World champion will rely on quick feet ahead of Clottey showdown in Dallas.
|Pacquiao is trying to revive his bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr [AFP]|
Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao defeated Joshua Clottey by unanimous 12-round decision to retain his World Boxing Organization welterweight title at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
Pacquiao, recently named Fighter of the Decade, ran his win streak to 12 straight fights with a dominating performance in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 at the 1.2 billion-dollar home of American football’s Dallas Cowboys.
Pacquiao’s punishing assault was reflected on all three judges’ scorecards as he won by totals of 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109 on Saturday night.
“This fight is dedicated to all of you, especially to the people in the Philippines,” Pacquiao told the crowd from the ring.
This marked the second consecutive true welterweight fight for Pacquiao, who was the heavy favourite despite giving away a 10-pound advantage to Clottey.
The Ghanaian, who barely threw a punch through the first few rounds, proved to be an easy target for Pacquiao, who was the more aggressive fighter.
Pacquiao was frustrated by Clottey’s defence and the challenger’s decision to cover up and not throw more punches.
“Clottey is not an easy opponent, he is very strong,” Pacquiao said.
“He took a lot of punches and was never hurt.”
In the fourth round, Pacquiao tried to get Clottey to come out of his defensive shell and at one point tapped both of Clottey’s gloves in a failed attempt to get him to trade blows.
Pacquiao, 51-3 with two drawn and 38 knockouts, has looked unstoppable in his previous three fights against opponents who were willing to engage him in the middle of the ring.
Clottey, who fell to 35-4, lasted all 12 rounds with a game plan that included counter-punching and covering up.
By the middle rounds it was apparent Pacquiao had a victory sewn up.
Pacquiao, who last lost to Erik Morales in March of 2005, defended his title on the same date he was to face unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather before negotiations broke off over a drug-testing dispute.
With Clottey out the way, Saturday’s victory could set the stage to reopen talks between Pacquiao and Mayweather’s camp.
“I want that fight because the people want to see that fight,” Pacquiao said.
“Right now I am so happy because of the support I have from my fans. This is the first fight in my career where there is a lot of people coming.”
First, Pacquiao plans to try his luck at politics and run for a congressional seat in the Philippine national election in May.
He ran for Congress in 2007 but failed to get elected.
The fight, part of the first boxing card at the stadium, was watched by one of the largest crowds in US boxing history at the state-of-the art stadium which opened last year.