Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey round-by-round recap
Manny Pacquiao defeated challenger Joshua Clottey by unanimous decision on Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the WBO welterweight championship. The Times' Lance Pugmire was ringside. Here's his round-by-round report:
This wasn’t the usual ring walk for Pacquiao. With so much ground to cover inside this $1.2-billion, 100,000-person capacity palace known as Cowboys Stadium, Pacquiao came to Texas with a chance to take out his frustrations over the road not taken, the result of a bitter negotiation with fellow superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. that squandered a $25 million guaranteed payday. The target was Ghana’s Joshua Clottey, a true welterweight who was to step into the ring 10 or more pounds heavier than the dynamic Pac-Man with a chance to stun the boxing world.
Clottey emerged from a locker room where African drums and instruments had been played. As a crowd of 50,994 roared for the Filipino, Pacquiao strode in to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."
Round 1: Pacquiao, in red trunks contrasting Clottey’s satin red, ducked a left and went right to the body. He bobbed in his southpaw stance and unleashed a left that Clottey blocked. Clottey covering. He jabs, tries a right that misses. Pacquiao goes to Clottey's body. Pacquiao jabs, sneaks in a right. Pacquiao more active. Round to Pacquiao, 10-9.
Round 2: Pacquiao lands a hard left to the head, and big right to body. Insiders said that was his plan, to pound Clottey’s gut. He aims for head, then dips to the sides of Clottey. Clottey gets in a right to the body and left to Pacquiao's face. Clottey mockingly buckles his knees. Nice Clottey left to face. Clottey still covering, Pacquiao punching at head, a little in vain. Round to Pacquiao, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 20-18.
Round 3: Clottey jabs. Pacquiao scores with left, unleashes a wild left. Clottey trying to counter. He throws a right, Pacquiao counters with lefts, goes back to the body. Clottey lands a good left to the head. Clean right by Clottey, very nice. Pacquiao jabs, pounds body with right, gets Clottey on ropes. Clottey gets in a scoring combo. Pacquioao hammering on the body, Clottey squeezes in good right.Pacquiao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 30-27.
Round 4: Pacquiao throws right, pushes Clottey off him. Pacquiao to body. Clottey loves to cover face. Pacquiao targeting body, like, “cover this!” Then Clottey double-punched Pacquiao on sides, laughing. Ref separates them. Pacquiao corners Clottey on ropes, bringing roars. Clottey back in middle of ring. Pacquiao beating Clottey about the body. Clottey too inactive, Pacquiao urges him on. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 40-36.
Round 5: Pacquiao using feet to leverage positions. He shrugs off a Clottey jab. Quick right by Clottey lands. Nice jab by Clottey. Pacquiao has expended a lot of energy so far and is backing off a bit. Big lull in action. Clottey will have to increase this pace, unless he’s just satisfied with decision. Pacquiao lefts back Clottey to the ropes, and Pacquiao stays on him. No response from challenger. Pacqiuao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 50-45.
Round 6: Pacquiao jabs, backs off. Clottey blocks face. Clottey is working left jab-right combo, not often enough, though. Pacquiao gives nice assault, Clottey placing both gloves to top of his head, peering for an opening to counter. Pacquiao beats him back. Punch totals will be one-sided. Pacquiao batters Clottey on ropes. Nice Clottey jab at bell. Pacquiao averaging 98 punches to Clottey's 30. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 60-54.
Round 7: Clottey tries to work Pacquiao against the ropes to no avail. Pacquiao goes jab, jab, jab. Pacquiao punishes Clottey's body again. Clottey has to uncover to deal with attack. Manny has lump under his right eye. He’s the battering ram, though, body, body, head. Nice right by Clottey. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 70-63.
Round 8: Pacquiao’s punching advantage through seven rounds is 677-225. If Clottey went to the ‘I hope he gets fatigued” plan it’s a questionable endeavor. Pacquiao jab and left. Low blow by Clottey brings timeout and boos from crowd. Pacquiao likes to give a great show, but Clottey’s cover game makes that tough. Manny big right to body. Another low blow by Clottey bothers Pacquiao at bell. Clottey misfires on right. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 80-72.
Round 9: I called this pre-fight as the round Pacquiao would knock out Clottey, but colleague Bill Dwyre says, “I see no evidence this guy [Clottey] is going down.” Pacquiao again staying true to active plan, jabbing. Clottey tries to punch, Manny covers, as if he wants a real opening badly. Action continues as it has. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 90-81.
Round 10: Pacquiao trying to penetrate lefts through Clottey guard. This is the cover-two defense in the NFL stadium: Cover head with two gloves. Clottey slaps Pacquiao with right. Pacquiao remains busy. Nice right and left uppercut by Clottey. Pacquiao responds with rights. Pacquiao to belly. He keeps pressuring Clottey, who had chance to go more aggressive attack. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 100-90.
Round 11: Pacquiao covers and gets close to Clottey, who tries to bat him away. Pacquiao such the better boxer, and that’s what has won him this fight thus far. Clottey scores two left uppercuts. Nice combo, punctuated with left by Pac. Roaring, as Pacquiao pursues with a flurry. “Manny! Manny!” Nice left uppercut by Clottey snaps Pacquio’s head back. Manny back to work at head, has Clottey on ropes, Great attack. Clottey felt that. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao leads, 110-99.
Round 12: Clottey head-butts Pacquiao at start of round. No blood. Clottey jab. Pacquiao right to body, left to head. Pacquiao uppercuts. Pacquiao returns to body. Pacquiao darting in. Clottey content with this inactive effort. Nice right by Pacquiao at bell, ref separates them. Easy decision coming Pacquiao’s way. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9. Pacquiao wins, 120-108.
The official scoring for Manny Pacquiao's unanimous decision over Joshua Clottey: 120-108, 119-109, 119-109.
Photo: Manny Pacquiao lands a left against Joshua Clottey during their welterweight bout Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium. Credit: David J. Phillip / Associated Press