters is dealing like little kids sometimes. If you don’t want them eating candy, you can try to show them how it’s harmful, but if you give them an order -- Don’t eat candy! -- the first thing they’re gonna do is go eat even more when you’re not looking.

“Sure, he needs more work between now and March 13th. He’s fightingManny Pacquiao! I just gotta figure out a way to make him think it’s hisidea.”

Author: George Kimball

Source: thesweetscience.com


Former world champion David Diaz, Chicago, IL trains at the Jabb Gym in Chicago as he prepares for his his upcoming bout on Top Rank's "The Event" featuring Manny Pacquiao vs Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium on March 13. -- Photo Credit: Tom Barnes - Top Rank.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pacquiao downplays? leg injury?

Freddie Roach with Manny Pacquiao. (Agence France-Presse)

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Seven-division champ Manny Pacquiao has denied he sustained a serious leg injury while preparing for his welterweight title defense against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey.

Pacquiao, who is known to undergo brutal training when preparing for a fight, dismissed the “slight pain” as a mere sore muscle in his leg.

"Wala namang injury, sore lang ang muscle kasi," he said.

Pacquiao said they made changes on their strategy to pick on Clottey's defense.

"Binago namin [ang strategy] para ma-apply namin sa fight. 'Yung mga muscles [tuloy] na hindi nagagalaw medyo sumakit," he explained.

The Pacman, who will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Clottey on March 13, hosted his final press conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday as his training camp began to wind down.

Pacquiao showed off his footwork, showing no signs of the reported leg injury.

"It was just shin splints. It's not really an injury. It's more of a nuisance,” said 4-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach.

Pacquiao has already faced 10 sparring partners in the course of his 7-week training. He domindated most of them.

"Right now 100% conditioned na tayo, ready na tayo sa fight. Maintain na lang sa kondisyon," he said.

The Filipino champ is the overwhelming favorite against Clottey, a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion. The fight will take place at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas Texas.

He said he and Pacquiao have been studying Clottey’s tapes to spot his strengths and weaknesses. They have also been working on moves.

“He (Clottey) fights people with different styles, of course. But his habits are there and we can take advantage,” Roach told Fox Sports.

Roach said the only thing his fighter needs to be concerned about is the Ghanaian’s uppercuts. With a report from Joseph Pimentel, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau; and Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News

Source: ph.news.yahoo.com

Floyd Mayweather Interview on Espn Sportscenter 3/5/2010

An exclusive interview with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the ESPN Sportcenter. Fl0yd Mayweather still continues his attack on Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao media day not the zoo it once was

Manny Pacquiao shadow boxes in a ring surrounded by videographers and photographers during his media day, which ran much smoother than it used to. Photo / Naoki Fukuda

I woke up with a sense of dread on Wednesday morning.

The media day for Manny Pacquiao’s March 13 fight with Joshua Clottey took place at the Wild Card Boxing Club that afternoon and it was the last place I wanted to be.

It was nothing personal against Pacquiao or the famous Hollywood, Calif., gym.

I know that media days -- workouts that are open to the sports press to help publicize up-coming fights -- are integral parts of any promotion, especially big events such as Pacquiao’s pay-per-view showdown with Clottey at the new Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

However, some of Pacquiao’s past media days have been so unorganized and overcrowded they seemed like sick experiments to determine how many human beings can be crammed into a small room before spontaneous combustion occurs.

You think I’d be used to it by now. I’ve covered every one these press events since they started doing them (either before the first Juan Manuel Marquez bout or the first Erik Morales fight). I’m a veteran of Pacquiao media days, but I’m one who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I dreaded the search for a parking place (which I found two blocks away from the gym at the corner of Cahuenga Boulevard and Fountain Avenue). I dreaded waiting around for hours in the Wild Card’s parking lot before Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum arrived. I dreaded being packed inside the hot, stuffy little gym with members of the media and more than a few nutty fans disguised as working press. I dreaded tripping over video crew equipment, stepping over photographers, and listening to amateur internet bloggers ask the most inane questions.

But I grudgingly made my way to the gym anyway because I’m a full-time fight scribe with a Thursday column to write, and hey, Pacquiao is the
man right now.

I arrived to the already packed parking lot at 11:00 a.m., two hours before Roach and Arum were scheduled to meet the media. Three hours before Pacquiao was to arrive. There I ran into Rob Peters, the head of Pacquiao’s security and somebody who dreads media days more than I do.

