Wayne McCullough says Joshua Clottey's safety-first tactics spoiled his showdown with Manny Pacquiao.
Last Updated: 15/03/10 8:53am
Manny Pacquiao faced Joshua Clottey for the WBO welterweight belt this past weekend at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Almost 51,000 fans turned up for "The Event" that was the first fight to be staged there since the stadium opened in May 2009.
Originally it was thought that Pacquiao would face Floyd Mayweather Jnr but Mayweather called for Olympic-style drug testing to take place. Negotiations fell apart when Pacquiao wouldn't succumb to the random blood testing necessary to satisfy Mayweather, and Clottey stepped in.
As a fighter who has done Olympic-style testing in the past, I see no harm in it. I am as afraid of needles as I'm sure Pacquiao is. There is very little blood taken and it never affected me or my performance.
Since blood testing reveals a lot more than the typical urine test that is required by commissions, maybe it's not a bad idea to level the playing field of fighters that are already or are contemplating the despicable act of cheating, not that there is any suggestion at all the Filipino is among them.
Pacquiao debuted as a pro in the 106lb weight division at the young age of 16 back in 1995. Clottey was 18-years-old but he began his career at 139lbs showing that, going into the fight, he was at more of a natural weight than Pacquiao.
Clottey was a former welterweight champion and Pacquiao was a five-weight champion who picked up his first belt at flyweight.
Clottey had three losses on his record, the most recent a defeat to Miguel Cotto in a close fight, the others to champions Carlos Baldomir by DQ and Antonio Margarito.
The Pacman v The Grand Master fight didn't really live up to expectations and I'm sure the crowd was not happy. Clottey had never been stopped and from the opening bell it was clear that it probably wasn't going to happen in this fight either.
The Ghanaian held his hands up high and kept his elbows tight to his body, blocking the bunches of punches Pacquiao was throwing. Few punches were landing in the first few rounds but the output from the Filipino was at least four to one.
Pacquiao reportedly threw around 1,200 punches and landed only about 250 of those compared to Clottey landing just over 100 of his roughly 400 shots.
After three rounds, Pacquiao started to give angles and bang hard shots to Clottey's sides along with sneaky shots to his face. Some hard shots landed but not enough to do any damage. Clottey landed quick left uppercuts and left jabs to his opponent's face that looked like they had little effect but he threw no combinations - something he desperately needed.
About three quarters of the way through the fight Clottey's corner asked him to take chances but he did the opposite. He kept the same pattern - hands held high, blocking shots and coming back with one or two punches. Was it Pacquiao's power that kept him from taking a risk or did he settle for going the distance?
Pacquiao threw hard body shots and accurate headshots but not too many of either landed. Clottey landed few shots but when he did it seemed that they were harder than Pacquiao's. The damage showed on his face and at the end of the fight Pacquiao had two swollen eyes.
It was a shutout for Pacquiao on one of the scorecards and he won 11 rounds on the other two. Clottey may have won one round but you would have to be very generous to give him that as Pacquiao worked and worked to break him down.
It wasn't a good fight but it was a dominant performance by Pacquiao. Not as strong a win as his victories over Miguel Cotto, Oscar de la Hoya or Ricky Hatton but Clottey wasn't willing to take the chance to win or get knocked out.
Pacquiao deserves credit for trying for a KO. Clottey doesn't deserve another shot at a belt until he earns it. Hopefully the winner of Mayweather v Shane Mosley will be next on Pacquiao's hit list.