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Friday, March 12, 2010

Examiner Bio Pacquiao vs. Clottey: addressing the weight difference on fight night

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Pittsburgh Fight Sports Examiner | Scott Heritage

Earlier on today, Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey both made weight for their showdown tomorrow night in Dallas.

Pacquiao, who reportedly struggles to keep weight on to make welterweight, came in at 145 ¾ to Clottey's solid 147. On the night of the fight, Pacquiao isn't expected to come in a lot heavier than 150lbs, while Clottey's camp estimates 160lbs will be his actual fighting weight.

While on paper this might look to be in Clottey's advantage, there are some drawbacks of being that much bigger than his already faster opponent.

Pacquiao, coming from the lower weights is already much faster than Clottey. In fact the only welterweight who could probably match him today is Floyd Mayweather, a defensive fighter himself but a far cry from the Accra standout.

Clottey will try to use his size and weight to wrestle Pacquiao, rough him up in the clinches, lean on him and let's face it, its pretty likely he might cut him with his head. Pacquiao for his part will need to keep his distance and vary his usual pattern of straight forward attacking.

Pacquiao doesn't do well with dirty opponents or being cut, but similarly Clottey and his extra bulk is only going to slow him down even further. One of the biggest intangibles is that Clottey's stand in trainer used to work with Pacquiao as a cut man, and was present the last time Manny lost. DeJesus knows Manny isn't keen on being cut, and he also no doubt knows Clottey has a head like a block of concrete and his skin is like shoe leather. Other fighters can clash heads with Clottey all they want, but they are the only ones getting cut open.

If Clottey does cut Pacquiao, unintentionally or otherwise, then the fight will probably be a lot closer. Pacquiao's whirlwind attack will have to be more measured and Clottey might find picking him off as he comes in a lot easier.

Pacquiao will probably still take it, but Clottey might not go down without a fight as some are expecting.

Shaun Smith, Pittsburgh PA: "Lots of people thought Clottey's trainer being away would hold him back, but in the end it worked out a lot better for him. Lenny DeJesus is a better trainer than his original one, and he's worked with Pacquiao before as well"

Frank Hague, Pittsburgh PA: "My big worry about Clottey was that he might have struggled to make the 147lb limit. Cotto looked like a skeleton against Pacquiao and the fight reflected that. Clottey looked in great shape though, should be a good one"

Dean Martel, Pittsburgh PA: "Clottey looks a lot bigger than Pacquiao, but he'll need a lot more than size alone to make much of an impact. Cotto couldn't make a dent and he was nearly as big as Clottey by fight time"


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