Pro boxing lovers everywhere will be treated to a prime time bout that could potentially turn out to be the best fight of the year when Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao and Joshua "Grand Master" Clottey square off in a 12-round WBO welterweight title bout at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday at 10 PM ET.
Manny Pacquiao (50-3-0, 38 KOs)
Joshua Clottey (35-3-0, 20 KOs)
Manny Pacquiao -700
Joshua Clottey +450
While the overall state of professional boxing has clearly taken a backseat to the wildly popular MMA, Saturday’s bout between Pacquiao and Clottey could turn out to be a fight that is worthy of being remembered for years to come.
This breakdown on what each fighter needs to do to walk away victorious will go a long way toward helping boxing gamblers make a wise wager on the biggest title bout of the year so far.
With that said—and fight night quickly approaching—let me get started.
Pacquiao, the man deemed the best pound-for-pound fighter on the face of the planet by many boxing analysts (including myself), reminds me a lot of Thomas "The Hit Man" Hearns in the fact that he isn’t powerfully built, but packs a wallop that could level a man twice his size. Thirty-eight knockouts in 53 fights says it all if you ask me.
With 20 knockouts of his own in just 38 fights, Clottey, the bigger man in this fight, has some power of his own—even if it’s not in the same league as Pacquiao’s.
Not only is Pacquiao powerful, but he’s also quick with his hands and throws punches from all sorts of angles, generally confusing his opponents thoroughly before finishing them off with a flurry of punches.
Pacquiao’s speed may not bother Clottey very much anyway, as he took out a puncher quicker than Pacquiao when he beat Zab Judah in his best win ever. Clottey is more technical than fast with his punches, so the edge here goes to Pacquiao as well.
Is there a better offensive fighter in the sport than Pacquiao right now? I think not! He’s fast, quick, and light as a feather—until he makes opponents eat his leather! All attempts at a rap career aside, Pacquiao has made a habit of finishing off his opponents early, winning three of his last four fights in the eighth round or sooner, including an eighth round TKO over Oscar De La Hoya and a second round demolition of Ricky Hatton.
Joshua Clottey has some offense of his own but is not nearly as explosive with his punches. Clottey is known far more for his technical precision than ability to take it to his opponent, despite winning 77 percent of his fights on knockouts. Clottey may not have Pacquiao’s punching power but his quick jab and textbook left uppercut can be deadly accurate.
You know, it’s pretty funny that the Philippines-born Pacquiao isn’t known for his defense, but the man rarely gets in trouble—even against some damn good boxers like De La Hoya and Hatton, just to name a few.
Still, I don’t think Pacquiao’s defense is in the same class as the Ghana-born Clottey, who can keep out even the best of punches with his high guard, tucked chin, and excellent movement.
Clottey has only been on the canvas once in his career, getting floored by Miguel Cotto in the first round of his last fight, and has never been stopped short of the distance in his professional career.
Clottey is a natural welterweight and has more size than Pacquiao, standing 5'8'' to his opponent’s 5'6.5''. While Pacquiao has done well at welterweight in two bouts at the weight, Clottey will likely be the toughest foe he’s faced as a welterweight.
When all is said and done boxing gamblers, I just can’t see Manny Pacquiao losing this fight. I know it won’t be easy (I like the Over 9.5 rounds), but Pacquiao is just too good to be beaten by anyone these days—and that includes the idiotic, loud-mouthed, Floyd Mayweather.
I think this fight goes the distance with Pacquiao winning on a closer-than-expected unanimous decision.