Conclusive Combos on Manny Pacquiao and More!
By JD Camacho (March 17, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Another round of conclusive blows in combination. Congratulations – again – to Filipino whirlwind Manny Pacquiao, who proved once more that size doesn’t win fights (at least, not by itself). I don’t believe beating Joshua Clottey raises Pacquiao’s ranking on any mythical all-time great lists, but it does matter a bit. It keeps the man very relevant in today’s welterweight division and helps him retain his pound-for-pound crown…

I understand that some feel most of Pacquiao’s success comes from Bruce Trampler’s successful matchmaking. I think part of that is true. His last three opponents before Clottey were all mostly left-handed aggressors. But I doubt that Trampler knew that Pacquiao would be THAT dominant. Five knockdowns and three stoppages, all while losing only two or three rounds, is too much for one man to predict. I don’t even think trainer Freddie Roach believed some of his predictions, as he flip-flopped a few times before each of those fights…

For those that believe Clottey was paid to throw the fight, come off it. This has been a trend with the Ghanaian. He gets off with triple left hooks against Antonio Margarito. He stops throwing them, and then drops his punch output. He loses. He rips Miguel Cotto with his best punch, the left uppercut, again and again. He stops throwing it, and then drops his punch output. He loses. Clottey’s counter right crosses against Pacquiao were effective when he threw them. He stopped throwing them. Guess what happened?

Another thing: For those using the Zab Judah fight as a reference, keep in mind that Pacquiao was far more active than Judah. Through nine stanzas, Judah banged out 419 shots. Through the same length, Pacquiao let loose 888 punches. Add to that, Pacquiao was far shiftier than Judah…

How ‘bout ‘dat Cowboys Stadium? Quite a sight to see so many American sports fans there for boxing, of all things. Given Clottey’s facelessness in the mainstream media, I’d guess that 50,000 of those 51,000 fans were there to see Pacquiao. This wasn’t Ricky Hatton in front of the British. This was a real foreigner with little to no folk hero effect in play. Pacquiao achieved that against an unknown opponent on the strength of his superstar status. That’s exciting potential for boxing fans…

Speaking of Hatton, I’m hearing conflicting reports about his retirement. Hatton refutes the claim, but almost everyone else – from Amir Khan to Frank Warren to Floyd Mayweather to Freddie Roach – seems to hope that Hatton hangs ‘em up. I, for one, do not. I’m still crossing my fingers for the completion of that diet Four Kings that may emerge from a Hatton – Marquez and Pacquiao – Mayweather tandem. But even if that long shot never happens, Hatton has made at or around $100 million in his career and has gained endless fans, all off of limited talent. Kudos, Hitman. Kudos…

Hatton’s fame is perhaps a sign of a golden era of worldwide boxing popularity. What? You think that’s BULLCORN, to quote a 90s film? Ignore the United States for a moment. As the sport moved away from its Amero-centric roots in the past two decades, boxers all over the world developed productive fanbases. Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko can sellout venues fighting anybody. Boxing holds lucrative television deals with big European television networks like ARD and RTL. Some of these networks carry larger budgets than US giant HBO. Boxing remains a virtual Top 3 sport in Mexico, if the drawing power of unproven prospect Saul Alvarez is any indication. Up north, Canada features more world-ranked fighters than I can ever remember. Plus, few fighters can sell more seats than Lucian Bute. And in Asia, you can argue that there is no more famous athlete, in any sport, than Pacquiao. Of course, those are just a few pieces of the globe, but people are coming from all over to see boxing. And people are coming to see their OWN fighters, not just the occasional Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson type that drops by. Yes, boxing struggles in the US. Outside of it, boxing may never have been stronger…

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JD at: jdcamachorj@gmail.com

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