Peters, who has worked for Pacquiao since the Marquez rematch, has the unenviable task of clearing the gym out so the pound-for-pound king can train in private.

It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it, and Peters is physically imposing but friendly enough to pull it off without too many altercations. However, even he has his limit, and he’s found it during past media days when he has had to deal with belligerent boxing writers and huge pushy crowds inside and outside the gym.

“I got up this morning with a tight feeling in my chest, like a pain in my heart, and I thought to myself ‘This isn’t good,’” Peters said. “I fear this day the whole training camp.”

Media days are the only time the normally collected Peters has lost his cool.

“It used to really get to me,” he said. “There were a few times I got so mad I didn’t know what I was going to do. A couple years ago I was trying to navigate traffic in the parking lot and the lady from the Thai TV station next to the gym ignored me and ran over part of my foot. I went totally crazy. I was spittin’ mad. It took me half an hour to calm down.”

Ola Afolabi, a long time Wild Card patron, exited the gym about half an hour before the doors opened to the media. The cruiserweight contender took a look at the ever-growing throng of desperate-looking people holding cameras and notebooks in the parking lot and he shook his head.

“If I had known today was Pacquiao’s media day, I wouldn’t have bothered showing up,” Afolabi said. “There’s no point in trying to get a workout in on these days. It’s just too crazy. It might as well be (Barack) Obama’s inauguration. Even before the media is allowed in it’s too packed to do anything because all the fighters are there at the same time, trying to get their workouts in before the gym closes down for Manny.”

Not all of the Wild Card’s regulars dread Pacquiao media days. Pepper Roach, Freddie’s older brother who has worked at the gym as an assistant trainer for more than 10 years, views them as a necessary evil.

“The gym is Freddie’s business and Manny and his media days have been great for business,” Roach said. “Yeah it’s a pain in the ass for everybody for one day but it puts the Wild Card’s name out there on TV and in the papers. People see the gym, they hear about it and read about it and if they want to start working out they come here. If they’re at another gym, they quit that place at come to the Wild Card.”

Roach says the gym’s reputation and respect for his older brother have grown along with Pacquiao’s fame.

“When Manny first came here it was a regular boxing gym and there were two guys who helped Freddie, me and Macka Foley,” Roach said. “Now we got a dozen people working behind the desk, as assistant trainers, and photographers, and we got 200 people trying to workout here every day.”

If the media days are an indication of Pacquiao’s popularity, his trainer and his gym will continue to crossover into mainstream consciousness.

Peters says the media event has grown in terms of numbers and diversity during the past 18 months.

“It’s bringing in much broader types of media coverage now,” he said. “I remember that it was mostly internet writers and Filipino TV for the Marquez rematch, but it’s not such a niche event anymore. Now there are American sports writers from newspapers and magazines. There’s a lot of local TV crews, and it’s not just the sports reporters coming out it’s the news crews.”

“It’s the De La Hoya effect. As soon as Manny beat Oscar everyone took notice. No one thought he could beat De La Hoya, but the folks at the Wild Card knew he would win, and we knew his popularity would skyrocket after the fight. But we weren’t prepared for how much attention Freddie and the gym would get from that point on.”

With only a few months between mega bouts with De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and now Clottey, it seemed that things would inevitably spiral out of control.

However, a funny thing happened on the way to what I thought would be
Clusterfest 2010; the media was treated to a civil and orderly press event that run quite smoothly.

I was pleasantly surprised. Marie Spivey, the gym manager and Roach’s personal assistant, was not.

She says she used to dread Pacquiao’s media days more than anyone but was confident that the employees of Top Rank and Wild Card had enough experience with the event to make this one tolerable.

“I admit, in the past, I woke up with anxiety on media day,” Spivey said. “I would get up and say out loud ‘I don’t want to go to the gym!’ But I woke up feeling fine today because I knew I’d have help with Rob, Miguel (Salazar) and Fred Sternburg,” she said. “Fred has been a tremendous help during the entire camp. He’s scheduled most of the TV and radio interviews and all of the gym visits from writers.”

Sternburg, a veteran publicist who was hired by Top Rank to handle the media during the Clottey camp, has worked every Pacquiao media day since the first Morales fight. He says just a few alterations made the difference on Wednesday.

