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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pacquiao first southpaw to beat Clottey

ARLINGTON, Texas—Lenny DeJesus, a 64-year-old multi-skilled ring craftsman, always says things as he sees it.

He was disappointed that his ward Ghanaian Joshua Clottey, was readily beaten by the smaller, lighter Manny Pacquiao on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

“Joshua had the power to knock him out, but he was reluctant to punch,” said DeJesus during the post-fight press conference. “He clearly got beaten.”

Fact is, DeJesus, who has worked with Pacquiao’s corner from 2003 to 2005, believes the three judges were thoroughly fair handing Pacquiao a unanimous decision verdict.

“I think we lost all rounds,” said DeJesus, who served as Pacquiao’s cutman against Emmanuel Lucero, Marco Antonio Barrera, Fahsan 3K Battery and Erik Morales.

The first four matches ended up in victories, but Morales thwarted a bloodied Pacquiao on March 19, 2005.

Though Pacquiao was mainly a left-fisted knockout artist then, DeJesus, who had also worked as stool boy, bucket boy and trainer, already knew that he was a “special fighter, a throwback from the old days when fighters were true fighters.”

Before he was named as Clottey’s head trainer, DeJesus was even quoted in some reports as saying that “the only guy who can beat Pacquiao is Pacquiao himself.”

Well, DeJesus’ words turned out to be prophetic.

Pacquiao dominated Clottey from the opening bell and many of Clottey’s connections occurred when Pacquiao tried to prove to the Ghanaian that he can also take punches from a big, legitimate welterweight.

DeJesus was even cautious in his pre-fight predictions, saying that they only have 75 percent chances to win.

As I turned out, it was virtually nil.

By: Roy Luarca
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

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