Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pacquiao to hand Clottey 1st KO loss says Roach

It may be wishful thinking, but the earlier Manny Pacquiao stops challenger Joshua Clottey in their March 13 welterweight title fight, the better.

"If he gets him in one, I’m much happier, believe me," Roach told a couple of Manila-based sportswriters shortly after seeing the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion go through eight rounds of sparring Thursday (Friday in Manila) at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood.

"But Clottey has never been knocked out before, and I don’t think that’s going to happen. But you never know."

Clottey, 32, and from Accra, Ghana, but now based in Bronx, New York, has never been knocked out in his 39 pro fights, with all three of his losses coming either by unanimous decision or disqualification.

On Wednesday during Pacquiao’s open public workout, Roach, who turns 50 on Friday, March 5, boldly declared that the challenger won’t last the distance; even singling out that Clottey will break down come the ninth round.

Roach said he did mention round nine as the possible time when Clottey will go down since "they (reporters) forced me to pick a number."

"And I pick No. 9 all the time because that’s my favorite number," the four-time Trainer of the Year stressed.

And neither will he coerce Pacquiao to go for a knockout on the ninth round just because he predicted so.

"No, no, no," he repeatedly said. "I would never do that."

"But it won’t go 12 rounds, that’s my prediction."

Roach pointed out Clottey, the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion, hasn’t fought a fighting machine like Pacquiao in his entire career.

And like the great Oscar De La Hoya, the great disciple of the great late trainer Eddie Futch believes Clottey will be forced to quit the 12-round fight.

"The thing is, he’ll be going to be overwhelmed by the punches, and he’ll get it from so many angles. He’s never fought a guy who swarms over him like Manny Pacquiao," said Roach.

"He’s not used to that. Like Oscar (De La Hoya), we’ll let him quit it, I feel."

Roach felt more confident of a Pacquiao victory after the world’s top pound-for-pound king sparred for five rounds with Abdullay Amidu and old timer David Rodela.

The popular Filipino southpaw even had to take it easy on his long-time sparring partner the moment he bloodied the nose of Rodela with a bruising straight left.

"He looked really good, really sharp today. I’m very happy where he’s at, the game plan is in place and he knows what to do," said Roach later.

Knowing that Clottey has a very dangerous uppercut, Roach has that thing taken cared of during training camp, now on its seventh week.

"He (Clottey) is very fine with it. So I want Manny to keep his distance, that’s what we’re working out in sparring. He did a beautiful job of keeping the distance today in sparring. He knows what I want," Roach said, pointing out they’ll fight more like the way they did when Pacquiao fought Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez when the champion "slides out, slides to the side and uses the counterpunch."

Six more rounds are scheduled on Saturday and four on Monday, after which, it’s off to Dallas in the final week leading up to the fight.

source: GMANews.TV

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