Dubai: Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao defended his WBO welterweight crown on Sunday against Ghanaian Joshua Clottey at a packed Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
Pacquiao won a unanimous decision over Clottey, dominating the bout against a defensive opponent as more than 50,000 people watched at the boxing arena.
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"I stayed focused to create some strategy to dominate him," Pacquiao told reporters after the fight. "He's a very good defensive fighter. I was looking for a strategy to beat that defence, like body shots, uppercuts. It worked."
Pacquiao -- considered the sport's best pound-for-pound fighter and the first boxer in the world to win world titles in seven different weight divisions -- improved his record to 51-3-2 (38 knockouts).
He controlled the fight from the start, throwing mostly body shots because Clottey locked his arms in front of his face.
Clottey concentrated on keeping his hands held high in front of his face to block his opponent's non-stop attack in a lop-sided contest.
While Pacquiao spoke respectfully of his opponent, the Filipino's trainer Freddy Roach was upset by Clottey's negative display.
"World title fights come once in a lifetime. If you don't have the balls to take it, and you just want to survive ... well," Roach said. "Why not go for it and put it all on the line? I'm frustrated that he didn't try to win the fight."
"He's strong. Some of his punches hurt," said the champion, who regained his poise after Clottey failed to follow up.
Clottey, who dropped to 35-4, praised his elusive opponent. "He's very, very fast," Clottey said. "I tried to catch him up and then when I get to him, he's strong too."
The Filipino never slowed throwing punches and Ghana's Clottey (35-4) never got very aggressive. Neither fighter went down. Two judges scored it 119-109, the other 120-108.
Pacquiao was the odds-on favourite from the start, although Clottey was arguably the biggest and strongest fighter the Filipino has ever faced.
Is Floyd Mayweather Jr next on Pacquiao's list? "I want that fight, the world wants that fight, but it's up to him," Pacquiao said. "I'm ready to fight any time."
Here's a blow-by-blow account of the Pacquiao-Clottey bout:
Round 12: Pacquiao wins the fight via a unanimous decision. Final punch stats showed Pacquiao landing 246 of 1,231 punches to 108 of 399 for Clottey.
Early in the round, Pacquaio threw aggressive punches at Clottey. Clottey threw some punches but they failed to connect. At 46 seconds into the bout, Clottey landed a left hook. Pacquiao landed more body shots but was relentless at throwing head punches at Clottey.
Round 11: Pacquiao moves around Clottey while throwing punches relentlessly. Clottey also tries to throw punches but Pacquiao ducks them. At 1:02, Pacquiao's punches throws Clottey against the ropes. Thirty seconds before the end of the round, the crowd is chanting "Manny, Mannny!" Ten seconds into the round, Pacquiao again throws Clottey into the ropes with more punches. Clottey makes a quick escape. Pacquiao still dominates the round.
Round 10: Pacquiao tries to chip into Clottey's defence, throwing punches to the head, but landing mostly body punches. Clottey continues to cover his face with his hands. Pacquiao keeps his distance, forcing Clottey to lunge in order to throw a jab. Clottey connects an upper cut that momentarily stuns Manny. Clottey takes advantage with a series of jabs. Pacquiao answers with a series of punches.
At the end of the round, Clottey's trainer tells him: "I know you have the power to knock him out. Take a chance."
Round 9: Pacquiao continues his attack on Clottey, who also landed a few punches. Clottey shows signs of wearing down, with his arms lowering down to allow Pacquiao to land more punches, including two left jabs that connected. Clottey lands some right jabs. A lump on Clottey's right cheek is becoming visible. Pacquiao shows no signs of fatigue, although his left eye appears slightly swollen.
At the end of the round, Clottey's trainer tells him to throw more punches or "I will stop the fight".
Round 8: Pacquiao leads the round, landing more punches on Clottey. Some 1:38 seconds into the round, the refereee declares a time out after Clottey throws a low blow on Pacquiao. Pacquiao tries to wear down Clottey with a series of punches. A left upper cut by Pacquiao connects. Clottey appears hurt.
At the end of the round, Clottey's corner warns him "we are losing the round".
Round 7: At the start of round 7, Pacquiao makes the sign of the cross. Both fighters start exchanging blows. Clottey gets agressive and Pacquiao falls to the ropes for a few seconds but quickly escapes. Pacquiao moves around Clottey to land body punches. At 1:51, it is Pacquiao's turn to put Clottey against the ropes, landing combination punches. Clottey escapes but is thrown against the corner less than a minute before the end of the round. Clottey doesn't seem to have an answer to Pacquiao's quick punches. Pacquiao lands a left body shot that seemed to make Clottey wobble.
At the end of the round, Clottey's trainer reminds him to "be creative.. let's throw more punches".
Round 6: Clottey connects a left jab on Pacquiao. He also starts throwing a series of punches but falls short of good blows to dominate the round. Pacquiao tries to overwhelm Clottey with speed and combination punches.
At the end of the round, Clottey's trainer tells him: "Let's create openings now. Let's take a chance." In Pacquiao's corner, trainer Freddy Roach tells the Filipino fighter to "be ready for the hook".
Round 5: Pacquiao lands some right-left combinations on Clottey to continue dominating the fight. Clottey continues an offensive move, with his left foot blocking Pacquiao's right foot. Manny connects a left jab. A minute and 8 seconds into the round, Clottey has his arm around Pacquiao's head, forcing the referee to break them apart. As the fight resumes, Pacquiao chips away at Clottey's fortress of defence with a series of punches. A left jab from Clottey connects. Manny answers by landing a series of blows to Clottey's face and body.
Round 4: Pacquiao relentlessly throws a seris of punches at Clottey, who is still on the defensive. Pacquiao dances around Clottey, while landing a series of blows to the body and face.
The Ghanan seems more intent keeping his gloved hands as protective shield against his head than throwing punches. A minute and 40 seconds into the round, a frustrated Pacquiao throws a double hook on Clottey, as if to press the other fighter to fight back. The referee momentarily breaks the fight.
A minute into the round, Pacquiao pushes Clottey into the corner with more punches. Clottey has no answer to the punches. Pacquiao continues to land combination punches on Clottey.
At the end of the round, Clottey's trainer warns him to "throw more punches... We're losing the fight."
Round 3: Pacquiao and Clottey exchange blows, with Clottey landing a couple of right jabs and an upper cut early in the round. Pacquiao answers with punches to Clottey's body. Some 45 seconds before the end of the round, Pacquiao attacks Clottey with more punches, throwing him against the ropes. The Filipino dominates the round.
Round 2: Pacquio throws a series of punches but Clottey deflects most of them by keeping his arms in front of his face. Pacquiao lands a double right jab on Clottey. Clottey connects a right jab on Pacquiao a minute into the round. Clottey appears to try to wear down Pacquiao with a defensive stance, but the Filipino is relentless in throwing more punches.
At the end of the round, Pacquiao's corner tells him to stay away from Clottey's "right hand" and to watch out when Clottey tries to block Pacquiao's foot.
Round 1: Pacquiao lands a series of blows on Clottey. Both fighters appear to size up each other, with Clottey locking his arms in front of his face and Pacquiao throwing more punches. Pacquiao throws more jabs to tempt Clottey to open up his defence. Manny finds an opening and connects a punch on Clottey.
A right hook from Pacquiao connects and Clottey almost falls to the canvas but regains his composure. Pacquiao connects a combination double right jabs and a left to the body of Clottey.
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With inputs from Irish Eden Belleza, Web Coordinator