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Manny Pacquiao makes statement against Joshua Clottey

Filipino fighter earns unanimous decision win in welterweight championship

Image

David J. Phillip / AP

Joshua Clottey, from Ghana, protects himself from Manny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines, during their WBO boxing welterweight title fight in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, March 13, 2010.

Updated Saturday, March 13, 2010 | 9:48 p.m.

Pacquiao Dominates

Before nearly 51,000 people at Cowboys Stadium, Manny Pacquiao beat Joshua Clottey by a unanimous decision on Saturday night.

Pacquiao vs. Clottey

Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, is seen on a large video screen before his WBO boxing welterweight title fight against Joshua Clottey, from Ghana, in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, March 13, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Undercard Results

  • Mauricio Pastrana (35-13-2, 24 KO) vs. Eden Sonsona (19-5, 6 KO): Sonsona wins via KO at 1:33 of eighth round
  • Joe Morales (20-13, 4 KO) vs. Michael Farenas (26-2-3, 23 KO): No decision; accidental head butt at 2:25 of second round
  • Jaime Villa (8-8-3, 3 KO) vs. Salvador Sanchez (19-3-2, 9 KO): Sanchez wins via TKO at 1:09 of sixth round
  • Samuel Sanchez (4-2-1, 0 KO) vs. Roberto Marroquin (13-0, 10 KO): Marroquin wins via KO at 1:36 of second round
  • Calvin Pitts (5-12-1, 1 KO) vs. Rodrigo Garcia (6-0, 5 KO): Garcia wins via TKO at 2:21 of second round
  • Isaac Hidalgo (6-5-2, 1 KO) vs. Arthur Trevino (5-3-3, 2 KO): Majority Draw
  • Michael Medina (22-2-2, 18 KO) vs. John Duddy (29-1, 18 KO): Duddy wins via split decision
  • Alfonso Gomez (22-4-2, 11 KO) vs. Jose Luis Castillo (60-10-1, 52 KO): Gomez wins via TKO at 3:00 of fifth round
  • David Diaz (35-2-1, 17 KO) vs. Humberto Soto (50-7-2, 32 KO): Soto wins via unanimous decision

Complete Coverage

ARLINGTON, Texas — Manny Pacquiao didn't become the first fighter to ever stop Joshua Clottey at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. But he sent a statement nonetheless.

The Filipino fighter widely considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world dominated Clottey throughout their WBO welterweight championship fight Saturday, taking home a unanimous decision win in front of a sellout crowd of 50,994 fans.

Despite winning every single round on one judges scorecard and all but one on the other two, Pacquiao was gracious following the fight, giving Clottey credit as a tough opponent.

"It was not an easy fight, he's a very tough fighter," Pacquiao said. "Our strategy was to come out and throw a lot of jabs. When he came inside, throw the hook, uppercut. He's not an easy opponent. I can't believe it."

Pacquiao proved to be the more active fighter from the very start, throwing more jabs in the first round of the fight than in any other round of his storied career.

Clottey, who is known for his defense and stone chin, was able to land a few big shots throughout the night but couldn't keep up with Pacquiao's pace.

Pacquiao likely will wait to announce his next fight until after May 1, when top welterweights Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley meet at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Pacquiao and Mayweather were close to signing a deal to fight one another late last year, however talks broke down in January when Pacquiao refused to agree to Mayweather's demands that he undergo Olympic-style drug testing.

Those demands were viewed more as head games by Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach, who publicly called out Mayweather following his fighter's win Saturday.

"It's a fight the world wants to see and we want it," Roach said. "Floyd, let the commission do their jobs. You don't run the sport. Get in the ring and fight us."

Stats from the fight:

Pacquiao: Punches thrown: 1231; punches landed: 246

Clottey: Punches thrown: 399; punches landed: 108

See the Las Vegas Sun's round-by-round updates below.

Round Twelve: Fighters hug before the start of final round. Clottey starts things off with a good left hook. Another good left hook lands for Clottey and action has to stop from an accidental head butt. Only for a moment, though, and the final round continues. Clottey throws a straight right, and Pacquiao counters with a combination to the body. One minute left in the fight and they work into a clinch. Pacquiao smiles and Clottey catches him off-guard with the uppercut. Thirty seconds left and Pacquiao comes forward and Clottey is forced to clinch. Bell signals the end, and Pacquiao is still dancing around like he wants to fight. He doesn't get the knockout, but he dominates again.

Round Eleven: Clottey clinches almost immediately to start the round as Pacquiao comes forward. More movement this round from Clottey and he's dropped his hands a little more. Two good left uppercuts land from Clottey. Pacquiao comes forward, and Clottey lands that straight right hand. Pacquiao is taking the punches beautifully, though, and he puts the pressure back on Clottey. Crowd gets behind Pacquiao as he puts Clottey's back to the ropes. Another good left uppercut lands for Clottey, though. He's snapping Pacquiao's head back with that punch, but Pacquiao keeps coming back even stronger with each one. Pacquiao finishes round on a tear, chasing Clottey around the ring.

Round Ten: Good right hook lands for Pacquiao in opening moments. Pacquiao lands combination to the body, and Clottey comes forward with a strong right hand. Clottey shows a little fire and lands another strong straight right after a combination try from Pacquiao and now a strong right uppercut. Again a right uppercut lands, but he doesn't follow it immediately. Pacquiao recovers and comes back with strong body shots, and now he's backed Clottey into the corner. Clottey clinches and finishes the round with a flurry.

