Friday, January 22, 2010

The decision to fight Clottey could backfire if Pacquiao gets damaged

By Jason Kim: One thing that Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao’s management may not have thought about is that their decision to take a fight against the tough Joshua Clottey could backfire on them if Pacquiao gets damaged in his fight against Clottey. Pacquiao could end up taking heavy punishment from Clottey, even if Manny wins the fight. It might be too high of a price for Pacquiao to pay in winning if he ends up getting hurt and it causing him problems in future fights.

This kind of thing happens all the time. A fighter takes a tough bout that turns into a real war and that fighter is never the same afterwards and prone to getting knocked out easily. Clottey is that kind of a tough fighter that can inflict a lot of damage even if he loses the fight.

No one beats him easily without Clottey landing a lot of punches to the head. And he has good power and speed, and he makes his opponents pay a heavy price for their wins. When you look at that and take into account how wide open Pacquiao is defensively because of his aggressive style of attacking, this fight could end up with Pacquiao taking an awful lot of punishment.

Pacquiao may not be the same fighter he was after the fight. This isn’t an over-matched super featherweight, lightweight or an old Oscar De La Hoya that Pacquiao is facing on March 13th. Clottey will be really bringing it and giving Pacquiao pure hell. It doesn’t matter that Pacquiao will be landing a lot of fast punches.

Clottey will still get too him plenty and will probably hit Pacquiao harder and more often than he’s been hit before in any of his other bouts. Pacquiao is coming off of a 12th round TKO over Miguel Cotto in November. Pacquiao got hit some in that fight, but really not all that much because Cotto was pretty much on his bike from the 5th round on and looking to just survive.

After Cotto got hurt early in the fight, he wasn’t standing and trading with Pacquiao like he normally does in his fights. Because of that, Pacquiao really didn’t get hit nearly as much as he would have if Cotto had stayed in one place and fired back consistently for 12 rounds. If that had been the case, Pacquiao would have taken a ton of punishment in the fight.

Well, Clottey will be able to take Pacquiao’s shots without being hurt and he clearly won’t run from him like Cotto did and he won’t fold early like Ricky Hatton. This is why Pacquiao will likely pay a huge price in beating Clottey. I still think Pacquiao will win, but this fight might take a lot out of him because Clottey is tough, durable and can punch.

Clottey likes when his fights turn into wars and he’s well suited for this kind of style of fighting. Pacquiao has been spared fighting bouts like this, because most of his opponents aren’t able to withstand his power and speed. Erik Morales, who beat Pacquiao by a 12 round decision in 2005, was one of the few who could. But that fight was fought at super featherweight.

Clottey is a lot bigger than Morales and he probably won’t back up an inch with the smaller Pacquiao coming after him. Again, I think Pacquiao will win this fight, but I think it’s going to be a heavy price because of the punishment he’s going to take in the fight. I think if Pacquiao does face Mayweather next, there may not be enough left of Pacquiao for it to be a competitive fight.


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