Sunday, January 24, 2010

Roach predicts a 12-rd win for Pacman this time

Trainer Freddie Roach is practically accurate when he predicts the brutal fate of Manny Pacquiao’s opponents. He was virtually prophetic in Pacquiao’s annihilation of Oscar De La Hoya, stoppage of Ricky Hatton, and bloody disposal of Miguel Cotto.

For Pacquiao’s defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Joshua Clottey of Ghana on March 13, though, the outspoken trainer is not projecting a KO win – at least not yet in this early part of their training camp.

In a TV interview with GMA News, Roach said Team Pacquiao is preparing for a 12-round war with the tough challenger.

“This guy (Clottey) has never been knocked out before. He’s a tough guy. If the knockout comes, that will be a bonus but I’m planning to win in a 12-round fight," he said at the Wild Card Gym in LA, where Pacquiao has started his seven-week training.

Though never knocked out, Clottey is not new to absorbing a knockdown. In his failed bid last year against then champion Cotto, the 32-year-old Clottey hit the deck from the Puerto Rican’s left hook before the end of the first round. Clottey survived and eventually fought Cotto to a tough fight the rest of the way, with the fight ending in a close split decision win for the Boricuan bomber.

Clottey’s two other career losses were a unanimous decision to Antonio Margarito in 2006 and a DQ in his duel with Argentine Carlos Baldomir back in 1999.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao spent his first day of training minus the roadwork due to the rainy conditions in LA.

“Wala namang kaso yun kasi di naman masyadong mahirap yung fight na nakaraan," he said, referring to his showdown with Cotto last November.

Clottey has been tapped as Pacquiao’s next foe after talks for a megabout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. bogged down due to spat over dope-testing procedures.

Fight fans, though, seem to readily accept Clottey as replacement, based on the brisk sales of tickets for the Ghanaian’s duel with Pacquiao at the Cowboys Stadium.

ESPN.Com reported that in the first three hours of public ticket sales Saturday, more than 20,000 of the approximately 40,000 available were sold. The tickets ranged in price from $50 to $700. - GMANews.TV


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