Overall the Pacman-Clottey Card Proves Disappointing
By Paul Strauss: One of the biggest attractions of the night was Cowboys Stadium itself, located in Arlington, Texas. Those in attendance and the ringside announcers were wide-eyed about it and gushing over it's size and tres cher.
Article posted on 15.03.2010
Max Kellerman had the cameraman follow him up into the far reaches of the huge facility, so he could illustrate how small the ring looked from the "standing room only" area where folks shelled out about $85 for parking and the privilege to stand around! They were on the ends of the oval too, so they didn't even get to view the enormous television screen. But, according to Max, they were happy.
The lineup for the night seemed to hold promise. It started with John Duddy versus Michael Medina. At one time Duddy symbolized action and excitement, and many times ingredients of his fights included knockouts or at least some blood. That wasn't the case Saturday. Almost the entire night lacked intensity, and that seemed to carry over into the other bouts as well.. The primary concern of most of the fighters seemed to be "touching gloves" at the end of each round? Someone needed to tell these guys that they weren't there to spar.
Duddy came away with a majority decision, but failed to build confidence in viewers that he was a threat to capture any kind of a title. Emanuel Steward offered the opinion that Duddy no longer seemed capable of deciding whether he was a boxer or puncher, and because of that indecision, seemed to be caught in between. His punches lacked steam, and he was fortunate to come away with a split decision.
Jose Luis Castillo was the big disappointment of the night. There was no "El Terrible" on this night. He looked old, slow and small in comparison to Alfonzo Gomez. Castillo failed to show any signs of having that great left hook to the body and head. His reflexes were left in the past, as well as his desire. It seemed as though he was content in having a payday, so he quit in the fifth round! Gomez ends up with the WBC Continental Americas welter weight title, better known as the WBIT (what belt is that?).
The semi-main event was for a legitimate lightweight title, but once again fell short. The "Crafty Little Fox" Humberto Soto managed to drop David Diaz early and keep him stymied for much of the fight.
In the past, Diaz was usually able to weather the best his opponents had to offer and wear them down to a point where he could take over the action and start to issue his own punishment. Physically, he looked the bigger and stronger of the two, which made sense since Soto was moving up in weight. But, speed wins fights, and every time Diaz stepped things up and gave the impression that he was finally starting to tire out Soto, the illusion would get destroyed with another sharp series of shots from Soto. The first knockdown early in the fight was from a clean hard two punch combination right on the chin. In the later rounds when Diaz made one final effort to pull the fight out, he got overwhelmed with a flurry of punches, and again went down. Soto clearly deserved the UD and the WBC lightweight title that goes along with it.
The main event showcased Manny Pacquiao's unbelievable abilities, but it also disappointed fans, because it was so one-sided. The Grand Master (Clottey) was more like Bud Bundy from "Married with Children", than he was like an expert chess champion. It was obvious he had no intention of risking anything. He wanted to go the distance, and that's about all he accomplished. Because of Clottey's failure to excite, Jim Lampley offered his best impression of John Madden by providing sound effects to go along with Manny's attack. Jim would yell "Bang Bang Bang" with each punch. You expected him to throw in a couple of bings, and zwoowies as well, or maybe a cartoon caption should have appeared above the heads of the fighters.
When asked by Max Kellerman why he wasn't willing to take any chances and fight back, Clottey simply stated the Pacman was too fast! Thankfully, he also admitted that he lost the fight, reminding the audience that he still disputes his other two losses to Cotto and Margarito.
Always the gentleman, Manny said it was a very tough fight and that Clottey was a tough opponent. What he really meant was Clottey was a frustrating opponent, content to lock up his goodies for the night. It's likely Clottey will still be peeing a little blood though, because he couldn't keep everything covered all of the time.
So, Clottey's big talk about putting Manny in the hospital proved to be just that........talk! Manny needed a little ice on a "mouse" under the right eye, but once he got his wind back from throwing over 1200 punches, he should have been able to go off and serenade his fans.
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