Boxing


What Next For Pacquiao And Clottey?

by James Slater - First of all, as all those fans who saw last night's fight will surely agree, Ghana's Joshua Clottey deserves a huge amount of praise for the way he was able to tough out the full 12-rounds with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao. The way the 32-year-old former IBF welterweight champ was able to take the vicious body shots Pac-Man was landing on him all night was quite remarkable - indeed, Clottey showed not so much an iron chin as an iron midsection!

Still, despite his toughness, Clottey never came close to winning last night, losing every single round on one of the official scorecards ( 120-108 being the way I had it for what it's worth). Concentrating almost purely on defence against the lethal southpaw, Clottey managed to let only a few good shots go; his left jab, left uppercut to the chin and the occasional right hand to the face bringing cheers from the enthusiastic crowd. Other than that, it was Pacquiao's night all the way, and the question now is what next for the Filipino and also what does the future hold for the man from Accra?

Pacquiao has spoken of perhaps retiring from boxing so as to go into politics full time, while after the soreness he is no doubt currently feeling in his body wears off, Clottey may well opt to call it quits also.. In an ideal world, neither guy will quit; Pacquiao because he is simply the best fighter of his era, perhaps even one of the best in boxing history, and Clottey because he has proven his worth and is deserving of another big fight if he wants it.

In an even more ideal world, we fans will get to see Pacquiao fight on and face the winner of May 1st's ultra-intriguing Shane Mosley-Floyd Mayweather Junior clash. Looking quite unbeatable right now and coming off a truly commanding win over one of the biggest, strongest and bravest welterweights in the sport, Pacquiao would have to be made (in my opinion) a favourite over either "Money" or "Sugar."

Seemingly getting even better at age 31 and as a 147-pounder - Manny not having struggled in any fight since he made the move up from 130-pounds - Pacquiao is too great to leave the sport now. But will the winner of Mosley-Mayweather want to face him? You can bet money on Mosley agreeing to the fight if he can take the O from the end of Mayweather's record and replace it with a 1, but if Floyd wins we may have to, as Bob Arum puts it, "go through that nonsense again."

Arum, as if you needed reminding, is referring to the random drug tests Mayweather and his team demanded Pacquiao take pre-fight. So, from a fan standpoint, it will be better if Mosley wins on May 1st. Maybe a Pacquiao-Mosley fight lacks some of the fascination a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight has attached to it, but Mosley against the #1 superstar of boxing is a huge and exciting match-up all by itself.

Basically, unless he does decide to retire at the very top, Pacquiao has only the winner of the May fight to look at as a serious option. And if this fight can be made in, say, September or October of this year and if Manny does as I feel he will and wins it, what a perfect way for him to exit the sport!

With the great Manny Pacquiao, it really is a case of enjoying him while you can.

Article posted on 14.03.2010



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