Not only is the boxing public not supporting Joshua Clottey in his quest to capture the WBO welterweight title from Manny Pacquiao, but his own government isn't lending him a hand either.
In an odd turn of events, Clottey's trainer Godwin Dzanie Kotey and assistant trainer Daniel Clottey have been denied a visa to enter the United States by the Ghanaian government.
“Tell Ghana that they've disappointed me,” said Clottey to Filipino reporters earlier in the week.
For the earlier portion of his training camp, Clottey, who is nearly a 5-1 underdog on betting lines offered by the BetUS sportsbook, was training solo, with no supervision. Finally however, Lenny de Jesus has hopped on board as Clottey's trainer, and does so with some interesting experience in tow.
De Jesus spent six fights in Pacquiao's corner, and some suggest that he could be an even better cornerman for Clottey than Kotey, despite the unfamiliarity issues. De Jesus has boasted to reporters that Pacquiao “has not changed his style in years,” and has employed a curious no-tape philosophy in camp thus far, with Clottey not watching any fight film of the champion.
Fortunately, Clottey is a fairly reactionary fighter, waiting behind his nearly impenetrable defensive shell for his opponent to throw punches before responding with bombs of his own. Any amount of film study or breakdown of his opponents style quite simply isn't going to change anything, regardless of who drapes the towel over his shoulder in the corner.
However, those who are privy to the boxing odds point to Pacquiao's skill set as being the perfect foil for the Ghanaian's typical strategy. The “Pac Man” is a ferocious puncher, but one who throws his hands at unusual times, unusual angles, and at an unusually fast pace. Many agree that he might be able to keep Clottey so inactive that he could never win a decision, as he sits behind his high guard.
If Clottey can continue moving forward, as he did in the earlier rounds in his bout against Miguel Cotto, he will certainly stand up to Pacquiao. However if he gets lackadaisical and is content deflecting punches, he will never win a decision on the scorecards, and is opening himself up to the possibility of being hurt for the first time in his career.
And beaten soundly for the very first time as well.
Manny Pacquiao -700
Joshua Clottey +450