Bigger Clottey will test Pacquiao

DALLAS - Manny Pacquiao, who is making his first defence of his World boxing Organisation (WBO) title tomorrow, is confident he can maintain his speed and power as he moves up in class to fight bigger and stronger opponents.

This will be the second consecutive true welterweight fight for the Filipino superstar who goes into tomorrow's bout as the heavy favourite despite giving away a height and an 8cm reach advantage to Ghana's Joshua Clottey.

At a pre-fight news conference at the new Cowboys Stadium, Pacquiao insisted he is not taking Clottey lightly. "Clottey is a good fighter," said Pacquiao, who has won 11 consecutive fights. "He is so strong and he is bigger and taller than me.

"I don't want to underestimate this opponent. I am going to do my best and give it a shot."

A crowd of 45000 is expected for the fight that will showcase Pacquiao's blazing hand speed and quick footwork against Clottey's strength and ring savvy.

There was none of the trash talking that is usually associated with fights of this magnitude as both boxers expressed a liking for each other.

Clottey, 32, is a native of Ghana. He has 35 victories and just three losses, including a controversial disqualification against Carlos Baldomir in 1999 and a close decision against Antonio Margarito four years ago.

Clottey insists he is more than just cannon fodder for Pacquiao.

"I have done everything to train for this fight," Clottey said. "He (Pacquiao) is the best fighter in the world, but I want to see what he can do." - Sapa-AFP