Two weeks into their training camp, trainer Freddie Roach is singing a different tune in his forecast of the fate that awaits Joshua Clottey against his prized ward Manny Pacquiao in their showdown on March 13.
“Manny will knock him out," Roach said in a TV interview with GMA News, changing his earlier projection of a 12-round win for Pacquiao, the reigning pound-for-pound king.
“I’ve been studying tapes of him (Clottey), (and) he’s not very good," he observed.
Roach has initially stated that Team Pacquiao would be preparing to go 12 hard rounds against Clottey, whom he described as “a big strong guy who’s never been knocked out before."
But after spending more time scrutinizing the 32-year-old challenger’s fighting style, the trainer is now apparently convinced the Filipino ring icon’s vaunted speed and power would overwhelm Clottey.
“I think if we break him (Clottey) down, we can get him out of there in the late rounds," said Roach, who had previously predicted, rather accurately, Pacquiao’s KO wins over previous foes like Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto.
“He (Clottey) has a passive defense and leaves his body wide open for a while when he puts his hands up like that. When we dig to the body and break him down, I think we can get him out of there," he added.
Clottey, who vowed to shock Pacquiao and the world, enjoys the size advantage against Pacquiao.
But Roach believes size alone won’t win it.
“It (Clottey’s size) is always a concern, of course. But the thing is, going into the ring, my guy (Pacquiao) is going to be about 149 (lbs) and the other guy will is going to have to be about 10-12 pounds on him and be bigger. But size doesn’t win fights. Ability does!" he said.
Pacquiao, the world’s first seven-division titlist and winner of the first-ever WBC Diamond Belt, will be staking his WBO welterweight crown against Clottey in a PPV bout to be held at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. - GMANews.TV