THE guy who thought up the title “The Event” for the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight must have been some kind of a seer. Apparently, he possessed the prescience to anticipate that there wasn’t going to be a fight at all—just an event.

For indeed it was a spectacle of sorts—from the mammoth crowd to the glitzy, glamorous show, to the array of superstar athletes in attendance.

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However, it came up short in terms of fistic fireworks. One fighter came to fight, the other showed up merely to cower.

DEFENSE. At the inception, Clottey fought the way I had expected him to. He exhibited his trademark peek-a-boo defense while feeling his way through his opponent’s power punches.

But I had hoped that at some point in the fight he would be able to parlay that air-tight defense into an effective offensive spurt.

QUARTEY. Clottey’s defense is not unlike another fighter from Ghana who was a top pound-for- pound fighter just a decade ago—Ike Quartey.

However, the “Bazooka” owned a viper-like jab and he loved to pounce on his opponents off that defensive crouch with lightning speed, often catching them off-guard.

In Clottey’s case, he seemed content in catching Manny’s blows in his arms and was quite unwilling to take risks, despite his corner man’s passionate pleas to let his

hands go.

On the few occasions that he summoned enough courage to punch, he caught Pacquiao flush which showed that he had enough power to keep the fight competitive had he opted to. Sadly, he did not.

The offensive buzzsaw called Manny Pacquiao was apparently just too overwhelming. I understand that he did what he had to do in order to survive. But history will judge him unkindly because when the time came for him to step it up and give it his all, Joshua Clottey faltered and meekly covered up.

SUI GENERIS. What distinguishes Manny from the rest of the pound-for- pound kings who have gone before him is his unrelenting pursuit of victory . Roy Jones Jr. even in his prime, often coasted along the last few rounds after acquiring a sizable lead on the scorecards and was unwilling to risk getting nailed by a lucky shot.

Ditto with Oscar dela Hoya who inexplicably ran away from Felix Trinidad and ended up the loser. Floyd Mayweather Jr? Same story. He could have taken out Juan Manuel Marquez anytime he wanted to in his last fight but was content to take the decision.

Compare that to Manny’s performances in the de la Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Clottey fights and you will marvel at the voracious appetite for action that he possesses.

REASONS. On the lighter side, if you’re still wondering why Clottey fought with his gloves glued to his face, fret not. The Last Round came up with the following plausible excuses. I mean, what else could it be?

1. It wasn’t him in there, but his younger brother. The real Joshua Clottey couldn’t make it past Customs and so he had to hide his face so as not to disappoint 50,000 screaming fans.

2. He’s always been a shy, bashful kid.

3. He’s an unrepentant show-off. Those gloves were brand new and he just couldn’t resist the urge.

4. The overhead lights of the world’s greatest stadium were just too glaring. He had to cover up.

5. Manny promised to give him the pair of ring boots he was wearing that night. Joshua just couldn’t take his eyes off the expensive footwear.

6. Pacquiao knocked off several of Clottey’s teeth in the very first round and he was uncomfortable displaying a wide toothless grin for the remainder of the fight.

7. Clottey’s camp asked for an additional $1 million from Bob Arum so that he would part his gloves wider for a few more inches. Arum didn’t budge.

8. Manny asked him to render a song number at his post-fight victory party and Clottey wanted to render facial damage to a minimum. He wanted Manny to be the one to

be wearing dark shades after the fight.

LAST ROUNDS. Are on my Yakal buddies, Edge Genosa and Bugs Ares. Happy Birthday and cheers!

(jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)