Thursday, March 4, 2010

Battle ready Pacquiao eager to face Clottey

Manny Pacquiao declared himself fit and ready to go with barely two weeks left before he stakes his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Joshua Clottey.

“We’re 100 percent ready," said the Pacman before a throng of press people who came over at the Wildcard gym in Hollywood, California to grace his media day workout Wednesday. “We just need to maintain my condition."

But while Pacquiao refuses to come up with a categorical statement whether he can knock out Clottey in their March 13 bout, the man responsible for turning the Filipino ring icon into the boxing great that he is today was more exact to the point.

Freddie Roach, the current best trainer in the brutal world of prize fighting, declared the 31-year old Pacquiao would put Clottey away later in their scheduled 12-round bout at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

And by later Roach specifically meant it could come sometime in the ninth round.

“A knockout in the ninth is likely," said Roach, while awaiting Pacquiao to arrive at the Wildcard gym here for his scheduled media day workout on Wednesday.

Acknowledging that Clottey, the 32-year old challenger from Ghana, has a durable chin, Roach said that slowly Pacquiao “will break him (Clottey) down to the body."

When pressed by the throng of media men who came over to watch the public workout about the possibility of scoring another knockout win, Pacquaio remains non-committal, again expressing his deep respect for the talent and power of Clottey.

“I never underestimate any of my opponents," said the reigning WBO 147-pound king. “It’s really hard to say (about scoring a knockout). Of course, I believe in my power, but he also has power. So, we’ll just see each other in the ring."

The seven-time world champion from General Santos City has a ring record of 50-3, with 38 KOs. He won eight of his last 11 fights by way of stoppage, including that sensational 12-round technical knockout of Miguel Cotto, the same man who beat Clottey in his last bout in June of 2009.

Pacquiao said winning by knockout over Clottey may only come as a bonus, stressing there would be no problem with him if ever he comes out victorious through the judges’ scorecards.

“It doesn’t matter to me, (if it goes 12 rounds)," said the world’s top pound-for-pound king, casually dressed in his blue Nike Manny Pacquaio t-shirt on top of a red short and a pair of red Nike boxing shoes.

“I do 30 rounds everyday in the gym, and the fight is only for 12 rounds, so going over 12 rounds is not a problem to me."

The last time Pacquiao went the distance came in 2008 when he eked out a close, but highly controversial split decision over Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez in their long-awaited rematch.

Prior to his media day workout, Pacquiao and his team jogged for about an hour at Griffith Park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica mountains, and later on, called it a day after appearing for the second time in the popular talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he once again showed his singing prowess by belting out the prominent George Benson ditty “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You." 

source: GMANews.TV

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