By James ‘Smitty’ Smith: Over 50,000 showed up at the new palatial Dallas Cowboys Stadium. We saw Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, of course, and former Cowboy Super Bowl winning coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. We saw Neon Deion Sanders along with a plethora of sporting super stars and other luminaries. They were all there to see one Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao, boxing’s biggest star these days in action. They all got to see this brilliant fighter do what he does best.
Unfortunately there was one other person there to see Manny as well. His name was Joshua Clottey, Pacquiao’s opponent this past Saturday night. I must say, I am not surprised, and if you read my prefight breakdown last week, I stated that sometimes Clottey, in his biggest fights, does just enough to lose. Well, in this fight, he even surpassed that analysis by doing everything he could to lose.
Clottey simply did not make a concerted effort to win this fight period. I like Joshua. I predicted years ago he would win a World Title which he did, but I also know that he is limited in terms of having that extra level of grit, determination, and maybe desire to step it up and take some chances. We saw it in his losses to Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto and we dramatically saw it Saturday night against Pacquiao, and to be honest it started long before the fight.
Everything about this fight was a P.F. P. That mean “Promo for Pacquiao”, and Joshua was just there to help complete the promotion. But nobody is to blame but Clottey. As I stated before the fight, he had everything to gain and nothing to lose. His payday was guaranteed, but he stood to gain so many millions more by defeating the fighter considered by most everyone the games pound for pound best and now a living legend of the squared circle. Would or could Clottey have defeated Manny by actually making an effort, who knows, it is doubtful, but he proved he could land punches against Manny, when he tried, and he proved as expected that being the bigger, stronger man, with a solid defense that he was not going to be knocked out, and he really was never hurt.
Manny did land some really nice body punches and some good flurries to the head, but most of those were picked off by the arms and gloves of Clottey. The only real chance Clottey had was to fight, engage, for every minute of every round as I told him when he contacted me by Facebook a few weeks before the fight. Maybe Joshua just is not capable of that. We have really never seen him do that in his high profile fights and we certainly saw that he was not about to change his colors against Manny.
As for Manny The Magnificent, he did his part, winning I think every round, throwing fast, accurate punches in bunches, utilizing very good angles and balance and handling what few power punches Clottey attempted. Manny’s face was actually more marked than the Clottey face after the fight.
One thing I really love about Manny, and I first mentioned it to Freddie Roach six years ago when we first profiled Pacquiao on my TV show IN THIS CORNER, this dynamo is cut out for the 15 round stuff, and Freddie agreed whole heartedly with me.
So that’s my segue into this; Hey Floyd and Shane, you both told me that you would be great 15 round fighters, so the winner of your fight on May 1 should take on Manny in a scheduled for 15 round fight. I know we can’t even get Floyd in there for 12 at this point. Much more on that to come.
Bottom line is Manny did his part on Saturday night, now we’ll have to wait and see what happens with Mayweather and Mosley at the MGM Grand here in Vegas, and then the real fun begins.
Remember keep your hands up and your chin down.
March 17, 2010