It was a marquee win for boxing's 'king of the world'.
By the numbers, Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao's 51-3-2 (38) unanimous decision victory over Joshua Clottey 35-4 (20) would not seem to be much of a fight. With Pacquiao throwing over 1,100 punches to Clottey's 140, it would seem to be a mismatch on paper.
As it was, the bout was highly misunderstood. In reality, Clottey's defense is the best in the business, and he proved it. Practically all of Pacquiao's punches were deflected by the upraised gloves and arms of Clottey, with a few blows landing on the side of Clottey's trunks. On the other hand, a third of Clottey's punches on Pacquiao landed effectively, creating a large mouse under Pacquiao's right eye.
It all depended how you viewed the fight. As it occurred, two judges gave Clottey one round, probably the tenth when he came on somewhat aggressively (versus the other rounds). If you liked Pacquiao, you would say that Clottey was the perfect sparring partner for all 12 rounds. Others might say that Clottey had engaged himself in a quiet center-of-the-ring rope-a-dope, intending to drag Pacquiao into the later rounds in the hope Pacquiao would punch himself out.
Clottey came into this bout following a split decision lost to Miguel Cotto, a bout many still believe Clottey won hands down. In the Pacquiao bout, Clottey's defense was in the house. The problem was his offense was not in the house.
Pacquiao was a super aggressor. Not much landed, but it didn't matter. Clottey needed to take chances and live dangerously, and late in the bout, his corner urged him to do so but he didn't want to fight. In the forgotten past, two fighters who got to Pacquiao early both knocked him out cold in the third round. Clottey offered a defensive force field-but never hit the gas pedal.
"I can't believe it!" said Pacquiao. "I threw a lot of jabs. Clottey's a very touch opponent; he's a good fighter, strong enough. He was looking (to land) a big shot as a counterpuncher.
Clottey described Pacquiao, "He has speed. He's fast. He's waiting for me to open up to counter me. He's (too) fast."
When asked about a future fight with Mayweather, Pacquiao replied, "Mayweather? I want that fight. The people want that fight. We're ready to fight at any time. Maybe someday he'll fight. If not maybe Mosley (Mayweather's next opponent) and I should fight. Mayweather's style is not difficult, like Clottey."
According to Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach, "Pacquiao-Mayweather is a fight the world and the people want to see. Mayweather, get in the ring and fight us! We will crush him!"