Pride of the Philippines, Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao, on Saturday added Joshua Clottey to his long list of victims when he beat the Ghanaian in a World Boxing Organisation (WBO) welterweight title fight at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, USA.
In spite of the loss, Clottey walked away with $3 million as against Pacquiao’s $12 million. The Ghanaian put up a spirited performance against the world’s number one pound-for-pound fighter, but in the end lost via a unanimous decision, as the three judges scored the bout 120-108, 118-109 and 119-109, all in favour of the world champion.
Many bookmakers, including Pacquiao’s renowned trainer, Frederick Roach, had predicted a 4-round knockout for the Filipino whose predatory instincts had seen him batter the likes of Oscar ‘Golden Boy’ De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, sending them into premature retirement.
In Saturday’s fight however, he met a warrior in Clottey, and but for the fact that the latter was too economical with his punches, the champion would have been humiliated in front of the 51,000 fans that had gathered in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium to see him destroy the Ghanaian.
Expectedly, Pacquiao started strongly, landing a couple of good right hands, though these could not penetrate the solid defence of the Ghanaian. Round two was even, as Clottey traded punches with Pacquiao to the delight of the few but vociferous Ghanaians in the stadium who saw the Filipino rattled by the African’s punching power.
Buoyed by this, Clottey began to open up in Round 3, taking more risks; but it was the Filipino who ended the round with explosive shots to the body of the Ghanaian. Apart from Round 7 which Clottey appeared to have won, the more aggressive Pacquiao overwhelmingly dominated all the other rounds.
In a post-match interview, Pacquiao noted that after the first round, he revised his notes because “he (Clottey) is strong. He is very tough. “He (Clottey) took so many punches; and yet did not wince. He is the greatest welterweight I have ever fought,” the champion stressed.
On whether he would still like to fight the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jnr, he said, “I want the fight because the fans want to see it.” He added that for the time being, he is going back to the Philippines to continue his political campaign for a parliamentary seat. Clottey, on the other hand had this to say after the bout: “I wanted to take my time and catch him unawares.” He contended that though Pacquiao was fast, he didn’t have power in his punches. “So I was not hurt in the fight.”
He apologized to Ghanaians for the loss, adding, he will bounce back and make his compatriots more proud the next time.
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