“It has been a zoo in the past but we’re a little more organized these days,” Sternburg said. “We convinced Manny to do interviews before his workout so writers who just wanted that didn‘t have to stick around and take up space and we had Roach and Arum go an hour before Manny arrived so everything wasn’t so scattered once it began.

“We’ve also been spacing out exclusive time with Manny and two or three writers from different publications since camp began and I think that’s helped. Some writers got what they needed weeks ago and didn’t need to show up today. We don’t have the same pent-up demand for Manny on media day that we used to have.

“It’s all been done out of necessity because the demand for Manny has become so big.”

How big? Sternburg, who has been in PR business since the mid-1980s, says he hasn’t seen anything like it since Sugar Ray Leonard‘s heyday.

Sternburg worked for Leonard beginning with the hall of famer’s 1987 comeback fight against Marvelous Marvin Hagler until the end of the decade.

He says Pacquiao’s recent run against De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto and now Clottey remind him of Leonard’s late-career events with Hagler, Donny Lalonde, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran. As it was with Leonard, the demand for the Filipino icon is so constant that the Colorado-based publicist has spent most of his time on site since Pacquiao’s camp began.

“This is the closest I’ve been to being an in-camp publicist since I spent several weeks in Leonard’s camp for the Hearns rematch,” Sternburg said. “This camp reminds me of those days because of the celebrities that come by to see Ray, who trained at a PGA resort in Palm Beach, Fla. I remember guys like Burt Reynolds dropping by to watch him.

“We have that sort of thing with Manny now. In the past four or five weeks we’ve had Robert Duval, Ron Perlman, Jeremy Piven, Steven Segal and Jean-Claude Van Damme come by the gym to watch him train.

“They come by to see Roach, too. They all want to talk to Freddie. They think he’s great. And he is!”

As great a guy (and as good a quote) Roach is, even he took a backseat to Pacquiao when the man of the hour (or two) entered the gym with his entourage around 2:35 p.m.

His smile instantly lit up the gym and quickly elevated the mood of what had been rather routine proceedings up until that point.

Within one hour every writer, photographer and video crew in the gym got their time with the humble international star. Pacquiao made it all seem easy, just like he does in his fights.

I wondered if the guy who actually gets in the ring and dukes it out ever feels the kind of anxiety and dread that I felt and discussed with the gym’s employees? If he does he sure doesn’t show it.

RingTV.com co-editor Michael Rosenthal asked Pacquiao if the expectations and pressure ever get to him.

“The pressure is always there,” Pacquiao answered, “but I pray to God, train hard and know that He will guide me.”

Pacquiao’s not the most articulate fighter around but there’s a nobility to his simplicity, and every now and then he says something that can open the eyes of even the most jaded sports writer.

Author: Doug Fische

Source: ringtv.com

Floyd Mayweather Beats Up Pacquiao Shirt

Floyd Mayweather Beats Up Pacquiao Shirt

PACQUIAO TIME: A short documentary

Don’t miss this brand new exclusive short documentary by Ron Gabriel that takes Fight Fans behind the scenes in Manny Pacquiao’s training camp!

Watch the legendary Manny Pacquiao as you’ve never seen him before in this brand new exclusive short documentary by Ron Gabriel. Fight Fans get an intimate look at Pacquiao in training, candidly interacting with members of Team Pacquiao while hard at work preparing to face Joshua Clottey on March 13.

See Pacquiao’s thoughts about his top rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. and be a fly on the wall inside his training camp as he works with head trainer Freddie Roach and strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza. You don’t want to miss this one, only on FightFan.com!

Author: Ron Gabriel

Source: fightfan.com

Pacquiao vs. Clottey: Keys to Victory Part2

When Joshua Clottey fought the faster southpaw in the character of Zab Judah, although Clottey doesn't throw many punches as Zab Judah, Judah for the most part could only hit Clottey's elbows, forearms and gloves. Most of Zab's punches were blocked by the high-guard defensive style. Also notice how Zab Judah most of the time, was able to evade Clottey's punches when Joshua initiates the attack first. See how effective the high guard defense when Zab was lured to attack Clottey, and then Joshua would take advantage of the time when Zab was open for an attack, by surging forward with a straight right to the head and a lounging left hook to the body. Then again, Zab Judah is no Manny Pacquiao. Zab Judah is indeed fast, but Manny Pacquiao is faster and packs a lot of power.

