Five things we learned from
B's and C's may get degrees, but a half-hearted effort gets you nothing if you're fighting for a world championship. Clottey spent the first six rounds in a deep defensive guard, not throwing nearly enough punches to match Pacquiao's extraordinary work rate. Even when he showed flashes of initiative, like a series of combinations early in the seventh, Pacquiao responded with a combination and Clottey reverted to the earmuffs. At first you wondered if there was a method to the madness -- was Clottey letting the champion punch himself out? No matter. If there was a trap to spring, Pacquiao's supreme conditioning never allowed his opponent the chance.
The CompuBox numbers were outrageous: Pacquiao let fly 1,231 punches -- more than 100 per round -- and landed 246 of them. Even more staggering, Pacquiao threw 832 more punches than Clottey. Even if Saturday's fight didn't culminate with the spectacular denouement we've come to expect from Pacquiao's outings, the champion still delivered a virtuoso performance. Unable to penetrate Clottey's fortress-like defense in the early rounds, Pacquiao continued to circle the challenger, staying busy while throwing unpredictable flurries of punches. If Clottey did land the occasional shot -- the right hook into an uppercut was a stand-by -- Pacquiao absorbed the damage and moved forward. When Clottey snapped Pacquiao's head with a right uppercut in the third round, the champion quickly gathered his bearings and finished the round strong.
Make no mistake: Clottey is one of the world's elite welterweights. This wasn't
The official attendance for Saturday's card at Cowboys Stadium was 50,994, a figure that managed to exceed the rosy expectations of