ARLINGTON, Texas (Updated 3:20 p.m.) -- “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao added another feather to his cap after totally dominating his fight against Joshua Clottey in front of a 50,994 crowd Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) at the $1.25-billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, USA.
Blow by blow account
The pound-for-pound king outpunched the former IBF champion from Ghana from the opening bell and retained his World Boxing Organization welterweight title via 12-round unanimous verdict.
One ringside judge gave Pacquiao every round, while the two others gave him all but one. The Associated Press gave every round to the Filipino.
It wasn't as flashy as his knockout of Ricky Hatton or as savage as the beating he gave Oscar De La Hoya, but there was no doubt Pacquiao was in command the entire way against Clottey, who kept his gloves up high in front of his face, rarely risking a flurry.
Clottey, who had his guard up the entire night, appeared to be more interested in surviving that winning and was obviously anxious at being knocked out. His corner continuosly urged him to open up and fight back, but to no avail.
The Ghanaian's strategy got him to the final bell, but he was never competitive in the biggest fight of his career.
In one of the rounds, an obviously irked Pacquiao landed both his fists to the cheeks of Clottey’s covered face.
As Clottey refused to let his guard down, Pacquiao focused most of his attacks on the body with devastating punches, in the hopes of compelling the challenger to defend his breadbasket and make an opening to the head.
"He's a very tough opponent," Pacquiao said. "He was looking for a big shot."
Pacquiao threw three times as many punches as Clottey, an average of 100 a round, and landed as many power shots as Clottey threw. Final punch stats showed Pacquiao landing 246 of 1,231 punches to 108 of 399 for Clottey.
It was the 31-year-old boxing superstar’s 12th straight win after his last defeat in 2003 at the hands of Eric Morales.
Pacquiao now has a 51-3-2 win-loss-draw record, while Clottey absorbed his fourth defeat in 39 fights.
Pacquiao was supposed to have been fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. instead of Clottey, but the megafight between two claimants on the title of world's best pound-for-pound fighter fell apart over a dispute over blood testing.
"I want that fight, the world wants that fight, but it's up to him," Pacquiao said.
That time won't come soon. Mayweather is fighting Shane Mosley on May 1, and the earliest the two could get together would be in the fall and only if Mayweather backs off his demands for blood testing.
The fight this night was more of an event than a real competition, bringing in the biggest crowd in the U.S. for a fight since Julio Cesar Chavez fought Pernell Whitaker at the Alamodome in 1993.
It paid off handsomely for Pacquiao, though, who earned at least $12 million apart from his shares in pay-per-view and gate receipts, while Clottey received $1.5 million – his biggest paycheck ever.
Promoters not only sold out the 45,000 seats available for the bout, but added thousands more standing room passes for fans who could get a glimpse of the action and see every drop of sweat on the huge overhead screens.
The best pound-for-pound boxer in the world holds seven titles in seven weight divisions – flyweight, junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight (or super-featherweight), lightweight, junior welterweight, and now welterweight.
He won the WBC super-featherweight title in March 2008 with a 12-round decision over Juan Manuel Marquez and the WBC lightweight diadem in June 2008 with a ninth-round TKO against David Diaz. He then demolished Oscar De La Hoya in their welterweight duel in December 2008. After scoring a second-round KO win over IBF junior-welterweight champion Ricky Hatton last May 2009, he then ousted WBO welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto with a 12th-round TKO victory in November of last year.
What’s next for Pacquiao? Pacquiao said he will take a rest and start campaigning for the elections in May. The Pacman is aspiring for congressional seat in Sarangani province.
Soto wins title
Reigning WBC super-featherweight champion Humberto Soto, moving up five pounds, captured the WBC lightweight championship via 12-round unanimous decision over erstwhile titlist David Diaz.
Soto, now a three-time champion, decked Diaz in the opening and final rounds enroute to scoring a 115-111, 117-109, 117-109 win and bagging the lightweight throne vacated by Edwin Valero.
WBC Intercontinental Americas welterweight champion Alfonso Gomez retired fellow Mexican Jose Luis Castillo, who remained seated on his stool at the start of the sixth round.
The former “Contender” star Gomez improved his record to 22-4-2, while the two-time WBC lightweight champion, who is likely to retire for good, dropped to 60-10-1.
Sonsona downs Pastrana
Filipino super bantamweight Eden Sonsona scored an eighth-round knockout victory over erstwhile world champion Mauricio Pastrana of Colombia in the undercard of “The Event”.
Sonsona (21-5), who posted his seventh KO win in 26 fights, decked Pastrana earlier in the round before finishing him off at 1:33.
Sonsona also downed Pastrana (35-13-2, 23 KOs) seconds before the end of the third round with a right-left combination.
In an eight-round bout, Filipino featherweight Michael Farenas (27-2-3, 24 KOs) and American boxer Joe Morales (20-13, 4 KOs) saw their fight end in a no contest when a clash of heads in the second round opened an ugly cut over the right eye of Morales.
Farenas was in total control up to the time of the stoppage at 2:25 of the second round.
In other fights, Irishman John Duddy (29-1, 18 KOs) won by split decision over middleweight Michael Medina (22-2-2, 17 KOs) after 10 rounds of boxing. Scores were 96-93, 96-93 for Duddy, who is now in line for a showdown with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and 96-93 for Medina.
Isaac Hidalgo of Tucson, Arizona and local boy Arthur Trevino fought to a four-round draw in their entertaining featherweight fight. Hidalgo’s record now stands at 6-5-2, while Trevino slipped to 5-3-3.
Rodrigo Garcia of Sta. Ana, California posted a second-round technical-knockout victory over Texan Calvin Pitts, who was floored thrice that prompted the TKO at 2:21. The win improved Garcia’s record to 6-0 with five KOs, while Pitts fell to 5-12-1.
Former four-time US amateur champion Roberto Marroquin (13-0, 10 KOs) dealt Sammy Sanchez his first loss in six fights by knocking him out at 1:36 of the second round of their super-bantamweight duel.
Salvador Sanchez knocked out Jamie Villa (8-8-2 3KOs) twice in the sixth round of their featherweight bout and improved his win-loss-draw record to 19-3-2. (Sunnex/AP)