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Clottey Was Outboxed, Outclassed by Pacquiao

Pacquiao Fans Want Mayweather Next

Inquirer.net, News Report, Roy Luarca, Philippine Daily Inquirer Posted: Mar 14, 2010

ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- Before one of the largest indoor crowds in modern U.S. ring history, Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night, U.S. time, Sunday morning, Philippine time, dominated a strangely gun-shy Joshua Clottey, outpunching him from bell to bell, to retain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title.

The ease with which Pacquiao outclassed Clottey over 12 rounds -- at times, the Filipino looked as if he were simply working up a sweat in a sparring sessionleft many fans and experts hankering for a once-in-a-lifetime fight between him and the undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr.

We are ready to fight him (Mayweather) any time, The New York Times quoted Pacquiao as saying. I dont think hes ready to fight.

I want that fight, the world wants that fight, but its up to him, Pacquiao said after the one-sided match on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila).

With 50,944 fansthe biggest fight crowd in the United States in 17 yearscheering him on at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Pacquiao made sure the result was never in doubt.

Pacquiao exuded confidence. The New York Times said that two hours before stepping into the ring, the man who had captured a record seven world titles in seven weight divisions watched NBA basketball on television.

Body Shots Throughout

Throwing punches in bunches, Pacquiao controlled the fight throughout as he raked Clotteys body with shots that could have toppled a brick wall.

But Clottey showed why hes never been knocked out by surviving the onslaught and covering well, occasionally finding the attacking Pacquiao open for a punch or two.

All three judges gave Pacquiao a runaway victory. Duane Ford of Nevada saw a sweep, 120-108, while New Mexicos Levi Martinez and Puerto Ricos Nelson Vasquez both scored it 119-109, giving Clottey only one round, the third.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer scored it, 120-108, giving every round to Pacquiao, as did the Associated Press.

1,231 Punches

Pacquiaos punishing assault was reflected on the CompuBox: He threw three times as many punches as Clottey, an average of 100 a round, and landed as many power shots as Clottey threw.

Final punch stats showed Pacquiao landing 246 of 1,231 punches to 108 of 399 for Clottey.

He pitched a shutout and won every round, said the Filipino superstars American trainer, Freddie Roach.

Though he failed to knock out Clottey, Pacquiao said he was satisfied with the result.

Clottey is a very tough opponent and a good counterpuncher, said Pacquiao, whose string of knockouts ended at four. I (was) not in a hurry because he was looking for a big shot.

Clottey never found any as Pacquiao, now 51-3-2 with 38 knockouts, executed the game plan that he and Roach hatched in their training camp back at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

Clotteys Only Mission

Right after the opening bell, Pacquiao worked on Clotteys body with the Ghanaian trying to retaliate with straights. Pacquiao intensified the bombardment in the second, but Clottey kept himself in a shell -- content with just putting both arms in front of him to keep out of harms way.

The third turned out to be Clotteys best round as he jolted Pacquiao twice with 1-2 combinations. Still, it wasnt enough to thwart Pacquiaos inside thrusts that often found their mark.

Pacquiao resumed his assault in the fourth, lightly hitting Clotteys ears with closed gloves, and in the fifth, as the Ghanaian stayed on the defensive mode.

From then on, it seemed that Clotteys only mission was to finish the round upright, similar to the strategy employed by Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera in his second fight with Pacquiao.

Low Blow

Clottey unleashed a low blow in the eighth round that drew boos from the predominantly Filipino crowd of 50,944, the third largest crowd to watch an indoor fight in modern boxing history.

Before the round ended, Clottey even sneaked in a punch on the clinch.

Clottey was able to land some solid blows from the ninth to the 12th rounds, but Pacquiao countered with flurries, switching from the body to the head.

When the end came, the two fighters embraced each other in the middle of the ring, which was dwarfed by a gigantic, high definition television measuring 72 feet tall and 160 feet wide and hanging 30 feet above.

The loss dropped Clotteys record to 53-4 (with 21 knockouts). But he succeeded in avoiding the fate that befell David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cottoall of whom were savagely knocked out by Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, who was recently named Fighter of the Decade, ran his win streak to 12 straight fights.

Survival mode

Pacquiao called Clottey a very good defensive fighter.

I was looking for a strategy to beat that defense, like body shots, uppercuts. It worked, the champion said, adding: Some of his punches hurt.

He (Clottey) fought a defensive fight, Roach said. When you fight for the world title, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I thought he would have thrown more punches. He was in survival mode and when the guy is trying to survive it is hard to knock him out.

After the verdict was announced, Pacquiao was asked about the bungled negotiations with Mayweather Jr., the former world No. 1 boxer. He said it seemed the American, whos slated to fight Shane Mosley on May 1, wasnt ready to face him yet.

Pacquiao said it was now Mayweathers turn to get past Mosley, otherwise Mosley may end up as his next opponent. He said he would decide on his fight plans after the May elections. He is vying for a congressional seat in Sarangani province in the Philippines.

Before the fight started, Pacquiao was prayed over by priest Michael Beof. He was surrounded by wife Jinkee, relatives and team members.

$12-M Guarantee

Pacquiao is guaranteed to receive $12 million, apart from his share from pay-per-view revenues and gate receipts. Clottey earned his biggest paycheck of $1.5 million.

Pacquiao was accompanied to the ring by Roach, assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez, conditioning expert Alex Ariza, flag-bearer Cris Aquino, trainer Nonoy Neri, confidante Wakee Salud, former world champion Gerry Pealosa, and lawyer Jeng Gacal.

Upon entering the $1.2-billion stadiumhome of American footballs Dallas CowboysPacquiao walked to the tune of Eye of the Tiger, headed to his corner and prayed for 30 seconds.

The tone of the bout was set early, with Pacquiao advancing against his taller opponent and throwing punches with both hands from all angles.

Everythings working now, Roach told Pacquiao after the third round. Its easy.

Clotteys corner was urging him late in the fight to take some risks, but even in the final round when he needed a knockout to win, the Ghanaian only sparingly dropped his guard.

You gotta take a chance, Clotteys trainer, Lenny DeJesus, implored him after the sixth round. Youre in a fight and you gotta start taking chances.

Incredible Story

DeJesus later said his fighter had the power to knock him (Pacquiao) out but was reluctant to punch. We clearly got beat. I dont think he won a round.

This was the first defense of his WBO title for Pacquiao who was the heavy favorite despite giving away a 10-pound weight advantage to Clottey.

The fight was more of an event than a real competition, bringing in the biggest crowd in the United States for a fight since Julio Cesar Chavez fought Pernell Whitaker at the Alamodome in 1993.

Promoters not only sold out the 45,000 seats available for the bout, but added thousands more standing room passes for fans who could get a glimpse of the action and see every drop of sweat on the huge overhead screens.

Its one of the most incredible stories not just in boxing but anywhere, said promoter Bob Arum. Fourteen years ago, he (Pacquiao) was sleeping in a cardboard shack in the Philippines and tonight, he puts 51,000 people in this palace in Dallas.

Clottey didnt feel the fight as one-sided as the judges saw it.

I won a couple of rounds, the Ghanaian said. I dont think I lost all the rounds.

At the weigh-in, Pacquiao hit 145 pounds and Clottey, 147. At fight time itself, Pacquiao probably weighed at least 150, still giving away at least 10 pounds to Clottey, who normally climbs the ring at 160.

With reports from AP, AFP and Reuters

Photo credit: Inquirer.net/Solar Sports video still photo

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