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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

PACQUIAO-CLOTTEY:Fight will not last 12 rounds – Roach

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Pacquiao vs Clottey
By Eddie Alinea
Wed, 03 Mar 2010

It’s still 10 days before Filipino World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao puts his 147-pound crown on the blocks but chief trainer Freddie Roach declared that the game plan to beat Ghanaian challenger Joshua Clottey has already been in place.

“Yes, we’re ready. The way Manny is responding to his training, I can tell this early that he’s going to overwhelm him (Clottey), “Roach boldly predicted during last weekend’s media conference call held at the Wild Card Gym in downtown Los Angeles.

“With Manny’s speed and his combinations, I do believe he will be the first person to stop Clottey before the 12th round,” the four-time ‘Trainer of the Year’ awardee of the American Writers Association assured.
“I know Clottey is a big strong guy and a great fighter and we respect him as a real tough guy, but we also know his characteristic, we know his mistakes and we know his bad habits, which we can exploit to the hilt,” he said.

The Filipino ring icon and the Puerto Rican hero face each other off for 12 rounds titled ‘The Event’ March 14 (Manila time) at the newly built million dollar Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.

After almost four weeks at the gym since arriving in Los Angeles from Manila, Roach said the ‘Pacman’ has kept on improving day after day and that he wouldn’t stop in trying to get better. Following an 11-round sparring Friday last week against four sparring partners, Roach said he wanted to give the champ a rest day the next day, but Pacquiao refused his offer and instead boxed for 12 more rounds that day.

Roach told members of the international media, some of whom fielded their questions via phone patch from their respective countries, that Team Pacquiao have been watching a lot of tapes on Clottey fights from where the training staff learned about the challengers’ weaknesses.

This week, the team’s last at Wild Card before driving to Dallas Monday next week, will be a tapering off period in order to maintain Pacquiao’s peak condition.
Pacquiao himself, who was with Roach during the media conference call along with Top Rank bossman Bob Arum, declared himself in tip-top shape.

“I am, good. Training camp is good and everything is going great,” he quipped. I know Clottey is taller and bigger than me. I know I can’t underestimate him because he’s also a former champion. “

Asked about Leonard de Jesus, who was once one of Pacquiao’s corner men but who will be at Clottey’s corner, Roach said he couldn’t care less.

“Lenny used to work as cut man for Manny. He knows us pretty well, but we have changed a lot since then. If he thinks he’s going to face the old Manny Pacquiao, that’s not going to be the case,” Roach remarked. “I respect him though. He’s a good boxing guy.”

“Am I a better trainer?” he asked. “I don’t know. All I know is we have a better fighter (in Pacquiao). We have a perfect game plan and I don’t care who trains Joshua Clottey for this fight, he can’t beat us.”

“Let’s face it. Clottey is what he is. He fights the same way in every tape I watched, “ he said by way of assessing the challenger. “Whether he fights southpaw or right-handers, he is predictable. He’s good at he does, but he does the same thing over and over again.”

“He’s going to try to change for this fight, but once he gets in he will revert back to it,” Roach continued. “We are 100 percent ready to his style. He is resilient. The beginning of the fight is going to be very hard because he is a very good opponent and he likes to fight. We will break him down and I am confident the firth will not go 12 rounds.”


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