By Lou Block
I did not pay for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey PPV; luckily, I was able to catch it on HBO replay the following week. I heard a lot of people were disappointed with the overall card, the fight was alright it wasn’t as boring as people made it out to be, but Pacquiao is a victim of his own success, people are used to him delivering exciting stoppages, so, they are not satisfied when his fights go to a decision.
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What I noticed in the fight was Pacquiao’s physical decline. He looked tired every round and breathing heavily between rounds, his heart is what carried him to continue throwing more punches. Pacquiao was a lot slower, and getting hit a lot more. His body looked softer and not ripped and muscular as in previous fights. Miguel Cotto, whom Pacquiao knocked out, was able to hit Joshua Clottey and drop him in their fight, but Pacquiao couldn’t even hurt or land flush on Joshua Clottey.
Watch HBO boxing highlights of the Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight:
I think we are beginning to see the deterioration of a once great fighter. Manny Pacquiao reminds me of Roy Jones Jr. another physical specimen who lacked boxing fundamentals, but was so fast and athletic he could get away with those mistakes, until, his age caught up with him and he slowed down, no longer looking invincible. If Pacquiao decides to take 8 months off, the long rest could hurt him. When a fighter gets to a certain age, too much inactivity can make them rusty, especially when they are on the decline and their reflexes and speed are not what they once were.
If Pacquiao faces the winner of Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Sugar Shane Mosley, either one of them will beat Manny Pacquiao at this point. Pacquiao is not an intelligent boxer, he relies mainly on his dazzling offensive attack, and lacks the defensive slickness that fighters who are past 30 years of age use to extend their boxing careers. Bernard Hopkins for example is one of those guys who uses his boxing ability and smarts rather than physical aggression to beat younger opponents.
Pacquaio could not dent Clottey’s defense, he could not hurt Clottey with body shots when he did land them, and Pacquiao could not move out of the way from the counter punches as he did when he fought Oscar De La Hoya, a fight that I considered Pacquiao’s greatest performance ever.
Mosley is 38, but his physical strength and cagey fighting style makes him a more difficult opponent for Floyd Mayweather Jr. than Manny Pacquiao. Mosley has all the physical attributes that Pacquiao has, but in a bigger, stronger, and more intelligent package. Pacquiao throws wild punches, and cannot fight on the back foot. Mosley swarms you and fights on the inside, something Pacquiao is not good at doing.
If Mayweather beats Shane Mosley, and faces Manny Pacquiao in November or December, Pacquiao would likely be stopped by accurate, sharp counter punches coming from Floyd Maywather Jr. If Mosley is victorious against Mayweather and fights Pacquiao, the bigger Mosley would likely knock out Pacquiao, especially if Pacquiao fights the way he did against Joshua Clottey and leaves his face open to be hit.
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