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Boxing News of Saturday, 13 March 2010

Source: SkySports

De La Hoya: Clottey Easy for Pac-Man

Oscar De La Hoya believes Manny Pacquiao will have an "easy time" of it against Joshua Clottey this weekend - but is not so sure the Filipino can beat Floyd Mayweather Jnr if the two modern greats ever meet in the ring.

Pac-Man puts his WBO welterweight title on the line on Saturday when he takes on Clottey at Cowboys Stadium in Texas, live on Sky Sports.

While some are predicting the tough Ghanaian may prove a handful, De La Hoya feels the defending champion will comfortably retain his belt.

In an exclusive interview on Sky Sports News, De La Hoya - who has not fought since losing to Pacquiao back in December of 2008 - explained how Clottey's defensive technique will play right into his opponent's hands.

"I think Manny Pacquiao will have an easy time with Joshua Clottey," he said.

"Styles make fights, and his (Clottey's) defence is one where he blocks his punches, then he has to bring his hands down to look at you, and then throw punches.

"Manny is too fast to stay there in the pocket and receive punches. I believe he will hit him then move side-to-side. Clottey will look for him, but he's not going to be there.

"He (Pacquiao) is going to do the same thing for 12 rounds. It's probably going to be an easy fight for him."

Pacquiao had originally been set to face Floyd Mayweather Jnr in a money-spinning showdown between the two biggest names in the sport.

However a dispute over pre-fight drug testing led to negotiations between the two parties collapsing, forcing both boxers to find new opponents.

Mayweather will instead take on Shane Mosley in May and De La Hoya - now a promoter - fears the bout with Pacquiao may never now go ahead.

"I'm having my doubts now because Floyd Mayweather Jnr is fighting Shane Mosley, and the interesting part about that fight is that Sugar Shane has the bets shot at beating Floyd Mayweather," he said.

"I've faced both guys and I have to say that there is going to be a knockout in that fight - and it's not going to be pretty.

"I believe Mayweather is the best boxer, purist boxer, in the sport today. He fights to survive, which is the most dangerous boxer out there."

Asked whether Pacquiao has to beat Mayweather to be considered a true great of the sport, De La Hoya replied: "I believe so.

"I believe he's now a true great in the sport but there are a couple of question marks, as there is in every fighters' life, but I believe if Manny Pacquiao beats a Floyd Mayweather Jnr, if that fight happens, then you can obviously consider him as one of the best in the history of the sport."

And what about a winner in what would be, according to De La Hoya, one of the top five fights of all time? "I would have to say Floyd Mayweather, because of styles.

"I believe Pacquiao would come in, try to get his punches in and be very aggressive. But that plays into Mayweather's hands.

"He's such a defensive, purist boxer. The best there ever has been. He waits for you to make mistakes and then capitalises."