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Thursday, March 18, 2010

What can the Clottey fight tell us about Mayweather vs. Pacquiao?

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Pittsburgh Fight Sports Examiner | Scott Heritage

The Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight got a lot of mixed reactions from the fans and press. Some took the fight to be a demonstration of Pacquiao's dominance over yet another top ten opponent.

Others were disappointed with Clottey for not taking more chances and trying to take the fight to Pacquiao. Whatever your opinion though the fight was fairly one sided in Pacquiao's favor. Talk will soon once again turn to whether the super fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather can be made, after Pacquiao's election and Mayweathers upcoming fight that is.

So what if anything did the Clottey fight tell us about how Pacquiao might deal with Mayweather, and equally what would Mayweather have seen that he could take advantage of?

Pacquiao's speed, which is a big advantage in every fight he has had at welterweight, was evident against Clottey, but would face a more severe test against the equally quick Mayweather.

Shots that caught Clottey and his flat footed shell defense would obviously not catch Mayweather as often, and Pacquiao would have to work more on throwing punches from different angles rather than the volume he displayed against Clottey.

Mayweather will have liked what he saw from Pacquiao with regards to defense however, with a lot of Clottey's shots finding their mark with little head movement from Pacquiao. Some of this might have been Pacquiao's desperate attempts to make Clottey fight back rather than stand still blocking punches but still. Mayweather's punches are a lot more subtle and hard to see coming than the often telegraphed shots Clottey was firing last Saturday night, and even then they were getting through.

Against aggressive fighters Pacquiao relies largely on simply hitting them with more than they can return fire with, and as such rarely gets hit with a lot of clean shots. Against defensive fighters he does not have this luxury and has always struggled with good counter punchers.

Clottey himself has backed Pacquiao to finish Mayweather, but perhaps holds his own performance in optimistically high regard. Lasting the distance alone does not elevate Clottey to predict how better boxers he hasn't fought would do against someone he had nothing against. Still for what it's worth he did have a valid point about Mayweather's work rate being a problem. Pacquiao is a do or die fighter and will come after Mayweather with everything he has. He won't be put off by taking a few shots and he will certainly throw a lot more punches than Floyd.

Not that many will probably catch Mayweather cleanly, but if his work rate is similar to how it has been in his last few outings, the volume alone from Pacauiqo might win him rounds.

Both Pacquiao and Mayweather have shown to have decent chins, and neither have been in any trouble over the last few years. Mayweather did topple Ricky Hatton, a lesser but similarly attack orientated fighter who at the time was thought to have a decent chin as well. Coupling this with Pacquiao's tendency to leave himself open this could become dangerous territory for him if he doesn't tighten up his defense.

The same can be said of Mayweather himself though, as the sheer volume of Pacquiao's shots will eventually wear him down even if he can block or dodge most of them. Clottey lasted as long as he did because he is a huge welterweight and he can really take a punch. Mayweather has gone as long as he has without a loss because he doesn't get hit.

Steve Marsh, Pittsburgh PA: "If Pacquiao can put out the same amount of punches against Mayweather a she did with Clottey, Floyd will be getting his 0 taken. All Pacquiao has to work on is his defense"

Randall Jones, Philadelphia PA: "Mayweather and Pacquiao wont fight anyway, but if they did Mayweather would give him a boxing lesson. Beating up on a punch bag like Clottey is one thing, but against someone who can make him miss and hit him back with no problems, Pacquiao is in trouble"

John Grover, Pittsburgh PA: "A Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight would be too close to say one would definitely beat the other. All the fanboys saying Manny would tool Floyd and Floyd would smash Manny know nothing about boxing. The fight would probably go to a decision and most likely a split decision as well'

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