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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

PACQUIAO VS CLOTTEY: Catchweight or no catchweight, that is the question

Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates
By Eddie Alinea
Tue, 12 Jan 2010

If you believe that the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey welterweight championship fight is already a done deal, think again.

Just as when the talks for the fight, set at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, looked to have a smooth sailing, the March 13 confrontation might, after all, suffer the same fate met by the now aborted Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout.

Thanks or no thanks to the seemingly long-prevailing organizational mess up within the Pacquiao camp. While chief trainer Freddie Roach had earlier announced that there won’t be a catchweight limit and the Filipino icon will defend his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown at 147 pounds, Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser Michael Koncz has come up with a different pronouncement.

“There would be no catchweight for the bout. It will be at 147,” Roach told the on theGrind Boxing Radio.
Koncsz, on the other hand, in an interview with Boxing FanHouse, said Pacquiao is fighting the former titleholder at a catchweight 144 pounds.

"That's what the catchweight is for this fight," Koncz told Lem Satterfield of Boxing FanHouse also last Sunday.

This development, another example of the mixed signals coming from the Pacquiao camp, apparently meant that no one, knew, not even Roach, of what Koncz was talking about.
Roach, by way explaining his statement, said Pacquia is already comfortable with fighting at the full welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

"Manny's comfortable at the weight [147 pounds]. Making 135 was a bit of a struggle, making 140, we can make 140 with ease,” the three-time ‘Trainer of the Year’ awardee said.

“But he likes the extra strength, he likes eating the day of the weigh-in. When Manny's eating the day of the weigh-in and gets to eat twice before the weigh-in, he's happy and that's when he performs at his best, when he's smiling and in a good mood," Roach further explained.

"He's not in an angry mood because he's starving himself. Making weight is a little bit overrated I think and Manny Pacquiao is proof. He's fighting at a weight he's comfortable at. He'll come into this fight like 144-145 and he'll go into the ring at 148 or 149 at most and that's his best fighting weight," he reasoned out.

Koncz sees it differently though. Despite Roach's confidence in the fact that Pacquiao is comfortable at the weight, Koncz still thinks he might be too small to handle the size and strength of a big welterweight like Clottey and would prefer the pound-for-pound champion to defend his WBO title at an even lower weight than he originally won it at.

If this reasoning holds true, then Clottey, who has had a difficult time of making 147 pounds in the past and hasn't weighed less than 145 pounds in nearly 13 years, will be at a severe disadvantage come March 13th.

Those conflicting views, once again, proved a breakdown in communication among members of Team Pacquiao – this time between the trainer and the adviser. It's, indeed, hard to imagine that Pacquiao, who fought and knocked out defeated Cotto at a catchweight of 145 pounds, would require Clottey to fight him a pound lower at 144.

(Eddie G. Alinea writes for the Philippine Gazette)


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