Saturday, March 13, 2010
By George Kimball
ARLINGTON, Texas --- Manny Pacquiao defended his WBO welterweight title with a runaway unanimous decision at sold-out Cowboys Stadium, but Joshua Clottey could take some solace in becoming the world’s best boxer’s first opponent in two years to hear the final bell, as well as the only Pacquiao foe weighing more than 130 pounds to go the distance.
Although he didn’t get much respect on the scorecards of the ringside judges, Clottey gained the admiration of the crowd as well as his opponent.
Pacquiao ran his record to 51-3-2 with the win. Asked afterward about a possible Paquiao meeting with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach replied, “It’s what the whole world wants to see.
“Just let the commission do its job,” said Roach of the drug-testing issue. “Just get in the ring and fight.”
Alfonso Gomez, who rose to prominence on ‘The Contender’ to become the boxer who retired that late Arturo Gatti, may have done the same favor for former world champion Jose Luis Castillo. After five rounds of a bout in which he had not been competitive, Castillo quit on his stool as his corner informed referee Kenny Bayless that he could not continue. Gomez is now 22-4-2, Castillo 60-10-1.
According to CompuBox stats, Gomez landed 92 punches to Castillo’s 47. The crowd of 50,994 was so worked up by Gomez-Castillo that they spend most of the fight between Humberto Soto and David Diaz attempting, with varying degrees of success, to perform The Wave.
Fighting with his back to the ropes, Soto caught Diaz with a solid left followed by a right to put him down in the first round, and then with ten seconds left in the fight, drove him to the canvas again like a man playing Whack-a-Mole. The Mexican rode those two knockdowns to a unanimous decision over former champion Diaz of Chicago in their bout for the vacant WBC title.
Both David Sutherland and Hubert Minn returned 117-109 scores for Soto, while Gale Van Hoy had it somewhat closer at 115-111. Soto in picking up a championship at his third different weight, is now 51-7-2. Diaz is now 35-3-1.
Although John Duddy had promised “fireworks” in his bout against Michael Medina, their bout quickly transformed itself into a technical battle in which Duddy was more boxer than brawler. After battling Medina on fairly even terms over the first half of the bout, Duddy began to assert himself over the next four, during which he repeatedly tattooed Medina. Although at this point the Mexican seemed to have had most of the fight beaten out of him, Duddy unaccountably took the final stanza off, apparently convinced that he could coast to victory. Only over the final few seconds, when Medina trapped Duddy in his own corner, did the two go toe-to-toe, and the Irishman very nearly got the worst of that when he was clocked by a roundhouse right literally seconds before the bell.
Duddy won by identical 95-93 scores on the cards of judges Mike Mitchell and Charles Phillips. (The SweetScience card favored Duddy by the same margin.) Arturo Velasquez' 96-93 score in Medina’s favor was particularly bewildering, since referee Robert Chapa had taken a point from the Mexican in the eighth round.
In other words, not only did Velasquez score only three rounds for Duddy (as opposed to the six of both of his colleagues), but in only one of those round was his score in accord with both Mitchell’s and Phillips’.
Duddy, in any case, improved his pro log to 29-1 with the victory, his third straight since last year’s upset loss to Billy Lyell. Medina is now 22-2-2.
Nineteen year-old Dallas 122-pounder Roberto Marroquin, a four-time US amateur champion and as fine a prospect as we’ve seen at this weight in nearly three decades, ran his professional mark to 13-0 and registered his 10th career stoppage when he dispatched another hometowner, Samuel Sanchez (4-2-1), at 1:36 of the second.
After knocking Sanchez down in the first round Marroquin had celebrated by kissing his right glove before the opponent had even landed. A hard chopping right in the second sent him barreling over backward. When Sanchez tried to get up only fall back over again, referee Kenny Bayless took him into protective custody, ruling the TKO.
Salvador Sanchez Jr., the nephew, and namesake -- and doppelganger -- of the late Mexican featherweight legend, improved to 19-3-2 with a sixth-round knockout of Texan Jaime Villa. Down once in the fifth and twice more in the sixth, Villa (8-8-2) failed to beat referee Neal Young’s ten-count after the last trip to the canvas and was counted out at 1:09 of the round.
