WBO President says Clottey has a chance at beating Pacquiao03/13/2010
WBO president Paco Valcarcel believed in Joshua "Grandmaster" Clottey when few others did. But boxing is about nothing if not risk, and Clottey's success in the ring over the years has proven that Valcarcel's confidence in the former welterweight champ wasn't misplaced. We caught up with the affable Valcarcel at Cowboys Stadium after the press conference for Clottey's battle on March 13 with Manny "PacMan" Pacquiao. In addition to sharing with us what Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto had to say about Clottey, Valcarcel discussed the origins of Clottey's toughness and made something of a prediction for the mega-fight between the Ghanaian-born fighter and PacMan.
When did you first meet [Clottey]?
I met him five or six years ago. Somebody sent me his name, said he wants to be classified from Ghana. Then they said the name and we checked the record and we classified him. And we were the only one who classified him. Nobody had him the ratings. When he fought Margarito we were criticized. But he made a helluva fight that day. He's very humble. A great human being.
Joshua has been beat, but he hasn't been beaten...
Always controversial fights. Margarito told me, "Paco, that pinche negro can punch." And I talked to Cotto after the fight, and he told me, "Paco, he can fight."
What can you say about Joshua's fighting style and what his chances are against Manny?
He got a good defense. He's very, very tough. I think he's the toughest welterweight. More than anybody, he got a good defense. Manny is so fast, and he can punch. Joshua can punch, too. If he can deal with that--you know, good defense, hitting Manny in the body, make him go back, you know, put pressure on him--he's got a good chance. He's got a chance to beat Manny.
Do you think either way if Manny wins or if Joshua wins that it's gonna be a good fight?
For me, it's not an easy fight. That will be the toughest that Manny will face in his life is Joshua Clottey.
So, do you think Joshua is the premiere welterweight in terms of toughness?
The toughest. He's the most dangerous.
Where do you think that toughness comes from?
I don't know. He works hard. He's got the heart of the lion. He's [got] very Mexican guts. He's always in shape. He's a nice guy, he never deals with any drugs or that stuff. And he's born like that. You can hit him, and he's always there. Cotto hit him hard. But Cotto and Margarito both told me that Joshua can punch.
Any predictions for the fight?
The winner will be the winner. [Laughs.]
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