Monday, January 18, 2010

Pacquiao vs. Clottey prediction: Look for Joshua to shock the world by stopping Manny

By Esteban Garduno: I hate to say this but I think Manny Pacquiao has finally met his match against 32-year-old Joshua Clottey. This is a case of Pacquiao facing someone too big, too strong and too skilled defensively for him to win. Think of Clottey as tank with heavy armor and Pacquiao as an infantry soldier with rifle, a knife and a shovel. With those crude tools, there’s no way that a soldier is going to be able to get through the armor of that tank without the use of a mine or rocket propelled firing weapon.

Okay, so Pacquiao isn’t going to have any of those tools on March 13th with him when he enters the ring against the tank-like Clottey, and this fight is going to quickly result in a massive route of epic proportions. I don’t know why, but this fight makes me think of the Napoleon’s last battle in Waterloo.

Clottey may be a beatable fighter against tough welterweights like Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. The reason those guys were able to beat Clottey is because they knew how to get to his soft underbelly and beat him by out-working him with a massive amount of punches. In doing so, Cotto and Margarito took an enormous amount of punishment from Clottey in beating him.

Margarito’s face was a blood red by the time the fight ended from all of Clottey’s shots he hit him with, and Cotto’s face was a bloody mess from the punches he took from Clottey. In both cases, Margarito and Cotto had to pool every ounce of energy they had in their bodies to beat Clottey. It wasn’t easy but they got the win. But I think Pacquiao’s small body won’t be able to hold up under the heavy fire from Clottey and I see a break down occurring.

In moving up weight to take on bigger and bigger fighters, Pacquiao has pressed his body to the upper limits of what it’s capable of in beating Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Cotto. He’s done a remarkable job with beating these bigger fighters. But I think Pacquiao is going to enter into his equivalent of a Waterloo in facing Clottey and will find himself being beaten back by Clottey’s powerful armament.

Here’s how I see the Pacquiao-Clottey fight going:

Pacquiao’s shots will bounce off the gloves and the hard head of Clottey without making a dent. If anything, I see Clottey smiling though his gloves at Pacquiao after being hit with his shots, letting him know that he’s not affected by his shots. In the meantime, Clottey will continue to walk Pacquiao down and rain hooks and right hands on Pacquiao.

I see this fight getting quickly out of hand early on after Pacquiao sees that his punches have no effect on Clottey. I’d say by the 3rd or 4th round, Clottey will start softening Pacquiao up with laser right hands to the head that will have Pacquiao face starting to bruise and turn red. Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, will frantically bark at him telling him to stay away from Clottey’s massive power shots.

But instead of playing it safe on the outside, Pacquiao will tempt fate by going straight into the teeth of Clottey’s offense and find himself taking withering fire from all angles from the bigger and stronger Clottey. Things will quickly get out of hand at that point with Clottey backing a now retreating Pacquiao across the ring hammering him with shot after shot to the head.

I see Roach losing his senses completely as he rapidly spits out useless directions in rapid fire succession that Pacquiao won’t hear because of the screaming from the thousands of fans in the Dallas Cowboy stadium. What was thought to be a good thing by crowding a 65,000 backsides into the stadium will work against Pacquiao and Roach, because Pacquiao won’t be able to hear Roach’s priceless pearls of wisdom, such as ‘cover up’ and ‘get out of there’.

It will be no use. Clottey, sensing that he has a weakened prey, will pounce on Pacquiao and batter him to pieces with one huge shot after another as Pacquiao tried to cover against the ropes. Finally, after Clottey lands a finishing left hook to the head, it will send Pacquiao down on the canvas where he will quickly be counted out by the referee.


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