Pacquiao cannot afford to relax

The first big fight of the year
features Filipino hero Manny Pacquiao showcasing his superb southpaw skills
again on Saturday.

Pacman faces the teak-tough Joshua
Clottey in a fight that should live up to the hype.

It is for Pacquiao’s WBO
welterweight title at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. A
sell-out crowd of 45,000 will pack into the Cowboys Stadium.

Pacquiao (38-3-2 with 38 Kos) is
the odds on favourite but the 32-year-old Ghanaian is no pushover, witnessed by
his controversial points loss to the highly respected Miguel Cotto last year.
Many thought Clottey deserved the verdict.

Clottey (35-3, including 20 KOs) is
not given much chance against the pound-for-pound king, but he has a strong
belief in himself and is inspired by an opportunity to upset the script and
thwart a likely match between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr later this year.

Sports bars across Grand Cayman
will be packed and the island’s Filipino community will certainly be cheering
on their hero, especially at Jillian’s which is the favoured place for boxing

Boxing coach Nayon ‘Donie’ Anglin
is a big fan of Pacquiao, 31. “I think he will be too fast and tricky for
Clottey and will stop him in eight rounds.”

Former Caribbean light-heavyweight
amateur champion Troy O’Neil said: “If Pacquiao uses his speed he will outbox
Clottey. I don’t think he has the power to stop Clottey because he is as strong
as a bull.”

Cayman’s world class
light-middleweight pro Charles ‘The Killa’ Whittaker said: “It will be a good,
exciting fight and not as one-sided as everyone’s saying. I go with Pacquiao
but I wouldn’t be surprised if Clottey was to win on points.”

Whittaker’s trainer is Norman
Wilson. He said: “This will be a very explosive fight. I had a chance to work
with Clottey when I was in England.

“Speed is one thing but in his
lighter days Pacquiao got tired towards the end of the fight. Clottey can fight
12 rounds morning, noon and night and I see him winning on points.”