Like most in the boxing world I am greatly anticipating the match up for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Welterweight Championship of the World between Champion Manny Pacquiao and Challenger Joshua Clottey. I’ve watched the 24/7 program on HBO and my notion that Pacquiao will be too much for Clottey has been reinforced. I do believe it will be an entertaining fight, however, and expect Clottey to make the match significantly competitive.
In watching the clips of the fighters training I’ve noticed a tendency for Clottey to become vulnerable while punching. He squares up a bit more than Pacquiao does on occasion. I believe Pacquiao will be able to capitalize on Clottey’s openings at key moments and get him in trouble. The straight left hand and the right uppercut and right hook to the body and head will be the weapons Pacquiao uses, landing them in speedy, powerful combinations. He will jab well too, and in spite of Clottey’s reach advantage, Pacquiao will neutralize the difference by out jabbing him and out maneuvering him the way he did in his last fight against Miguel Cotto.
On the program Freddie Roach said that in studying Clottey he’s become confident Pacquiao will overwhelm him. Clottey is a linear fighter, Roach says, and will not be able to handle Pacquiao’s arsenal. I agree because Pacquiao’s foot movement is so superior to Clottey’s, and Pacquiao is able to capitalize powerfully from every angle when he utilizes that element of his boxing talent. Clottey is a tough, strong man and also an excellent boxer, so I believe he will catch Pacquiao on occasion and make him earn the victory, but Pacquiao will defeat him and may even be able to knock him out. Of course I can’t be certain of when and how the fight will end, but I will say now that I expect Pacquiao to be declared the victor sometime after the beginning of round 8. There’s a strong possibility Clottey can last 12, but I don’t believe he’ll win.
© Copyright 2009, Mark Connor