LOS ANGELES – Take it from somebody who’s been there in the ring with both Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey.
Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto told the Bulletin on Friday that the duel between Pacquiao and Clottey “will be very tough for both fighters,” citing the Filipino’s lightning-quick speed and punching power and the Ghanaian’s edge in size and strength as crucial factors in determining who wins the March 13 face-off at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
“Clottey keeps his hands up all the time and that’s going to help him against Manny’s quickness,” said Cotto in an interview facilitated by Bryan Perez, Cotto’s aide-de-camp.
Cotto barely edged past Clottey when they rumbled in June last year at Madison Square Garden in New York, winning a disputable 12-round split decision.
Five months later, Cotto returned to the ring and faced Pacquiao, who stopped him in the 12th round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Having tasted the fury of Clottey and Pacquiao’s blows in succession, Cotto has drawn a conclusion.
“Clottey is physically stronger and bigger but Pacquiao hits harder,” said Cotto, who is still hurting from the sudden demise of his father Miguel Sr. earlier in the year.
“I am moving on (with my life) but still no boxing for me.”
Cotto, however, is heading to New York next week for an important gig involving his promotional outfit Top Rank, which is planning to stage his comeback on June 12 against Yuri Foreman in New York.
Meanwhile, Clottey told the US website East Side Boxing just before he flew back to New York from Accra that “I really want to prove my point in this fight; to prove the whole world that I am the best.”
Clottey is now back in training mode in his homebase in the rough Bronx section of New York, according to his manager Vinny Scolpino, who revealed that despite a two-month absence, Clottey remains in terrific shape “because he plays soccer when he is not training for a fight.”