Now let's look at Manny Pacquiao's style from this sample clip

The thing about Manny Pacquiao, is that he improves in every fight. He gets better and better. So, reviewing Pacquiao's video when he fought Erik Morales compared to the Pacman of present would be two very different Manny Pacquiao's fighting style. All this because of the brilliant work Coach Freddie Roach has done with Manny. Back then, Manny goes in and take some to give some more. But now, his defense has improved using his footwork, bobbing and weaving, as well as blocking in his defensive techniques. Back then he was just a left handed bomber. He would bomb his opponents with a right jab followed by a sledge-hammer left straight, which in most cases is good enough, as it knocks many opponents out of the fights. But now, Manny Pacquiao is a two fisted tornado, throwing punches from all directions coming from both left and right hands. As Miguel Cotto said "I couldn't see the punches, I couldn't defend myself". Mix those combinations punching with power and very fast feet, you got yourself a killer.

Manny Pacquiao's style is something that the public has never seen before. He was said to be the incarnation of the Tasmanian Devil inside the ring. Relentless aggression, plenty of punches and unwavering stamina.

Although Joshua Clottey is the bigger, stronger fighter of the two, but against a Manny Pacquiao, size and strength is not a factor. As Manny Pacquiao has dismantled many bigger opponents before. Speed kills size.

What Manny Pacquiao needs to do to win this fight is to be Manny Pacquiao at 100%.

The Pacman needs to keep his feet in motion going side to side, round and round, while searching for an opening to penetrate Clottey's high guard defense. And when Manny sees an opening, he needs to take the shots and disrupts Clottey's defense which will open Joshua for more combinations. To lower Clottey's defense, Manny needs to go to the mid-section, pound it hard and eventually the rest of the body would then fall. After the Cotto fight, Pacquiao proved that he can take a full-welterweight punch pretty well. Still, he needs to be careful and realize that he is the smaller man in this fight. Although most people under-rate Clottey's power, Joshua’s punches do packs some explosives and is evident with his record of 20 out of his 35 wins are by way of knockout. A flush shot at the right place and with perfect timing, from a bigger and stronger man can knock even a Manny Pacquiao out.

What Joshua Clottey needs do to win this fight, is to change his fighting style dramatically. He can't rely solely on in high-guard defense against Manny Pacquiao, as Pacquiao is too fast for him to block the rain of punches coming his way. He needs to improve his footwork by 400% and his stamina by another 200%. As Pacquiao rears to attack, Joshua needs to disrupt that attack by throwing stiff jabs, while move to the side, then follow them up with combination. He needs to be faster than Pacquiao to be able to do something like that. And he needs to keep throwing those combinations to keep Pacquiao at bay for the whole fight. If he can't do that, he'll be sitting duck against Manny.

But what if Manny's speed is neutralized by Clottey's defense? Manny Pacquiao may throw 15punch combinations in 2seconds but what if, and it’s a big IF, Joshua Clottey could block them all? What would Freddie Roach and Manny do? And how the heck could Clottey mount an offense if he'd be kept on the defensive by Pacquiao's relentless attacks?

All these questions can only be answered on March 13 in Las Vegas by Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey.

My prediction: I don't see Clottey changing his style in just one training camp, especially with a trainer he just acquired. If Joshua Clottey doesn't change his fighting style, even if he's as tough as granite, I don't see this fight lasting the full 12rounds. He could be standing but if Manny Pacquiao reconfigures his face, the referee would stop the fight by TKO.

One for the Fans: Manny Pacquiao’s Interesting Choice

By Jeff Stoyanoff

One of the perks of being a superstar in boxing is that you no longer have to take fights against the likes of Joshua Clottey. Floyd Mayweather, JR., is well aware of the rule no doubt. It is beyond unlikely that Mayweather would ever choose to fight Clottey. Not because Mayweather doesn’t believe he would win, one can be sure he does. But rather because Clottey is the ultimate high risk/ low reward opponent. Pacquiao has clearly ascended beyond the point where he needs to take on a Clottey, realistically it could easily be argued that Pac could fight anyone he wanted up to and including a walkover and it would still be hard to question his willingness to meet the best in the ring. So, why fight Joshua Clottey? And, why do it now when the stakes are still so very high?

