cos he's just too much man for him..." - Paulie Malignaggi.
It has been heavily reported that Joshua Clottey stands little chance in defeating the majestic Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao's recent string of stoppages have lead to many predicting a stoppage as early as the sixth round against the granite chinned Clottey.
Pacquiao's tireless work-rate, incredible power, lightning speed coupled with Clottey's significant inactivity, questionable stamina and reserved punch output make it all too easy to say 'Pacquiao by KO.'
Making the case for Joshua Clottey
What does Joshua Clottey need to do within the realms of his ability to defeat Manny Pacquiao?
Any fighter faced with the monumental task of taking on Manny Pacquiao needs to use their jab to slow him down. Whenever Pacquiao moves to his left to avert the jab, that is when his opponent can land their straight right. Having said that, Clottey is not a fighter who possesses a great jab and as a result he will use it sparingly.
Freddie Roach (Pacquiao's Trainer) has already revealed his fighter's raiding tactics, comparable to those employed in Pacquiao's first fight at welterweight against Oscar De la Hoya. Pacquiao will stay on his toes, constantly changing angles and moving in and out of range.
Although, if Clottey can assert his physical dominance on Pacquiao and keep him on the back foot, Pacquiao's 'in-and-out' and 'side-to-side' movement will cease to exist. Nevertheless, if we consider Pacquiao's preceding fights against Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto they both met their respective demise when attempting to establish their physical supremacy over Pacquiao.
Like numerous others, I have seen footage of Pacquiao training for Clottey and it seems that Roach envisions this fight following a similar pattern to Pacquiao's previous three encounters; Manny taking the initiative and fighting on the front foot. The whole game plan hinges on Pacquiao being the aggressor.
However, all that preparation on working around Clottey's guard will be rendered futile if Manny spends a substantial part of the fight on the back foot. Pacquiao will have an extremely difficult task on his hands if he has to manoeuvre openings whilst on the retreat.
Manny may have been able to hurt Cotto and Hatton when they came forward but those holes will not be present against Clottey's 'peek-a-boo' defence. If Clottey can dominate the centre of the ring and subsequently restrict Pacquiao's movement, that is when his counter-punching will come into effect.
Pacquiao has notably struggled against a counter-puncher in the past (Juan Manuel Marquez), and Clottey will hit harder than Marquez. If Clottey hurts Pacquiao early enough there will be only one outcome.