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Friday, March 12, 2010

Joshua Clottey to test Manny Pacquiao before Floyd Mayweather fight

Pacquiao vs Clottey, Pacquiao vs Clottey News, Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming, Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates
Manny Pacquiao will do what most of boxing expects him to do under the stars in Texas tomorrow night: a number on Joshua Clottey in what might be a marginally tougher assignment for the amazing Filipino than was Miguel Cotto.

In defending a WBO welterweight belt that needs no sanction other than his ownership of it, Pacquiao carries into the ring charisma of the sort possessed by very few in the history of his sport. At their zenith, the Sugar Rays, Robinson and Leonard, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson had it – a right, almost, to claim victory before a blow has been thrown or received.

There is an eerie inevitability about Pacquiao's fights. Who seriously imagined an aged and weight-confused Oscar De La Hoya would stay with the buzz-saw for the full route? Did Cotto, in his diminished state, pose much more than a physical threat to the Pacman? And Ricky Hatton, employing mental gymnastics of the most extraordinary kind, might have been the one person in Las Vegas last May who thought he could best this modern phenomenon of the ring.

It is a cruel reflection of the fight game that the very weekend Pacquiao sets about another chapter in his remarkable story, against a big and noble foe, the brittle man from Manchester he destroyed inside two rounds has gone to ground, confused and hurt, as he ponders an ill-advised comeback from that disastrous evening.

Clottey could make it hard for Pacquiao, not through his advantage in size and strength but in his method. He is a methodical and correct fighter, not a monster, and Pacquiao will have to bring his boxing to the highest level to break him down.

What Pacquiao does in a boxing ring is tantamount to magic. It is the reason he is saddled now with the slur issued on his character by Floyd Mayweather Jnr, his putative mega-opponent up the road – if Mayweather beats Shane Mosley on 1 May in Las Vegas.

Mayweather's insistence that Pacquiao might be using performance-enhancing drugs has become a tiresome coda to boxing politics in 2010. Most in the sport want to see it resolved in the only place that matters, and Pacquiao can secure his part in that pact by beating up Clottey in the Cowboy Stadium in Arlington tonight.

I expect it to last into the later rounds. If Clottey survives it will be as a bruised and humbled fighter.


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