Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Preview

Manny Pacquiao battles Joshua Clottey this Saturday on HBO PPV in what is being billed The Event. The night of fights kicks off at 9pm ET with an undercard that features Alfonso Gomez vs. Jose Luis Castillo and Humberto Soto vs. David Diaz. This will be the first boxing event in the newly built Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Inside Fights will have live coverage of The Event on Saturday so come back for a full recap of all the fights.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey (WBO Welterweight Title)
Money Line: Pacquiao -800; Clottey +500

Manny Pacquiao, 50-3-2 (38 KOs), is the number one pound-for-pound boxer in the world. He has been on an improbable run over the last two years, during which he captured a world title in a seventh different weight class. Manny defends his newly won welterweight title against the durable Joshua Clottey. Pacman seemingly got stronger as he moved up in weight, without losing any of the blistering speed he’s known for. Crisp, accurate punching is what wore down Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto, and that is what Pacquiao will rely on against Joshua Clottey. His working relationship with trainer Freddie Roach has proven to be a match made in boxing heaven. Roach has developed a perfect gameplan for Pacquiao’s last four fights so you can bet that Pacman will be well-prepared for this welterweight showdown.

Joshua Clottey, 35-3 (20 KOs) has been on the cusp of welterweight stardom for years and this may be his last chance at capturing it. He boasts wins over the likes of Diego Corrales and Zab Judah, but came up just short against Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto. Clottey is a great boxer known for his defense and counter-punching. He likes to take his time in the ring, something that could either help him or hurt him against Pacquiao’s aggressiveness. Clottey may be overwhelmed, causing him to mentally exit from the fight, or he could use the patience to his advantage and catch a charging Pacquiao with a well-placed combination. A win for Clottey would finally propel the Ghanan to welterweight stardom. A loss would mean he is still just a notch below the top guys in the division.

Fight Predictions

Corey Willinger: Joshua Clottey is a big, skilled welterweight who has posed a lot of upper class fighters some serious problems. But none of those guys were Manny Pacquiao. Clottey’s hand speed has been his biggest advantage against top fighters like Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Diego Corrales. Against Pacquiao, there is no hand speed advantage. And Clottey’s biggest weakness – his tendency to fade over the last third of his fights – is going to be amplified against Manny, who seems to get better as he settles more into the fight with each passing round. By the championship rounds, Pacquiao will pull decisively ahead, if he hasn’t already, to win a clear unanimous decision and continue to grow his legend. I’ll call it 118-110 for Pacquiao in a near-rout.

Paul Magno: Walk in the park for Pacquiao. Clottey is the exact opposite type of fighter needed to beat Manny. He’s slow-footed, passive and robotic. Manny will dart in, dart out and be well out of range before Clottey can even put his hands down from his defensive position. Clottey will defend as long as Manny throws, but Manny won’t tire. For Clottey to win, he’ll have to change his style and mindset completely and develop skills that he has never shown before in his career. I’d be surprised if he manages to win even two rounds. Clottey is a good fighter, just all wrong for Manny. Easy win via TKO or RTD around the 10th as Clottey’s inexperienced corner overreacts and stops the bout amidst the chaos generated by 45 thousand screaming Pacquiao fans.

Middleweight prospect Edwin Rodriguez (via our weekly boxing show): “I know everybody is going with Pacquiao because he has seemed unbeatable lately and he’s one of the best fighters right now but I see an upset. Joshua Clottey has a tremendous defense and I think he’s going to be able to beat Pacquiao. I think he’s going to stop him in the late rounds, probably the 9th or 10th. I look for a knockout, Joshua Clottey in the 10th. Put me down on that one.”

Trent Pusey: Joshua Clottey is a good, solid boxer but his consistency will hurt him. He’s been the same fighter for years making him an easy guy for Freddie Roach to dissect and prep Pacquiao for. The fight will start bad for Clottey and only get worse. Clottey has a propensity to disengage as the rounds go on whereas Manny gets stronger. Clottey will be worn down and there will be no choice but for the referee to stop the fight. Wapakaman is an unstoppable force and Joshua Clottey stands no chance without putting kryptonite in his gloves. Manny stops him in the 9th.

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