Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On The Clottey-Foreman-Pacquiao Debate and What Mayweather Can Do To One Up Pac

Anybody who says that Yuri Foreman is a better challenge for Pacquiao than Joshua Clottey is wrong. Dead wrong.

For starters, Clottey is one of the most avoided welterweights today, a reason why he has fought only once last year - against Miguel Cotto in a fight where it could have gone either way or ended in a draw. Here is where Clottey ranked among the top welterweights today (this is my ranking by the way):

1. Manny Pacquiao
2. Shane Mosley
3. Andre Berto
4. Miguel Cotto
5. Joshua Clottey

Now, you might wonder why Pretty Boy Floyd is not included in the top five. Simple. Ask and answer yourself this question: "When was the last time Mayweather fought a true and legitimate 147 contender?"

If you dig really deep and look past behind his performance against Juan Manuel Marquez, who was a bloated lightweight during their fight (no disrespect to the Mexican warrior), it was Carlos Baldomir back in 2005. Baldomir was not even a top contender but he did campaigned extensively at the 147 territory.

Fact be told, Clottey is a dangerous route for anyone within the 147-154 range. True, Foreman could have been another historical notch for Pacquiao, an easy one, I might add. But opting to fight the formidable Clottey instead, Pacquiao has proven he is out there taking on all the best challenges available.

The native of Accra, Ghana poses a serious threat to Pacquiao. He is a strudy welterweight with solid and hard punches, an almost impregnable defense, a granite chin, and a large and towering physique which he rally puts into play. And he has never been stopped before. Cotto may have won that fight, but Clottey sure did made it a hell before losing to the Puerto Rican.

On the contrary, Foreman is not much of a threat to Pacquiao. Size may be a factor, but that's really arguable. Pacquiao has fought bigger guys and bested all of them, from David Diaz all the way to Cotto. But lest you forget, the Filipino already stated that he will stop at welterweight.

Foreman, undefeated as he is, is not really much of an exciting fighter. He has always been playing it safe. He effectively fights at a distance and prefers to potshot the other guy rather than oblige in a trade. In other words, it is going to be a long and boring night, regardless of who he is fighting. And with the physical advantages he has over the seven-division champion, it's going to be a looooong night indeed for the Filipino.

While some can and will deny that Clottey is a perfect choice for Pacquiao in the light of the failed negotiations with the Mayweather camp, it is very hard to argue that Pacquiao has taken the easy route.

And with such move, this forces Mayweather to a corner and think of options that are available to him if he wants to make a better something grander than what Pacquiao has recently done. And fights with either Matthew Hatton, whose campaigns at the welterweight division are so abysmal that he is ranked somewhere in the 30s, or Paulie Malignaggi, who is slick, fast, and brash but whose punches can hardly make an impact on anyone, are just ammunitions for more criticisms and damage an already hurting legacy.

Truth is Mayweather's is now in a position where he cannot pick a severely inferior opponent, claim another quick payday, and brag that he is the greatest. If he wants to do better than what Pacquiao has done, and that is challenge someone with serious and potent threat, then all Money May has to do is pick a fight with someone who is more menacing and more threatening than Pacquiao's choice. And to name a few, he could call out Paul Williams or Sergio Martinez, that is if he wants to battle it out in March.

Or he could weather the itch to fight (if he has it) and pick on the winner of Shane Mosley-Andre Berto. If he wants to save his legacy, that is if he still cares about such thing, considering that legcay does not pay the bills, he has to name one, top caliber opponent that can possibly beat the living daylights out of him. And win.


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