Pacquiao-Clottey

Posted by Zotta Rendevouz

This wasn't the usual ring walk for Manny Pacquiao. With so much ground to cover inside this $1.2-billion, 100,000-person capacity palace known as Cowboys Stadium, Pacquiao came to Texas with a chance to take out his frustrations over the road not taken, the result of a bitter negotiation with fellow superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. that squandered a $25-million guarantee. The target was Ghana's Joshua Clottey, a true welterweight with a chance to stun the boxing world. Clottey emerged from a locker room where African drums and instruments had been played. As a crowd of 50,994 roared for the Filipino, Pacquiao walked out to "Eye of the Tiger."

ROUND 1: Pacquiao, in red trunks contrasting with Clottey's satin red, ducks a left and goes right to the body. He bobs in his southpaw stance and unleashes a left that Clottey blocks. Clottey covering. He jabs, tries a right that misses. Pacquiao goes to body. Pacquiao jabs, sneaks in a right. Pacquiao more active.

Pugmire's take: Pacquiao's dedication to jabbing, to trigger an opening, is clearly on display, and he's banging the body, too.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 2: Pacquiao lands hard left to head, and big right to body. Insiders said that was his plan, to pound Clottey's gut. He aims for head, then dips to sides of Clottey. Clottey gets in a right to body and left to face. Clottey mockingly buckles his knees. Clottey left to face.

Pugmire's take: Lot of motion by Pacquiao, and little activity by Clottey. This is what was expected, but how could Clottey not want to try something new in the fight of his life?

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 3: Clottey jabs. Pacquiao scores with left, unleashes wild left. Clottey trying to counter. He throws right, Pacquiao counters with lefts, goes back to body. Clottey good left to head. Clean right by Clottey. Pacquiao jabs, pounds body, gets Clottey on ropes. Clottey gets in a scoring combo. Pacquiao hammering body, Clottey squeezes in good right.

Pugmire's take: When Clottey punches, he looks good, has the reach advantage. But he's covering too often.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Clottey; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Clottey.

ROUND 4: Pacquiao throws right, pushes Clottey off him. Pacquiao to body. Clottey loves to cover face. Pacquiao targeting body, like, "Cover this!" Then he double-punches Pacquiao on sides, laughing. Ref separates them. Pacquiao corners Clottey on ropes, bringing roars. Clottey back in middle of ring. Pacquiao beating up Clottey to body. Clottey too inactive, Pacquiao urges him on.

Pugmire's take: Pacquiao shows his humor with the double hit. Whatever it takes to get Clottey to open up…

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 5: Pacquiao using feet to leverage positions. He shrugs off a Clottey jab-right. Quick right by Clottey lands. Nice jab by Clottey. Pacquiao has expended a lot of prior energy, backing off a bit. Big lull in action. Clottey will have to increase this pace, unless he's just satisfied with decision. Pacquiao lefts back Clottey to ropes, and he stays on him.

Pugmire's take: Taking a break. Manny knows the rope-a-dope strategy, plus he trains relentlessly.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 6: Pacquiao jabs, backs off. Clottey blocks face. Clottey is working jab-right combo, not often enough. Pacquiao gives nice assault, Clottey placing both gloves to top of head, peering for opening. Pacquiao beats him back. Punch totals will be one-sided.

Pugmire's take: Manny is outpunching Clottey 3-to-1, showing why he was a 15-2 favorite in Vegas.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 7: Clottey tries to work Pacquiao against ropes to no avail. Pacquiao goes jab, jab, jab. Pacquiao punishes body again. Clottey has to uncover to deal with attack. Manny has lump under his right eye.

Pugmire's take: This fight could have, and should have, been far more entertaining.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 8: Pacquiao's punching advantage through seven rounds is 677-225. If Clottey went to, "I hope he gets fatigued," plan it's a questionable endeavor. Pacquiao jab and left. Low blow by Clottey brings timeout and boos from crowd. Manny big right to body. Another low blow by Clottey. .

Pugmire's take: There's no choice now for Clottey but to find one big punch.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 9: I called this pre-fight as the round Pacquiao would knock out Clottey, but colleague Bill Dwyre says, "I see no evidence this guy is going down." Pacquiao again staying true to plan, jabbing.

Pugmire's take: I was wrong.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 10: Pacquiao trying to penetrate lefts through Clottey's guard. Clottey slaps Pacquiao with right. Pacquiao remains busy. Nice right and left uppercut by Clottey. Pacquiao responds with rights. Pacquiao to belly. .

Pugmire's take: Pacquiao doing everything he can to score telling blow. Clottey will be able to say he made it through 12 with Pacquiao. Thought he had a grander dream.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 11: Pacquiao covers and gets close to Clottey, who tries to bat him away. Pacquiao such the better boxer, and that's what has won him this fight thus far. Clottey scores two left uppercuts. Nice combo, punctuated with left by Pac. Roaring, as Pacquiao pursues with a flurry. "Manny! Manny!" Left uppercut by Clottey snaps Pacquiao's head back. Manny back to work at head, has Clottey on ropes.

Pugmire's take: The cheering section admired Pacquiao's effort. He didn't let them down.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 12: Clottey head-butts Pacquiao at start of round. Clottey jab. Pacquiao right to body, left to head. Pacquiao uppercuts. Clottey content with this inactive effort. Nice right by Pacquiao at bell. Easy decision coming Pacquiao's way.

Pugmire's take: Pacquiao's done his work, now Floyd Mayweather Jr. has to do his against Shane Mosley to make the fight the boxing fans deserve from the sport.

The judges: Levi Martinez, 10-9 Pacquiao; Duane Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Nelson Vazquez, 10-9 Pacquiao.
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