Two earlier bouts involved a pair of Pacquiao’s Filipino countrymen. Junior bantamweight Eden Sonsona (19-5) scored an 8th-round kayo of former world title challenger Mauricio Pastrana (35-13-2). Floored by a straight left, Pastrana was counted out by Young at 1:33 of the round.
Featherweight Michael Farenas’ bout against San Antonio’s Joe Morales came to a premature conclusion when Morales was cut by a clash of heads in the second round, and the result declared no contest. Farenas remains 26-2-3, Morales 20-13.
In other action, California junior middle Rodrigo Garcia (6-0) scored a second-round TKO over Calvin Pitts (5-13-1) of Grand Prairie, Tex., while featherweights Isaac Hidalgo and Arthur Trevino battled to a majority draw in their four-round prelim. Although one judge, Mitchell, scored it a 40-36 shutout for Hidalgo, his card was overruled by the 38-38 tallies returned by Don Griffin and Valasquez. Hidalgo is now 6-5-2, Trevino 5-3-3.
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MARCH 13, 2010
WELTERWEIGHTS: Manny Pacquiao, 145 3/4, General Santos City, Philippines dec. Joshua Clottey, 147, Accra, Ghana (12) (Retains WBO title)
Alfonso Gomez, 145, Guadalajara, Mexico TKO’d Jose Luis Castillo, 144, Mexicali, Mexico (5)
LIGHTWEIGHTS: Umberto Solis, 134 1/4, Los Mochis, Mexico dec. David Diaz, 134, Chicago, Ill. (12) (Wins vacant WBC title)
MIDDLEWEIGHTS: John Duddy, 160, Derry, Northern Ireland dec. Michael Medina, 155 1/2, Monterrey, Mexico (10)
JUNIOR MIDDLES: Rodrigo Garcia, 149 3/4, Santa Ana, Calif. TKO’d Calvin Pitts, 149, Prairie View, Tex. (2)
FEATHERWEIGHTS: Salvador Sanchez, Jr., 125 3/4, Tianguistenco, Mexico KO’d Jaime Villa, 127, Midland, Tex. (6)
Arthur Trevino, 125 , Ft. Worth, Tex drew with Isaac Hidalgo, 125, Tucson, Ariz (4)
Michael Farenas, 127 1/4, Gubat, Philippines drew with Joe Morales, 126, San Antonio, Tex. (2)
JUNIOR FEATHERWEIGHTS: Robert Morroquin, 122, Dallas,Tex. TKO’d Samuel Sanchez, 122, Dallas (2)
Eden Sonsona, 119 3/4, General Santos City, Philippines KO’d Mauricio Pastrana, 119 1/2, Monteria, Colombia (8)
(CNN) -- Manny Pacquiao defeated Joshua Clottey decisively Saturday night to retain his World Boxing Organization welterweight title.
The Filipino fighter, known affectionately as "Pacman" by his fans and in his country, won by unanimous decision. Two judges scored the fight 119-109 for Pacquiao, while a third scored it 120-108, according to the WBO.
Pacquiao has now won 12 straight bouts since losing to Erik Morales in March 2005.
The 12-round decision was a longer fight than Pacquiao predicted before the match. Following his weigh-in, Pacquiao sent a message to his adoring fans that he would be targeting a quick knockout in the fight against Ghana's Clottey.
"I am not going to promise you a knockout, but I will do my best," Pacquiao told the crowd who had gathered to watch the weigh-in Friday night in the Cowboys Stadium.
Saturday's match was fought at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in front of more than 40,000 people. The stadium is the home of the Dallas Cowboys U.S. football team.
Pacquiao, who began his career as a 112 pound flyweight, has won world titles at six different weights and boasts a 50-3-2 record with 28 knockouts.
The fight attracted worldwide attention, particularly back in the Philippines where Pacquiao is a national hero.
Pacquiao was originally slated to be taking on American Floyd Mayweather Jr, in what was billed as the richest fight in boxing history, but a row over dope testing led to negotiations be called off.
The Clottey fight was arranged in its place, but many expect Pacquiao to take on the unbeaten Mayweather later in the year.
Unable to land his signature punch, the straight left, Manny Pacquiao nevertheless overwhelmed Joshua Clottey in a subtle performance Saturday that did not dilute his legacy.
Pacquiao (51-3-2) won a unanimous decision, all 12 rounds on one scorecard and 11 on the other two, to retain the WBO welterweight title in Arlington, Texas, at the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium.
