Thursday, January 14, 2010

Roach goal: Deal Clottey's first KO

MANILA, Philippines - Josh Clottey has never been knocked out in a pro career spanning close to 15 years.

Freddie Roach wants Manny Pacquiao to be the first to put the 33-year-old ex-world champion down for good.

“I think we’re going to get him out in 12 easily, but he’s definitely a tough guy to knock out though,” said Roach as he disected the upcoming fight in a lengthy interview with’s Ben Thompson.

“That’s our goal, to knock him out and be one of the first ones to do that,” said Roach.

It’s not asking Pacquiao too much if Roach wants a knockout because the Filipino icon has knocked out every fighter he’s faced in his last four fights -- David Diaz, Oscar dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto.

Odds will surely be in favor the 31-year-old Pacquiao, considered as the greatest of his era.

But Clottey is indeed one tough guy because in 39 fights he’s never been knocked out, losing only thrice, once to Antonio Margarito (unanimous) in 2006 and to Cotto (split) in June last year.

His other loss was a disqualification against Carlos Manuel Baldomir at the Wembley Stadium in London in 1999. The referee disqualified Clottey due to headbutts in the 10th and 11th rounds of their welterweight clash.

The March 13 fight between Pacquiao and Clottey was sealed the other day when their promoter, Bob Arum, flew to Dallas and sat down with Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the fight venue.

The fight contract should be signed anytime this week since the fight is just 60 days away. Pacquiao will be in Los Angeles any day from now to begin his training at the Wild Card Gym.

Reports said Pacquiao will receive no less than $10 million for the fight but may end up with $20 million in the trunk of his black Mercedes when everything comes in.

Floyd Mayweather, who blew a chance to face Pacquiao and earn no less than $25 million, will keep his March 13 date at the MGM Grand, and might end up facing Paulie Malignaggi.

Pacquiao could sign the contract the moment he lands at the LAX, train hard for eight weeks, get rid of Clottey and fly back home to campaign for the May 10 polls where he’s seeking a congressional seat in Sarangani.

It will be the biggest fight for Clottey in terms of purse and stature, and nothing would keep him from signing the contract.

Roach knows exactly what to do with the former IBF welterweight champion.

“We have to box this guy, in-and-out, side-to-side motion, and really, really be very tactical because he’s a very strong and big puncher and has a good chin of course,” said Roach.

Against Cotto, Clottey went down in the first round after taking a short left hook to the face, but gave the champion from Puerto Rico a hell of a time, a bloody one, the rest of the way. Some felt he won the fight.

“Again, it’s not an easy fight, but it’s a fight that we want to fight because it’s the fight that the fans will enjoy and that’s what we want,” said Roach, adding that Pacquiao will stake his WBO welterweight crown.

“It will be at 147. No catchweight,” he told


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