Friday, February 12, 2010

Roach: “If he [Clottey] lays on the ropes, we’re [Pacquiao] going to kill him”

Freddie RoachBy Jim Dower: Trainer Freddie Roach feels it won’t be much of a problem for Manny Pacquiao to take apart Joshua Clottey in their March 13th fight at the Dallas Cowboy stadium, in Arlington, Texas. Roach says in an interview at Fightfan, If he [Clottey] lays on the ropes, we’re [Pacquiao] going to kill him.” Pacquiao will be making his first defense of his newly won World Boxing Organization welterweight title against number #1 ranked Clottey. Pacquiao wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., but the negotiations for that fight stalled and eventually failed after Mayweather requested that random blood tests be taken up to 14 days before the fight.
The tough-chinned Clottey was then signed on an alternate opponent for Pacquiao. Despite Clottey never having been stopped before during his career, Roach feels pretty good Pacquiao being able to possibly stop him late in the fight. Roach doesn’t think that Clottey is a good fighter defensively, saying “I don’t think he [Clottey] has good defense. He’s too passive. He waits for you to throw combinations, then he throws. He tries to wait you out until you get tired. But Pacquiao doesn’t get tired.”

Clottey’s tendency to cover up on the ropes is one of the main criticisms of him. While some boxing fans are enthusiastic about Clottey’s airtight defense when he’s covering up with his high guard, what they fail to see is that Clottey isn’t active enough offensively to win rounds. He also is vulnerable to get hit in the body, as Miguel Cotto showed in his 12 round decision victory over Clottey last year.

Clottey fought well at times in the Cotto fight, and by the 9th round the fight was still very much up for grabs. However, Clottey then went to the ropes from the 10th until the 12th rounds, covering up and taking shots to the body. Cotto didn’t have much success in getting through Clottey’s guard to land head shots, but he still was able to land quite a bit to the body. And at the same time, with Clottey just covering up and not throwing anything back, he effectively gave the last three rounds to Cotto with his inactivity.

Clottey can’t do this against Pacquiao, because if he’s allowed to throw at will against a fighter that’s mainly just covering up, he’ll throw dozens of shots and likely get a quick stoppage even if Clottey isn’t really hurt. All it takes is for Pacquiao to land 20 or more consecutive shots in the space of a 20 seconds and it’s very possible that the referee will step in and halt the fight to try and protect Clottey from getting drilled to pieces.

Roach goes on about Pacquiao’s power, saying “He’s punching really hard. I wear the body suit, and it doesn’t help that much. He [Pacquiao] kills me. He always had that speed and explosiveness, but the weight just makes it a lot more denser than before.”


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