Round Nine: Clottey is looking for opportunities, but Pacquiao's relentless pressure is making it difficult for him. Pacquiao eats a few shots and begins to cover up. Clottey sees a chance and comes forward and Pacquiao motions to him to keep it coming. Great body shot off a counter for Pacquiao, and Clottey looks hurt for the first time tonight. Pacquiao continues to come forward, but Clottey regains his composure.

Round Eight: Clottey lands a nice left hook behind Pacquiao's right ear to start the round. Couple jabs from Pacquiao end badly when Clottey comes forward with a straight right hand. Pacquiao regains the momentum, though, with his activity, and the action is stopped when Clottey lands a blatant low blow. Accidental head butt comes moments later, but neither fighter is hurt. Pacquiao laying it on, and Clottey can only cover up. Twenty seconds to go and Clottey hasn't thrown a punch in the last two minutes. As round ends, Clottey throws a punch off a clinch that draws boos from the crowd.

Round Seven: Clottey comes out the aggressor as he knows he's way down on points as it stands, but Pacquiao covers up and is soon back to stalking Clottey. Good body shot lands for Clottey followed by an uppercut. Pacquiao continues stringing together punches, though, as he backs up Clottey to the corner again. Pacquiao unleashes a huge right hook that misses, and he clinches to avoid trouble.

Round Six: Crowd breaks into another "Manny" chant, but it's Clottey that goes to work with Pacquiao's back against the ropes. Pacquiao looks comfortable letting Clottey come to him though and trying to counter. Now Pacquiao comes forward with a combination of body punches. A few straight right hands land for Clottey and then a left hook as Pacquiao was coming in. Pacquiao's action is clearly keeping Clottey out of rhythm though, and the Filipino is countering nicely any time Clottey does come forward. Round ends, and Pacquiao smiles to his corner as he walks back.

Round Five: Pacquiao puts his back to the ropes to open the round, but Clottey neglects to throw and they move toward the center. Good body shots land for Clottey. Pacquiao's activity is slightly down from previous rounds, but he's easily still throwing three to four times as many punches as Clottey. Clottey comes forward on the aggressive, but Pacquiao ducks under, and they clinch for the first time tonight. Good right hand lands to the body for Clottey followed by a left hook, but it's almost like Pacquiao is letting him do it. He tested Miguel Cotto's power in his last fight and it looks like he's doing the same here. He comes forward with a flurry that should guarantee he still takes the round.

Round Four: Clottey lands first punch of the round with a straight right after deflecting more jabs from Pacquiao. More good body shots from Pacquiao set up successful shots up top. And now in a sign of frustration, maybe, Pacquiao throws an illegal shot with both hands to either side of Clottey's head. Referee says none of that, but when action resumes Pacquiao presses forward and puts Clottey in the corner. Clottey out, but he took the most damage of the fight so far in that exchange. More good combinations from Pacquiao with Clottey continuing to cover up. He answers with a nice left jab, but it was all Pacquiao that round.

Round Three: Fighters touch gloves to begin third round. Pacquiao looking to open Clottey's hands from his face but Clottey showing incredibly effective blocking, and he shoots out and lands an uppercut. Good body shot lands for Pacquiao. Clottey comes on the offensive more now, throwing a good uppercut followed by a left hook. Another good combination from Clottey, setting up the straight right hand with a jab. Pacquiao comes back strong, though, and forces Clottey into the corner. Good back and forth from both fighters now. Pacquiao's best shots are landing to Clottey's body, but he hasn't penetrated the defense up top much.

Round Two: Pacquiao back to work on Clottey's defense. Clottey fires away a few jabs but comes up with air. Now he lands a decent left hand, but Pacquiao comes back with multiple shots. Pacquiao staying busy with his feet, circling in both directions and working in punches low and high. Clottey comes forward with an uppercut, but Pacquiao responds again. Now Clottey dances a little in front of Pacquiao, shaking out his arms. He's remaining very defensive. Good left hand from Clottey, followed by a right hook.

Round One: Bell rings and fighters touch gloves. Clottey protecting the face, Pacquiao looking for an opening. Crowd gets into 'Manny' cheer. Clottey puts his back against the ropes, and Pacquiao throws a flurry, but it's mostly deflected away. Very defensive start for Clottey. Jab lands for Clottey, but Pacquiao counters effectively. Two straight right hands thrown by Clottey. Pacquiao takes a punch but comes back with two to finish round.

Prefight: Pacquiao, widely considered to be the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, seems to bring a crowd, and certainly a ton of energy, wherever he goes. Even his opponent couldn't resist smiling and mouthing the word, 'Manny' over and over again with a crowd of spectators during Friday's official weigh-in.

It was believed at one point that March 13 would serve as the date of what promised to be the richest boxing match in the sport's history between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., but that matchup has been put on hold for now due to the two sides inability to get past Mayweather's demands that Pacquiao undergo Olympic-style drug testing.

Although many remain disappointed the two fighters were unable to come to terms, it would be hard to tell that judging by the enormous turnout for the first fight in Jerry Jones's $1.2 billion stadium. The official attendance of 50,944 was the third-largest live fight audience in United States history. Celebrities on hand include former Cowboys players Troy Aikman and Deion Sanders and coaches Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson; actor Mario Lopez; boxers Miguel Cotto and Kelly Pavlik; and actor Andre Royo ("Bubbles" from HBO's "The Wire"). The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders sang the national anthem.

Follow along with the Las Vegas Sun for round-by-round updates of the welterweight bout and Make sure to check back after the fight for more stories, videos and photos.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Also follow him on twitter: LVSunFighting.

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