Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pacquiao's Determination vs. Clottey's Tenacity and Theatrics

So Pacquiao-Mayweather fell through. It’s not the end of the world. The Pacquiao-Clottey fight has tremendous potential to be a classic match. Given the styles of both fighters, there’s just no way that this fight could fail to be exemplary of boxing at its best.
Joshua Clottey is a rough, tough, genuine welterweight with a rock-solid defense. The 33-year-old boasts a record of 35-3-0 with 20 knockouts.
Stylistically, he relies heavily upon his quick footwork and superb blocking abilities. When attacked, he consistently holds his hands high with elbows tucked in tight to the body. He’s very hard to hit when he’s on his guard.
He’s also impressively resilient. This guy doesn’t run out of gas in the later rounds.
In addition to his boxing abilities, his demeanor inside the ring should provide plenty of quality entertainment. He tends to engage in overly dramatized theatrics at every hint of a foul.
He showcased his acting abilities on several occasions during his June 13, 2009 bout with Miguel Cotto.
When Clottey found himself trapped in the corner, he decided to initiate a rather unorthodox clinch by throwing his upper body over the top of Cotto’s left shoulder.
Cotto promptly demonstrated his distaste for the unusual tactic by lifting Clottey up and body slamming him face-first to the canvas.
Clottey then took an extended break while rolling around on the canvas and acting like he was dying.
This is ironic considering that he jumped to his feet quickly after Cotto knocked him off balance, sending him momentarily to the canvas in Round One. He wasn’t hurt then either.
Theatrics aside, Clottey is a tough character with an iron jaw. He has never been knocked out despite going against such top-tier opponents as Zab Judah and Antonio Margarito.
His loss to Miguel Cotto came by means of a controversial split decision.
How will Pacquiao fare against Clottey’s defensive mastery? Pacquiao is a busy fighter, so he will undoubtedly spend a lot of time and energy punching at Clottey’s gloves and shoulders. Punches to the sides of Clottey’s body could prove to be most effective in wearing him down.
Clottey is a good counterpuncher who carefully and accurately chooses his spots. It’s no secret that Pacquiao has had difficulty with good counterpunchers in the past.
This fight will definitely not be a repeat of Pacquiao-Hatton.
Pacquiao prefers fighters who are willing to engage in extended toe-to-toe slugfests, and it’s highly unlikely that Clottey will oblige.
This will necessitate Pacquiao to rely on his own counter punching skills. He will need to take advantage of those times that Clottey attempts to score.
This is when he is most likely to land something that will hurt Clottey. Pacquiao’s unconventional style and weird punching angles will be the major factor in the fight.
Even though Clottey has never been defeated by knockout, I think Pacquiao will eventually sneak something in that will hurt Clottey. At that point Clottey’s defense will become penetrable and Manny will finish him.
After one particularly impressive flurry from Miguel Cotto, Clottey dropped both hands, smiled, and shook his head to taunt Cotto.
I wonder if he’ll do that to Pacquiao?
My prediction: Manny Pacquiao wins by TKO in Round 10.


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