The potential fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather turned into a savage PR war with Mayweather openly calling into question the legitimacy of Pacquiao’s recent wins and Pacquiao responding with legal action himself. Perhaps the choice of Clottey was a PR punch by team Pacquiao. After all, fair or not, there are many out there who now wonder if Pacquiao has something to hide in the wake of his refusal to submit to random blood test any time up until two weeks before their proposed fight. As has been covered Ad nausea, Pacquiao is not required to undergo such testing and has never tested positive, but that won’t stop those who question his motivation in refusing the terms offered and walking away from tens of millions of dollars. The reality is, Pacquiao couldn’t take on just any fighter; he needed an opponent that left no doubt of his continued willingness to meet literally anybody in the ring. If ever there was a fighter who fit under that banner, it’s Joshua Clottey.

The Dangers of Clottey

Clottey has a long, heavy jab and he uses it relentlessly as he presses forward behind a solid defense. Moreover, Clottey certainly seems to take a punch well. The flash knockdown he suffered in the first round with Miguel Cotto was the first of his outstanding career. Clottey is not possessed of sensational power; his knockout percentage of just 51% aptly demonstrates his relatively average power. Yet, the KO percentage only tells part of the story. What Clottey does have is sufficient power to slow opponents down and earn their respect and that is often all one needs. Despite his excellent jab, Clottey appears to prefer fighting at a fairly measured pace. Clottey often dominated the action against Cotto when he took the time to engage. However, all too often, Clottey seem to take time off and wait on Cotto. That was just the opening that Cotto needed to steal that fight. Yet, Clottey is a solid fighter, with an excellent chin and an outstanding jab. And, he is fighting a smaller man whose one weakness, it would seem, is that he is not a defensive wizard. All in all, Clottey has to like his position as he attempts what would have to be considered a titanic upset.

Amazingly, the news gets better for Clottey. Pacquiao has forced himself into a quick turnaround after dispatching Cotto only last November. Freddie Roach has suggested that the quick turnaround will be good for Pacquiao as down time is generally bad for a fighter. Still, it was a physical fight against a tough opponent and now another durable and talented opponent follows right behind. But, the situation is potentially even more dangerous. Pacquiao was close to getting THE mega fight with Floyd Mayweather JR.; the fight that was to represent the pinnacle of his career. Instead, he gets Clottey; a letdown has to be considered a possibility. Of course Pac will arrive in great shape and ready to fight, but what if he is just the tiniest bit flat? This seems like exactly the kind of scenario that produces major upsets; a hungry and talented underdog and a huge talent whose mind just might be somewhere else. It is hard to envision that Pacquiao can lose right now, but some of the ingredients for an unexpected result are present and that should make for high drama on March 13th.

Story and Opportunity

It would appear that Clottey was a risky and therefore bad choice for Pacquiao, but that would be missing what might just be a great decision. Clottey comes into this fight with only three losses on his ledger. Clottey suffered his first loss losing by 11th round DQ against Carlos Baldomir in 1999; it was a fight that he was winning fairly easily. Clottey took his second loss against Antonio Margarito in 2006. Clottey came out fast and won the first few rounds against Margarito before encountering hand problems on his way to eventually dropping a unanimous decision. Whether Clottey hurt his hands or whether he was bedeviled by his own complacency in the ring is hard to ever know definitively. However, his punch output did taper off in the fight and that did allow Margarito to step up his offense and take the fight. Although, even in losing, Clottey was certainly not overmatched that night. Rather, he demonstrated quite clearly that he was a worthy opponent for any welterweight.

Clottey’s only other loss came in June of 2009 against Miguel Cotto. Once again, Clottey acquitted himself quite well in the fight. Despite going down in the first round, it was Clottey who controlled much of the action in the fight consistently landing shots on an all too often beleaguered Miguel Cotto. Of course Cotto is a tremendous fighter with a heart that is every bit the equal of his unquestionable acumen. As such, Cotto was able to fight on relatively even terms for much of the bout. Yet, one had the distinct feeling that when Clottey set his mind to fighting, it was Cotto who was struggling to keep pace. Going into the final round it was an extraordinarily close fight; the type of fight in which a single point seemed destined to make the difference. Inexplicably, Clottey came out passively and simply allowed the incredibly game Cotto to take the final round and a split decision victory. As it turned out, Clottey would have needed to score at least a knockdown in the last round to secure even a draw, but there simply would have been no way to know that before the cards were read. At the time, it appeared as though the 12th and final round could have easily determined the winner of the fight. Cotto fought as if it did; for whatever reason, Clottey did not.

