The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

On The Bridge To The Future, Watch Out For Tolls

So the word is out that Pacquiao will be facing Josh Clottey in his next fight. He’ll be a gigantic favorite in that one of course, and he should be- he beat up in his last fight a man who beat Clottey by decision in his previous, and at this point there’s really only one or two conceivable opponents for Pacquiao against whom he would not be favored. And yet for all that this is a bit of a trap fight if you believe there’s a chance of resurrecting the Mayweather bout later. Clottey is slow to pull the trigger, throws one punch at a time and can be baffled by foot movement which forces him to follow and re-set, so the opportunity is there for him to be blown out and look bad in the process; but Clottey is also a big, tough welterweight with a good punch, a good chin, and a strong measure of self-belief. He’s not going to show up looking to collect his check and his beating- he’s going to try to win and he’s going to throw hard punches.

Can he knock out Pacquiao? I really, really doubt it, though I can’t say it’s impossible. I can say that Pacquiao is now a 31 year old man with 55 professional fights and 15 years of professional experience on his record. How many more punches can he take from big, strong welterweights before he begins to run down? The nature of boxing is that you never really know for sure. More than one great fighter has all of a sudden showed up old for a fight; in retrospect you can usually pick out when the decline began- Roy Jones’ return to 175 from heavyweight, for instance- but it’s rarely so obvious at the time it’s happening. The only thing which is absolutely certain is that eventually you get old, you get beat (unless your name’s Marciano), you get retired and you get to find something else to do to make money and fill up the hours with. Every additional fight Pacquiao and Mayweather take between now and whenever/if ever they get their fight organized tempts fate, more so when they face a puncher like Clottey rather than a noodle-armed cutie like Paulie Malignaggi. I’m not saying this is bad matchmaking given the circumstances which obtain at the moment since Clottey is a minor name, works relatively cheap and will create a fun fight if nothing else, but it’s a choice which highlights one of the risks at work right now.

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January 9, 2010 - Posted by | Boxing

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