Jabbing and mounting a ferocious body attack, Pacquiao compensated brilliantly for his inability to land cleanly to the face. He established from the outset that he could preoccupy Clottey and discourage him from mounting an attack of his own. Pacquiao, landing only 246 punches but throwing 1,231, was three times as busy as Clottey.
Clottey did manage to hit Pacquiao with three or four uppercuts and five or six counter rights to the noggin’. But he did NOTHING else, except blocking hundreds of punches.
Nobody was going to give such an unaggressive challenger a decision in a fight like that. I gave him the fifth and sixth rounds, when Pacquiao moved less and invited Clottey to open up more, which he did a few times.
And that was that. By the seventh, it was obvious Clottey knew better than we did how badly he was outclassed. Maybe Pacquiao didn’t come close to a knockout, but Clottey obviously didn’t doubt it was possible.
“I think he’s feeling Pacquiao’s power,” Clottey’s trainer Lenny DeJesus said during a late-rounds interview with HBO.
Clottey (35-4), whose previous losses were narrow ones to Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito and a disqualification against Carlos Baldimir, gave Pacquiao his due. “He has (too much) speed,” Clottey said. “It was the first time I’ve lost a fight.”
In explaining his caution, Clottey praised Pacquiao. “He was waiting for me to open up so he could counter me.” Clearly Clottey felt that would be a lot worse than the 12 rounds of frustration and futility that ensued instead.
“It was not an easy fight,” Pacquiao conceded. But he didn’t let that frustrate him. “I wasn’t in a hurry because he was looking for a big shot, an opening.”
When he wasn’t bobbing and weaving and dodging and ducking, that is.
If there was any assumption that Clottey could have turned the tide by showing more courage, the 11th round ended that. Clottey mounted his only sustained attack of the fight, and Pacquiao answered every assault with more impressive flurries of his own.
Following his amazing victories against seemingly larger men in the past 16 months, over Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Cotto, the whuppin’ Pacquiao administered Saturday was as lopsided as his other three and in its own way just as impressive.
Moments ago Manny Pacquiao retained his WBO welterweight title against Joshua Clottey in a one sided decision victory.
Showing a tremendous pace from the outset, Pacquiao simply kept Clottey too busy to get many punches off. The overmatched Ghanaian employed his shell like defense to good effect again, but Pacquiao showed improved footwork in limiting Clottey's opportunities to catch him.
There were moments when Clottey's pinpoint punches caught Pacquiao, but he never got busy enough to win more than a couple of the closer rounds.
Clottey's defense was tight as always, and a lot of Pacquiao's punches were caught on the gloves, although the sheer volume of them put him way ahead on every scorecard, and needing a knockout in the later rounds.
The only problem Pacquiao still has is that he has always been easy to hit. Clottey was able to rock Pacquiao's head back a number of times but never often enough or hard enough to make much out of it.
A more cunning counter puncher might have a little more success, but few other fighters at welterweight could deal with the kind of barrage the always tough Clottey endured. Although Pacquiao lacked much head movement as he usually does, perennial rival Floyd Mayweather will not find much to draw comfort from if he intends to take on Pacquiao later on in the year.
In the tenth, it looked like Clottey might just be coming apart at the seams, as Pacquiao turned up the pace and found a way around his defenses on several occasions. In the last two rounds though he rallied, and with the end in sight let his hands go a little more, safe in the knowledge that he would probably be able to last the remainder of the fight.
Next for Clottey is unclear, without an immediate path open to him, he might want to consider taking on the loser of Mayweather vs. Mosley in May. Alternatively he could always move up to light middleweight and take on the winner of Miguel Cotto vs. Yuri Foreman.
Next for Pacquiao is the election in his home country, and possibly congressional duties. Bob Arum was confident that he would continue to fight either way though, so the search for his next opponent will probably begin after the election is over. Floyd Mayweather or Antonio Margarito are the favorites at the moment.
