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Is Clottey the sacrificial lamb for Pacquiao?

Joshua Clottey Manny PacquiaoBy Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao could have had a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., but instead because of the random blood tests that Mayweather asked for, Pacquiao turned in another direction and decided to fight former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey. The fight is about as interesting on paper as reading a technical manual. Pacquiao has all the advantages in this fight in that he’s a great fighter taking on guy that you can merely call good in a weak division.

Clottey seems to be the sacrificial lamb that has been brought in and who will likely be slaughtered on March 13th in their mega fight at the Dallas Cowboy Stadium, in Arlington, Texas. Of all the opponents that Pacquiao could have been matched up against, he was put in with Clottey, a fighter that has done little to warrant his number #1 ranking by the WBO other than beating up on mostly 2nd tier opposition during his career.

I still don’t understand why Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum didn’t stick it out in the negotiations with Mayweather and iron out a huge mega fight. They seemed to give up suddenly just after Mayweather asked for the random blood tests that he wanted to be discontinued at two weeks before their proposed March 13th fight.

Mayweather was left standing there wondering what happened, and it seemed like they could have stuck it out and worked out a deal. Goodness knows, nothing will change in the future if they want to try and line up a fight with Mayweather. They can’t say that they don’t want to fight him because both Pacquiao and Arum have mentioned Mayweather quite a bit in the past month, sometimes talking more about him than Clottey.

But as far as Clottey goes, he just seems like someone that was hastily pulled out of a hat just to have an opponent to throw in with Pacquiao on March 13th. I’d hate to think that Clottey was the whole backup plan to begin with going into the negotiations for the Mayweather fight, because I would think that they could have been a little more inventive than that and gone after someone like Shane Mosley instead.

However, I hear Arum talking about wanting to match Pacquiao with Antonio Margarito in the near future, and leaves me to think that Clottey could have been the one that he had in mind from the get go for an alternative opponent to replace Mayweather.

I think Clottey is being put in an impossible situation by being matched against Pacquiao. I don’t think that Pacquiao is the best welterweight in the division, but I do think he’s better than Clottey. I think the guy doesn’t have the credentials to beat a fighter like Pacquiao, and to me this fight is as good as a tune-up for Pacquiao. I know Arum and Freddie Roach are painting this as good fight, but I don’t really see it that way.

In watching Clottey getting strafed by the huge shots from Miguel Cotto in his last fight, a 12 round loss for Clottey, and looking at how bad Clottey looked at his only other good opponent during his career, Antonio Margarito, I think it’s not even a fight that I can even consider to be competitive fight. It’s a mismatch on paper, and it will very likely be one in the ring. It’s too bad they couldn’t have found a better opponent for Pacquiao to fight.

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