Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pacquiao won’t be able to penetrate Clottey’s clamshell defense

Manny Pacquiao is in for a big surprise on Saturday night when he attempts to go on the attack against former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey. Pacquiao is used to having his way against a recent rag tag variety of beaten up and aging fighters but on March 13th, Pacquiao is going to find that he can’t penetrate through Clottey’s impregnable clamshell defense. I’ve seen Clottey in action in many of his fights, and it’s almost impossible to get shots through Clottey’s high guard and land anywhere to his head.

The only fighter I’ve seen who’s had any small degree of success at getting through Clottey’s guard is former World Boxing Association welterweight champion Antonio Margarito in his 12 round decision win over Clottey.

And the reason Margarito was able to land effectively a small part of the time against Clottey was because he was throwing over 100 punches per round. With that many shots being fired at Clottey in every round, something was bound to get through his guard. Still, at the end of the fight it was Margarito who looked badly beaten up, not Clottey.

In fact, Clottey looked as if he had just gone for brief stroll in the park. His face was totally unmarked and he was barely sweating. That tells you a couple of things. One, Clottey has tough skin because Margarito was able to get through his guard with a number of hard shots in every round. And two, Clottey’s clamshell defense is almost impossible to get through with punches.

With Pacquiao, he’s going to have an even tougher time landing shots because he has such short arms and won’t be able to throw looping shots around the sides of Clottey’s guard the way that Margarito was able to do. Pacquiao will have to settle for just jumping around from side to side to try and get to the sides of Clottey’s clamshell defense. I don’t see it happening.

Clottey will shut Pacquiao down almost completely, and then rake him with shots to the head. Once Clottey starts walking Pacquiao down, the Filipino fighter is going start getting tagged a lot and beaten up. Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto both failed when trying to pressure Pacquiao. However, neither of them had the clamshell defense working for them.

In Hatton’s case, he was almost completely defenseless out there against Pacquiao, because Hatton foolishly made the mistake of trying to throw hooks. That didn’t work and he quickly was taken out by Pacquiao. Clottey is a whole different ballgame entirely. He knows how to block punches, so when he comes forward raining shots on Pacquiao, it won’t be a case of him taking big shots to the head the way that Hatton was in his 2nd round knockout loss last year to Pacquiao.

Clottey is going to end up shutting Pacquiao down completely the same way that Winky Wright shut down Felix Trinidad years ago, sending him into retirement. Once Pacquiao realizes he can’t land anything, he’s going to get desperate and will ask his Freddie Roach for help. Roach won’t have a clue I’m afraid. Oh, I know Roach will have a lot to say, but his advice will be completely worthless because Pacquiao won’t be able to pry Clottey’s clamshell open.


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