Stan Fielding, Pittsburgh PA: "Pacquiao proved again why everyone thinks he would beat Floyd Mayweather. Even Mayweather himself must know he wouldn't be able to stand up to his pace for 2 rounds"
Harry Shaw, Pittsburgh PA: "Clottey is the kind of fighter who it looks like would win a lot more if he just threw more punches. Its easier said than done against someone like Pacquiao, but when he did let his hands go he did pretty well"
By Joaquin Henson
Sun, 14 Mar 2010
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao defends his crown against Ghanaian roughhouser Joshua Clottey in a 12-round bout at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, this morning (Manila time) and the heavy betting is on whether the fight will go the distance or not.
Here are the 25 factors that may decide the outcome of the bout:
O Size. Clottey began campaigning as a welterweight in 1997 when Pacquiao was still a flyweight. In his last two bouts, Clottey tipped the scales at 147----the welterweight limit. Pacquiao was at his heaviest for Miguel Cotto last year and that only up to 144. Clottey will try to use his bulk to overpower Pacquiao in the trenches. Edge: Clottey.
O Hand-speed. Pacquiao throws from every conceivable angle, going backwards, sideways or forward. Clottey has respectable speed in unleashing counter combinations but he’s not nearly as fast as the Filipino icon. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Stamina. Nobody works harder than Pacquiao in the gym. Against Cotto, Pacquiao looked like he could go another five rounds when referee Kenny Bayless stopped it in the 12th. Clottey, in contrast, has a tendency to fade in the late going----as shown in his own tussle with Cotto last June. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Foot-speed. Clottey is basically a stand-up counterpuncher who’d rather wait than initiate. He likes to stalk his opponents, moving forward, inching in slowly to find the opening for his counters. Pacquiao is extremely mobile, using open space in the middle of the ring to run circles around his foes. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Durability. Clottey has never been knocked out and that’s a testament to his staying power. It’s not easy sending Clottey down to the canvas. He’s made of stern stuff. Besides, there may be less wear and tear in his body. Clottey has figured in only three fights the last two years compared to Pacquiao who was busier with five outings. Edge: Clottey.
O Quality of opposition. Clottey hasn’t faced anyone quite like Pacquiao. Their common opponent is Cotto whom Pacquiao dominated and Clottey lost to on a split decision. Pacquiao has engaged a slew of future Hall of Famers like Oscar de la Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton and Erik Morales. Clottey’s list of victims isn’t as celebrated. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Activity. Pacquiao has kept himself busy in the ring, logging two fights last year and three in 2008. He’s 7-0 in the last three years. Clottey saw action only once last year, losing to Cotto, and twice the year before. If there is ring rust in Clottey’s armor, he will likely start slowly and accelerate his pace as the fight unfolds. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Experience. Pacquiao and Clottey turned pro in the same year, 1995, but the Filipino has reported for 55 bouts and the Ghanaian, only 39. Pacquiao is 12-2-1 in world championship fights compared to Clottey’s 1-3. Clottey hasn’t been exposed as much to high-profile bouts. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Unpredictability. Because Clottey often resorts to foul tactics, he’s unpredictable. A fighter with bad intentions is always dangerous. Against previously unbeaten Shamone Alvarez, Clottey got into his opponent’s head and distracted him to the point of losing focus. Pacquiao had difficulty dealing with dirty fighters Nedal Hussein and Agapito Sanchez. Edge: Clottey.
O Resiliency. The ability to make adjustments during a bout is a mark of an intelligent fighter. Pacquiao proved how smart he is when he baited Cotto to fight from close range to take away his power left jab. Time and time again, Pacquiao has surprised the experts by changing tactics to fluster his opponents. In 1998, Pacquiao was badly behind on points when he shifted his attack downstairs and found Chatchai Sasakul’s weak spot. After battering Chatchai’s midsection, Pacquiao saw an opening for his left hook to the jaw and scored a come-from-behind knockout. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Hunger. Pacquiao is Clottey’s ticket to fame and fortune. The Ghanaian obviously wants to be where Pacquiao is----on top of the world. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose. The pressure is more on Pacquiao to win. Edge: Clottey.
