Boxing


Clottey defeats Pacquiao: With heavy odds against, is reality in favor?

Pac vs ClotteyBy Vivek Wallace - On the morning of March 14th when headlines print across the world of boxing and beyond, what will they read?

Listening to most boxing circles, it appears to be a foregone conclusion that the phenomenal Manny Pacquiao will find yet another way to steal the show, but in a sport where anything is possible on any given night, will it really be that simple?

One of the major topics surrounding Manny Pacquiao to date is the issue of performance enhancing substances, yet it's a subplot found within that topic that probably deserves far more attention. For those of us that have followed the sport closely, it's common knowledge that Pacquiao has been a very gifted and talented fighter since well back in his early days, so there's very little reason to question him - as it relates to natural athleticism. But, beyond that, as we peak in that same rear view mirror and analyze a history containing countless wars and bloody battles, a body on the brink of a breakdown can shed light on yet another potential reason as to why this conversation is key..

When you look at the landscape of fighters currently in the sport that have amassed better than 50 fights by the age of 30, suddenly, the portrait becomes very intriguing. Barrera, Morales, and Marquez are three names in particular that fall within this echelon, and without question, we've all seen a great change in their ability to perform at peak levels, as the body became far more paramount than the head which was cruel enough to actually lead them to believe such a feat was possible. In Pacquiao, despite the many wars and the aging body, we continue to see him champion on, seeking new challenges as if his internal clock is permanently broken. For the third fight camp in a row, news has surfaced about injury which reminds us that no matter how super-human he appears, beneath the miraculous exterior, there's a heart that beats like every other man who walks the planet.

Clottey recently reminded us that "Pacquiao is no different than any other man", but for those that chose not to listen, the physical impairments which have suddenly become a mainstay in Pacquiao's pre-fight camps have a voice that can't go unheard.

An arm injury.....a leg injury....now another leg injury....with a ton of questions to follow. And when you follow that trail, the final destination takes an athlete to a place that most would rather not be. Former Major League Baseball slugger Mark McGwire recently went on record to state that his use of performance enhancing substances wasn't to help him hit the ball or perform better, but rather to aid him in recovery from a growing list of injuries. In the case of Pacquiao, there's no such smoking gun and considering that he's innocent until proven guilty, a greater logic says there never will be, but the mere questions surrounding him, paralleled with the frequent injuries truly bring to life a reality that tells us the end is very near.

Exactly how that final script in the career of Manny Pacquiao will be written is beyond any of us, but my money says it won't be from political pressure back at home or a failed drug test abroad. Many seem to lean in the direction of those two theories, but when you look at the physical wear and tear he carries after countless battles and consider the fact that - by his admission - he isn't using those same quick recovery substances that McGwire spoke of, the reality of this matter is truly in favor of his career ending at the hand of a totally unexpected defeat. One which will undoubtedly contain a source with the ability to initiate, explore, and further exploit the same wear and tear we now speak of.

Enter Joshua Clottey. The first bona fide welterweight to face Pacquiao who not only will tip the scales at 147lbs, but subsequently weigh-in unofficially on the night of the fight somewhere in the neighborhood of 170lbs. As if that isn't enough to tip the scales, (no pun intended), Clottey comes equipped with a granite chin and a defense known to pick off more enemy fire than a stealth bomber. The finishing touch in this long list of obstacles for Pacquiao to overcome is the quiet confidence of Clottey. One that speaks loudly, even when his words choose not to.

May not seem like enough attributes to slow the legendary Manny Pacquiao, but as another legendary figure once stated, (famed NBA head coach Pat Riley), "time waits for no man"!

Despite the heavy odds against Clottey, the physical wear and tear along with a unique challenge may very well place reality in his favor. According to trainer Freddie Roach, "this may be the last fight" we see the tandem take part in. As of right now, that sentence contains a particular meaning. Come the night of March 13th, the end analysis could send us all in search of understanding for what could be an unexpected revision, as few other options would exist after a brutal battle, particularly one that ends with a loss for the talented-but-quickly-tiring Filipino.

Clottey defeats Pacquiao........heavy odds remain against it.....but a look at the big picture places this potential reality greatly in favor.

Stay tuned.

(Vivek Wallace can be reached at vivexemail@yahoo.com, 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), Facebook, and Myspace).

Article posted on 24.02.2010



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