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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Atlas: "Clottey is More Dangerous For Pacquiao Than Yuri"

Pacquiao vs Clottey News
By Rick Reeno sat down with outspoken trainer Teddy Atlas on Saturday to get his thoughts on Manny Pacquiao's defense of the WBO welterweight title against Joshua Clottey on March 13. Atlas was surprised that Pacquiao passed on WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman, but agreed to fight Clottey. Atlas feels Pacquiao is making a big mistake if he and his handlers believe Clottey is the easier fight.

"I think it's a mistake for them to go with Clottey instead of Foreman. I know [Pacquiao] is looking at the size [of Foreman] but sometime it's not about size. If Clottey would have kept the pressure on Cotto, I think he would have stopped him, but he let him off the hook," Atlas told

"They are wrong when they assume this will be an easier fight because Foreman is one weight class up and Clottey is one weight class down. It's about the physicality of the fighter. Of course it also has do with the style of the fighter but in this case they are more concerned about size and they are wrong. Foreman is a slight built kid who is not a physical kid and doesn't fight a physical fight. He's bigger but doesn't use his size in a way that is dangerous, which is how Clottey uses his size one weight class below."

"Clottey is much more physical and much more dangerous in this fight than Foreman. They need to look at someone who is bigger and look at how he uses that size to impact the fight. Foreman wouldn't use his size like a junior middleweight who is fighting a smaller man. He uses boxing first and uses his legs. He's a junior middleweight who doesn't act like a junior middleweight. Clottey fights like a bigger man and mentally he thinks of himself as a bigger fighter and proves it in the way he fights at 147."

If Atlas was handling Pacquiao, he would have went with Foreman instead of Clottey. He doesn't rule out the possibility of an upset. Atlas tells BoxingScene that Clottey has enough strength and enough ability to time, and hurt, Pacquiao during exchanges.

"Clottey punches to the body well. He's a strong guy who knows how to fight. It's a much greater risk. Their way of thinking is way out of line. They are saying they don't want Foreman because he is bigger but I would be saying that I don't want Clottey because he is bigger. When you match up their dimensions and their physicality, Clottey is the bigger fighter. Clottey has more than enough experience with good fighters that he knows how to time you and that's a very important element to catch a guy like Pacquiao, who is faster. Clottey is capable of doing this," Atlas said.

When I first heard about Pacquiao fighting Clottey, I immediately gave Pacquiao the obvious advantages, which are speed and workrate. Atlas agreed with some of my points. While I think speed will be the biggest factor in the fight, Atlas views Clottey's workrate as the biggest disadvantage for the Ghanian fighter. But both of us agreed that Clottey, based on styles, will be a tougher opponent for Pacquiao than Miguel Cotto or Ricky Hatton or Oscar De La Hoya.

"It's not that he's not a fast guy. He's not that slow but they probably think he's not busy and maybe one-dimensional to a degree and maybe not the bravest guy in the world with the way he fought Cotto by fighting in spots. He's not consistent, but Clottey has the mental and physical makeup of a bigger fighter and he fights like a fighter who has those advantages and with his experience it makes him very dangerous opponent for Pacquiao," Atlas said.

"Clottey is better defensively than Cotto and covers up better. Its hard to catch him with as many cleaner shots in a row as you can Cotto. I don't think the fight will be anything similar to the Cotto fight. Cotto was easy to fight and Clottey is not that easy to deal with. "


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