Boxing

Coach Tim's Prediction: Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey

Pac vs Clotteyby Coach Tim Walker - Okay, okay! I'll tell you who I'm picking to win the Joshua Clottey vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. First, thanks for all your inquiries concerning my pick for the fight. It humbles me to know that so many people think so highly of my thoughts on the subject. It especially humbles me when I think back to being so wrong about Pacquiao vs. Hatton and Clottey vs. Cotto. Still, I equate myself to a broken watch in hopes that I am correct at least a couple times per day.

Quick notes of the two fighters.

My initial thought when analyzing a fighter is to view fight footage and pick apart his success against other opponents with similar fighter traits. There in lies the problem. There are very few fighters in the game with Pacquiao's style. There are more fighters in the game with Clottey's style but none that have faced Pacquiao that I can think of and few who are as good in that style as Clottey.. But it isn't their styles alone that will make the difference in this battle. It's a combination of their individual wills to win, their disdain for loosing and a work ethic that surpasses most upper level athletes.

Who's the stud in this battle?

Clearly the stud is Manny Pacquiao. Why is he such a huge success? It's simple. A lot of people attribute his success to his willingness to face naturally larger stronger fighters. I differ with this. I think his success hinges on the fact that he was supposed to loose and he didn't. He is an ex 106 fighter who suffered knockouts early in his career. He is a fighter who eats an unbelievable amount of calories just to compete in the 140-147 pound range. Then there's his success rate.

Barrera was supposed to teach him a lesson. He didn't. Marquez was mentioned as being totally out of his league. He beat him twice. He lost a close bout to Erik Morales then avenged the loss by beating him handily...twice. It was felt by most that David Diaz would be about as far as he could go. Surely, 135 was too much weight. Wrong! He knocked him out in round 9. Then the legendary matchup with former Olympic gold medalist, former world champion Oscar De La Hoya. Come on! The golden boy himself. This is it right? This is where it all comes to an abrupt stop right? Wrong again! He made Oscar retire. Follow that up with the second round destruction of Ricky Hatton and the thumping of Miguel Cotto and you have a clear picture of a fighter who wills himself to not loose.

Who isn't the star in this battle?

To be clear Joshua Clottey doesn't duck anyone, is tough as nails and has a very difficult time getting upper level fighters to face him. If he can some how muster to get them into the ring with him then he will go toe to toe until the final bell. He is a warrior in his own right. Having said that, if Manny has done everything possible to advance his career then it can be argued that Joshua hasn't done nearly as much. Why? It's just as simple, when the big show has been on the table he has faltered. When the path has been set for world boxing superiority he has fallen short. Two names come to mind, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. Both are fighters to whom he has suffered losses. No disrespect to Carlos Baldimor but he isn't the level with the two fighters previously mentioned.

The reasons for those losses don't matter. In a sport where your compensation is consistently marginalized according to your success in the ring Joshua's success ratio is not nearly as good as Pacquiao. In addition to Cotto and Margarito his resume is highlighted by names such as Richard Gutierrez, Diego Corrales (RIP) and Zab Judah. Those names are certainly nothing to sneer at but it pails in comparison to Pacquiao's resume as a whole. Though Clottey has earned the respect of the boxing community his losses in bigger fighters have done little to bolster his position on the world stage outside of boxing.

Okay Coach pick already!

When Pacquiao fought Oscar I picked Oscar. When he faced Hatton I picked Hatton, though upon seeing the weigh in I wanted to change my mind. I became a believer after that fight and vowed to never pick against him again. Then he faced Cotto and I thought he would be too much for Pac. Going against what I had said before I picked Cotto. Wrong again. 0-3! Geez. Now he's facing Clottey. Logic says don't pick against this man. He is a winner. But then my boxing logic says he fought an older Oscar and Cotto at catch weights and Hatton looked skeletal at the weigh in. Now he's facing Clottey at 147. Hmmm, oh boy. I really like Clottey and want to pick him but I think the offensive arsenal of Pacquiao is something to be reckoned with. Will it be too much for Clottey? Will Clottey punch in combination? Can he put in the body work? Will Pacquiao's quickness dominate Clottey's durability? Can Clottey punch out of that high cover? Will the punch angles be too much for Clottey? My decision, Clottey by unanimous decision (115-113).

Let the emails begin...LOL!


Coach Tim Walker is a contributing writer for Eastsideboxing.com and his own personal blog at boxing4life.blogspot.com welcomes comments. To suggest fighters for Monthly Stud and The Project please email tpwalker@hotmail.com. I welcome questions or comments.

Article posted on 11.03.2010



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