TEX-MSGS: Thoughts Directly From THE EXPERTS feat. Jeff Mayweather - On Pacquiao/Clottey
By Vivek Wallace - When it comes to marquee showdowns like Pacquiao/Clottey, everybody has thoughts on what they see eventually unfolding. All over the internet you can find many of these opinions, but in this new pre-fight interview segment appearing regularly on ESB as an exclusive, we'll take a glimpse into the mind of marquee names around the sport who really knows. Anyone can give thoughts, but these messages come directly from 'THE EXPERTS', hence the name, TEX.-MSGS. Today's expert on the topic is a man who needs little introduction. Former IBO Super-Featherweight title holder, current trainer, brother of Jeff and Roger, and Uncle of Floyd......Mr. Jeff Mayweather.
Article posted on 12.03.2010
Here's what he had to say about Saturday nights showdown:
Vivek W.: Jeff, If you were in Pacquiao's corner, having to lead him into battle against a durable fighter like Joshua Clottey, what strategy would you have him employ?
Jeff MW.: Joshua's a safety first fighter that will try to counter-punch. So, basically, you just have to throw punches in bunches. You have to understand, a counter-puncher has to wait for an opening to throw a punch. So, you just have your guy work on throwing a lot of punches and not being there when the opponent returns fire. Manny kind of has that style anyway, though.
Vivek W.: Ok, lets flip that scenario. If you were in Clottey's corner, how would you guide his training camp to prepare him in the ring against a fighter like Pacquiao?
Jeff MW.: The one thing about Clottey is that he has to take chances. Our major focal point would be about him taking chances. He's naturally the bigger man, and he'll have to do that. In every one of his big fights, he fail to step on the gas. He's content with doing just enough to make things interesting. Then when he come sup short, he complains, but he has no one to blame but himself. He had Cotto gone, but never stepped on the gas. He put it on cruise-control and lost the fight. If he asserted himself more with Margarito, he would have won. With him, it's really just a matter of letting his hands go. He's no slouch. He's a good fighter, good puncher. He takes a good shot....I mean, he's no pushover! He just can't give away rounds. He has to go in there and realize that this fight will literally change his life.
Vivek W.: Against ODH, some would argue that he was weight drained. In the case of Hatton, he worked on defense the entire fight camp with your brother, (Floyd Snr,), yet in the ring he kept his hands down and paid the cost. With Miguel Cotto, many of us felt it was legitimate, but there was still that question relative to the 2lbs he had to lose. How much do you think that 2lbs really hurt Cotto against Pacquiao?
Jeff MW: 2lbs I don't think caused the lost, but as a fighter, when you're used to being a certain weight and you have to lose more weight, now you're basically stripping muscle, which means now you're hurting yourself more than you're helping yourself. So, don't get me wrong, it may have hurt him, but it didn't make the difference. We know what made the difference. (laughs).
Vivek W.: Ok....Now....Lenny DeJesus, as we all know has a history with Manny Pacquiao. Aside from that, he has 47 years in the business and has spent significant time around some pretty established people. How much do you think his time around Pacquiao would really help him come Saturday night?
Jeff MW: Well, I think he has some insight, but Pacquiao is a changed fighter, and that change probably has more to do with core technique. He's gotten better and has become a much better fighter. That being said, all fighters have habits, and considering that he was with Pacquiao well after his first 20 fights, (which is when those habits are created), I'm sure his insight is a good one, I just don't think it'll result in a necessary advantage. What you have to do is hone in as close as possible on those insights and try to get your fighter to capitalize on those things - especially in training camp - so when the bell rings, it's not a mystery to your fighter.
Vivek W.: Last question, Jeff. Who do you like in the fight and why?
Jeff MW.: Well, going off of their last few fights, Pacquiao is the kinda guy where if he gets you hurt early he's gonna look to get you out of there. Clottey, in all of his major fights when he gets a guy hurt, he seems content sitting back and does little else to win. I kind of see it like the Roy Jones Jr/Bernard Hopkins scenario. Hopkins is gonna have to do something that he never has before. Despite Jones not necessarily being the same fighter, and Hopkins looking good lately, I think Jones will be confident because he beat Hopkins once already. Jones has only been beaten by guys that have crazy work rates, which Hopkins isn't that kind of fighter. So, my point is that for Clottey to win, he'll have to step out of character and do something he never has before to even stand a chance. That safety first stuff will only make him a brave loser. This isn't about moral victories. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and he needs to go out on his shield. If not, Pacquiao wins the fight.
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at email@example.com, 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), Facebook and Myspace).
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