It was only at this point perhaps that an ethos for the career of Clottey finally began to materialize; Clottey as an unquestionably talented fighter who somehow finds a way to come up just the tiniest bit short in the biggest fights of his life. Where the hand problems slowed him down against Margarito, the fall and subsequent knee problems perhaps derailed him against Cotto always something keeping him from the victory he seemed so destined to obtain. Or, perhaps the answer is not so easy to define. Clottey came out fast against Margarito and then seemed to take a step back and let Margarito back into the fight. Similarly, he came out fast with Cotto and then seemed to find a way to allow Cotto to do just enough to win. Clottey appears to have solid endurance, so one is left to wonder why he has been unable to close the deal in what have often appeared to be imminently winnable fights. Clottey is the boxing equivalent of the athlete in any sport that is clearly talented enough, but has yet to find a way to win the big one. Until he does, that will be the story of his career.

On the other hand, there is a definite positive aspect to the career of Joshua Clottey; even including the losses. While he has yet to capture his white whale, he has also never been overmatched. Even in his three losses; Clottey not only wasn’t clearly defeated, he left viewers with the unmistakable sensation that the better fighter lost. If the mysterious inability to capture a career defining win encapsulates the ring saga of Joshua Clottey than the inability of any opponent to dominate him in the ring nonetheless represents a seminal truth. Every vice becomes a virtue; did his hands betray him against Margarito? It doesn’t matter because we all saw that Clottey could more than handle himself in the fight. What was behind his inability to sustain his effort against Cotto? It doesn’t matter as he shocked audiences once again by demonstrating for much of that fight that it was Cotto who had to find a way to deal with him. His losses in those fights only seem to underscore how good he is as we wonder to ourselves over and over, how did he let it get away? In this dynamic wins and losses are no longer significant. Setting a ring record aside, to date no fighter has ever been able to reduce Clottey to being just an opponent; and that is where Pacquiao comes in.

The genius of Pacquiao

The differences between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are readily apparent. Ring styles and personalities aside, there is one difference that is perhaps most telling. Pacquiao seems to capture the imagination of fight fans to a much greater degree than Floyd Mayweather. Make no mistake, they are both outstanding fighters and Floyd Mayweather is a colorful personality who brings far more excitement to the fight game than he is often given credit for. Still, the difference in the feeling one has when they watch either man fight is palpable. Mayweather’s genius is subtle as he methodically stifles his opponent slowly constricting his man until his opportunity to finish things invariably appears. Conversely, Pacquiao strikes from the outset with an awe inspiring fury. The level of genius is comparable, but one leaves you feeling almost sedate as you appreciate the brilliance, while in the other case a dumbstruck feeling washes over you as you ponder how anyone can withstand such a precise and vicious assault. There can be no difference greater between the two than how they are often perceived by those who watch them in the ring.

Oddly enough, Clottey is an ideal choice as an opponent for Manny Pacquiao. Not because he matches up in a particular way or because the timing is somehow right for this or that to take place. Clottey is the perfect choice for the opportunities that are woven into this fight. Perhaps Clottey can find a way to secure one of the biggest upsets in recent boxing history. It would complete a story that sports fans have seen many times before as a talented man finally finds a way to accomplish that which he always seemed destined to do. Clottey has been close and now he faces another great fighter, perhaps the tiniest bit distracted and perhaps not completely ready for the grueling twelve rounds that Clottey has always delivered…regardless of opponent.

On the other hand, the genius might just have another object lesson in store for his voracious audience. If Pacquiao is able to dominate Clottey and perhaps even knock him out he will have continued constructing his own tale of shocking brilliance in the ring. What Pacquiao is able to deliver, unlike even many other great fighters, is the sensation that you can’t believe what you just saw. Nobody has ever been able to dominate Joshua Clottey in the ring and that is the challenge that awaits Pacquiao. If he can go out and do just that he will once again invoke the sense of awe that has come to define the rapidly hardening ring legacy of Manny Pacquiao. Who would have thought that a tough and talented Joshua Clottey; a man nobody wanted to fight, would have ever represented the perfect opponent?

Best Round by Round Coverage of Manny Pacquiao – Joshua Clottey PPV: Only at RSR

March 13th, Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey will collide for the WBO Welterweight Title. For those of you not getting the Pay Per View, tune into RSR for the round by round coverage, including the fights leading up to the main event. The fans have demanded it and we are happy to oblige. Don’t miss the round by round coverage on March 13th of the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey Pay Per View!

Source: ringsidereport.com
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