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Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Event: A tale of Pacquiao's pace and Clottey's toughness

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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"


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