O Knockout power. Clottey has scored just a single stoppage in his last 11 outings and his knockout rate is only 57.1 percent compared to Pacquiao’s 76 percent. Clottey relies on arm strength and doesn’t put body weight behind his shots----which probably explains his low knockout rate. In contrast, Pacquiao is a devastating puncher. It took only one shot to flatten Hatton. The mystery is whether Pacquiao’s power as a natural lightwelterweight will be as potent against a natural welterweight. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Corner. Freddie Roach is no stranger to Clottey’s trainer Lenny de Jesus. They worked together in Pacquiao’s corner for five fights. De Jesus was thrust into a chief second’s role by default and is more a cutman by profession. Roach will be assisted by Buboy Fernandez and conditioning coach Alex Ariza. De Jesus’ backups are nondescript. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Agility. Pacquiao is a master at slipping punches, moving his head, bending his body and making his opponents miss badly. That’s all because of his agility. He’s a fighter in constant motion and he won’t get tired. Pacquiao will move away from Clottey’s stronger side----the left----by sidestepping to the right but he must be conscious of coming smack into the Ghanaian’s right hand. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Arsenal. Clottey is heavier-handed because he is physically bigger. His deadliest weapons are a left uppercut, left hook and a right uppercut usually thrown like a bolo punch. Clottey also throws an occasional left jab. Pacquiao has a lot more weapons. Because of his southpaw style, Pacquiao will find it easy to land his overhand right or right cross. Pacquiao will use his left hook to the body to soften up Clottey. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Defense. Clottey likes to raise both arms in what is described as a turtle-shell defense. When he covers up, Clottey doesn’t punch and his idea is to tire out his opponent. Pacquiao will move side-to-side to break down Clottey’s defense and his bombardment to the body will be vicious. Clottey, however, has the body build to hang tough. Edge: Clottey.
O Chin. Clottey’s chin hasn’t really been tested by a banger. His solid defense is his protector. If Pacquiao hits him squarely on the chin, it’s not known how Clottey will react. For the moment, the record shows that Clottey’s chin isn’t made of china. Edge: Clottey.
O Heart. When it comes to digging deep into one’s reservoir of energy, Pacquiao has no equal. That’s because he fights with a lot of heart. It’s not just for himself that he fights----it’s for the entire Filipino nation. Pacquiao is braver than brave. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Style. Clottey was unperturbed in dismantling Alvarez and Zab Judah, both southpaws. He won’t be bothered by Pacquiao fighting left-handed. Pacquiao couldn’t care less whether he battles a southpaw or an orthodox fighter. He knows how to handle himself in the ring. His experience will show him the way. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Susceptibility to cuts. Clottey isn’t a bleeder. He bangs heads and never comes out of a collision on the short end. Pacquiao has suffered an assortment of cuts in his long career. After the Cotto fight, he was stitched up. Clottey is a vampire in the ring and extracts blood from his opponents. Edge: Clottey.
O Work rate. Pacquiao is a busybody and doesn’t stop throwing. Clottey picks his punches, countering when there is an opening. The Ghanaian isn’t a volume puncher. If Pacquiao displays his blinding hand and foot-speed, Clottey will be frustrated into a watching and waiting mode. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Combinations. Pacquiao isn’t a one-hit wonder. He’ll throw jabs, hooks, crosses and straights and move out of range before Clottey is able to unleash a counter. Pacquiao is a rhythm fighter. His timing is precise. Clottey won’t know what’s coming when Pacquiao starts to turn the heat on. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Body banger. Both Clottey and Pacquiao will look to attack the body. Clottey will try to slow down Pacquiao by leaning on him, throwing shots to the side of the body from up close and bringing him to the ropes or corners. Because Pacquiao is smaller, he may feel Clottey’s body shot more than the Ghanaian will feel his. Edge: Clottey.
O Reflexes. Pacquiao has cat-quick reflexes and it shows in the way he deflects punches, parries blows and moves his head to avoid a direct hit. Clottey isn’t as reactive. Edge: Pacquiao.
O Mental toughness. There’s no doubt Pacquiao is in a frame of mind that belies his inner strength. His focus is unflappable. Whatever he sets his mind to do in the ring, he executes with deadly precision. Clottey isn’t as mentally in control as Pacquiao who knows what it’s like to fight and win under pressure. Edge: Pacquiao.
Out of 25 factors, Pacquiao has the edge in 17.
My prediction is Pacquiao will frustrate Clottey from the onset with his speed, skills and agility. In desperation, Clottey will resort to foul tactics, trying to bully Pacquiao and using his strength to push him into the ropes or the corners. Referee Rafael Ramos will disqualify Clottey for butting, holding, hitting below the belt and whatever else in the seventh round and Pacquiao will retain his WBO welterweight title without much of a sweat.