Boxing


Freddie Roach Says Pacquiao Will KO Clottey - Is Freddie Wrong For Once?

by James Slater - Ace trainer Freddie Roach is well known for being a guy who meticulously studies all upcoming opponents for his fighters, and also for having a quite uncanny knack for accurately predicting the outcome of bouts featuring fighters he works with. And, as is to be expected, Roach has recently been spending his time putting Joshua Clottey - next, of course, for his "star pupil," Manny Pacquiao - under the microscope. Freddie has also come out with another prediction that seems pretty hard to accept, but, due to his track record, may well prove to be spot on.

Roach has been watching tons of Clottey on tape, and he is sure his man will not only beat the tough nut from Accra, Ghana; but he has also predicted Manny Pacquiao will KO the former IBF welterweight champ - becoming the first man to have done so. While a good number of fans will no doubt agree with Roach on his first assessment - that Pac-Man will defeat Clottey on March 13th - some fans may not be in the mood to take Freddie at his word on the second statement he's made..

KO'ing the incredibly strong, smart, well tucked up and reliably-chinned 32-year-old is no easy matter, nor will it prove to be for even as lethal a fighter as Pacquiao. In his 39 pro outings, Clottey has never been even remotely close to being stopped by a shot to the head. Becoming the first to do this to him would be one huge statement by the pound-for-pound king, as great as he is.

Though Pac-Man is fast and has one-punch KO power in either fist, it would really be something to see him put Clottey down and keep him there. We've seen the Filipino legend ice guys with one shot in the past (see KO 2 Ricky Hatton), but do this to Clottey, a guy who has the tough-to-crack, hands up defence that is so synonymous with fighters from Africa? I just can't see it. Clottey is a crafty guy, who will maintain his tight defence whenever danger threatens. Indeed, in the past, Clottey has been criticised for not doing enough offensive work. I think this will be what happens in March - with Clottey not taking any chances or making any mistakes when Pacquiao is looking to unload, and tucking up well and going into his shell when under fire. Unlocking this safe will prove to be a hard task for Pac-Man; maybe even a frustratingly hard one.

What must be agreed on though, is how further a KO win over Clottey would cement Pacquiao's already secure place in history. If the southpaw can chop Clottey down the way he has so many other good and great fighters, further accolades will be showered on him. Accolades like, the greatest fighter ever? Maybe.

No-one is saying Clottey is an all-time great himself, but neither is Gene Fulmer - yet "Sugar" Ray Robinson's one-punch KO of the rock-chinned middleweight added enormously to the original Sugarman's reputation and historical standing. If Pacquiao were to do something similar to Clottey, as Roach has predicted, his fans will also earn even more ammunition to use when arguing their case that Manny is one of the very best of all-time. Bottom line, the fans, of all generations, like to see knockouts; they are impressive.

If Pacquiao can score one on March 13th, chances are it will be a highlight in the video record of the Filipino's achievements for many years to come.

Article posted on 05.02.2010



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