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Friday, March 12, 2010

FIGHT FIT FOR THE GODS: All Pray For Joshua; The “HITTER” On A Death-Row

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Oh, how marvelous it will be if “Hitter” Joshua Clottey, will suddenly create the fairy tale in the history of boxing in just a matter of Forty-eight hours. Just as the hour draws nigh for what looks like a David and Goliath affair, lovers of the former IBF Welterweight King of the World, have their hearts in their hands, as they wish the Bukom man, the best of luck even as he tries to move the immovable in Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, popularly known as Manny Pacquiao.

Good to say I’m on the same side with well wishers and positive thought holders for Joshua, who knows all Ghanaians wait, but not exclusive of panic for the upset they all dream for. Upset or not, it will be a dream come true and you know what will come next, Joshua would turn into the best boxer to face Mayweather Jnr., an overnight alteration in status quo, what happens afterwards will only be good for history.

The likes of Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey must be thinking, good Joshua should make Ghana proud! The flag bearers in the past know what it means to stand in the ring or better still the four corner circle minutes before the bell is tolled for the first round and the national anthem comes rolling. At that special moment, even the uninitiated can appreciate a boxer is on a war path!

Ghana is without a world title, as the other holder of a global crown ‘King Kong’ Agbeko, also lost his own against Columbian, Yohnny Perez, some months back. Fortune tellers might have their own views on the fight happening two days away, but in terms strengths and weaknesses, the Filipino Manny Pacquiao looks by far the most feared, given his record as the world’s first man to win titles at seven different weight divisions. Even American Floyd Mayweather Jnr, screwed up their much talked about fight which turned into Joshua’s joy and the stage is set for Saturday, when the plush 1.2 billion dollar Cowboys stadium will be officially commissioned.

In terms of aggression, both boxers can stand toe-to-toe, but advising Joshua to do so will be asking him to hang himself in the gallows. Pacquiao does not retreat in the ring; always on the offensive, his combination of punches is admirable and it is heavily anticipated our countryman will fight with the intelligence of a serpent being alert and on guard all night.

If you ask me about the weaknesses of Joshua, I would say it has to do with his speed and ability to finish off when the opportunity avails itself. Against Miguel Cotto, the story could have been different if Joshua after opening a cut on the brow, was able to finish off the job by knocking out the Puerto Rican. Cotto continued with the bloody face to the end, winning on a split decision, a fight the Ghanaian dominated. Like Azumah always said, in boxing you carry your own judges along in your gloves, it is either you knock out the opponent or be ready for bizarre decisions.

Boxing is a whole mafia society where treasured assets in the ring make money for gamblers, promoters and such like. Suffice it to say that Pacquiao remains a money making machine awaiting the multimillion dollar fight which will definitely take place in December against Mayweather Jnr. The issue of the urine sample and blood test which would irk Pacquiao and the ultimate annulment of the fight with Mayweather, are all but gimmicks to hype the intended big match up which will happen later in the year. You now get the point I’m making about why Joshua can only win if a knock out miraculously prevails, remember only miracles allow things like this to happen.

The Ghana Boxing Authority must be up by now with support for Joshua; I know Mohammend Amin Lamptey, the GBA spokesman would not sleep hoping the expectations of the entire nation would come into fruition. All lovers of boxing need to rally behind Joshua as he tries to exorcise the ghost in Manny Pacquiao. Monitoring proceedings from the camps of both boxers, I have ascertained that respect is not being thrown to the dogs by any of the two as Pacquiao indicated Joshua is bigger and taller than him and so is going to work himself up to gain a shape of his life to avoid any embarrassment, whiles Joshua on the other hand has never left any stone unturned ever since the fight was sanctioned to take place, save the problems his brother and trainer went through in getting the American VISA, and the fact that a Ghanaian, Abdulai Amidu has been sparring with Pacquiao.

That should not distract Joshua, after all Amidu has been in the camp of the Filipino a long time ago, training with them to get his livelihood. Joshua is aware of the mountain he faces in the man called ‘Pacman’. It’s boxing, it’s about who guards and throws effectives punches. Joshua can take punches and so is Pacquiao, meaning punishment will come from both ends.

Pacman has already beaten Joshua’s conqueror Miguel Cotto, others like Ricky Hatton and Oscar De la Hoya have all fallen prey to the monstrous Filipino, the big question is, CAN JOSHUA TURN THE TABLE UPSIDE DOWN AND STUN THE BOXING WORLD BY DEFEATING PACQUIAO? Let’s stay awake and watch fate unfold itself on Saturday as we pray for Joshua Clottey.

Joshua Clottey knows Pacquiao is beatable, as the best pound for pound boxer has lost three times in his career.


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