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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pacquiao vs Clottey: Photos

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KIMBALL'S RINGSIDE REPORT: Pacman Outclasses Clottey

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By George Kimball

ARLINGTON, Texas --- Manny Pacquiao defended his WBO welterweight title with a runaway unanimous decision at sold-out Cowboys Stadium, but Joshua Clottey could take some solace in becoming the world’s best boxer’s first opponent in two years to hear the final bell, as well as the only Pacquiao foe weighing more than 130 pounds to go the distance.

Although he didn’t get much respect on the scorecards of the ringside judges, Clottey gained the admiration of the crowd as well as his opponent.

Pacquiao ran his record to 51-3-2 with the win. Asked afterward about a possible Paquiao meeting with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach replied, “It’s what the whole world wants to see.

“Just let the commission do its job,” said Roach of the drug-testing issue. “Just get in the ring and fight.”

Alfonso Gomez, who rose to prominence on ‘The Contender’ to become the boxer who retired that late Arturo Gatti, may have done the same favor for former world champion Jose Luis Castillo. After five rounds of a bout in which he had not been competitive, Castillo quit on his stool as his corner informed referee Kenny Bayless that he could not continue. Gomez is now 22-4-2, Castillo 60-10-1.

According to CompuBox stats, Gomez landed 92 punches to Castillo’s 47. The crowd of 50,994 was so worked up by Gomez-Castillo that they spend most of the fight between Humberto Soto and David Diaz attempting, with varying degrees of success, to perform The Wave.

Fighting with his back to the ropes, Soto caught Diaz with a solid left followed by a right to put him down in the first round, and then with ten seconds left in the fight, drove him to the canvas again like a man playing Whack-a-Mole. The Mexican rode those two knockdowns to a unanimous decision over former champion Diaz of Chicago in their bout for the vacant WBC title.

Both David Sutherland and Hubert Minn returned 117-109 scores for Soto, while Gale Van Hoy had it somewhat closer at 115-111. Soto in picking up a championship at his third different weight, is now 51-7-2. Diaz is now 35-3-1.

Although John Duddy had promised “fireworks” in his bout against Michael Medina, their bout quickly transformed itself into a technical battle in which Duddy was more boxer than brawler. After battling Medina on fairly even terms over the first half of the bout, Duddy began to assert himself over the next four, during which he repeatedly tattooed Medina. Although at this point the Mexican seemed to have had most of the fight beaten out of him, Duddy unaccountably took the final stanza off, apparently convinced that he could coast to victory. Only over the final few seconds, when Medina trapped Duddy in his own corner, did the two go toe-to-toe, and the Irishman very nearly got the worst of that when he was clocked by a roundhouse right literally seconds before the bell.

Duddy won by identical 95-93 scores on the cards of judges Mike Mitchell and Charles Phillips. (The SweetScience card favored Duddy by the same margin.) Arturo Velasquez' 96-93 score in Medina’s favor was particularly bewildering, since referee Robert Chapa had taken a point from the Mexican in the eighth round.

In other words, not only did Velasquez score only three rounds for Duddy (as opposed to the six of both of his colleagues), but in only one of those round was his score in accord with both Mitchell’s and Phillips’.

Duddy, in any case, improved his pro log to 29-1 with the victory, his third straight since last year’s upset loss to Billy Lyell. Medina is now 22-2-2.

Nineteen year-old Dallas 122-pounder Roberto Marroquin, a four-time US amateur champion and as fine a prospect as we’ve seen at this weight in nearly three decades, ran his professional mark to 13-0 and registered his 10th career stoppage when he dispatched another hometowner, Samuel Sanchez (4-2-1), at 1:36 of the second.

After knocking Sanchez down in the first round Marroquin had celebrated by kissing his right glove before the opponent had even landed. A hard chopping right in the second sent him barreling over backward. When Sanchez tried to get up only fall back over again, referee Kenny Bayless took him into protective custody, ruling the TKO.

Salvador Sanchez Jr., the nephew, and namesake -- and doppelganger -- of the late Mexican featherweight legend, improved to 19-3-2 with a sixth-round knockout of Texan Jaime Villa. Down once in the fifth and twice more in the sixth, Villa (8-8-2) failed to beat referee Neal Young’s ten-count after the last trip to the canvas and was counted out at 1:09 of the round.

Two earlier bouts involved a pair of Pacquiao’s Filipino countrymen. Junior bantamweight Eden Sonsona (19-5) scored an 8th-round kayo of former world title challenger Mauricio Pastrana (35-13-2). Floored by a straight left, Pastrana was counted out by Young at 1:33 of the round.

Featherweight Michael Farenas’ bout against San Antonio’s Joe Morales came to a premature conclusion when Morales was cut by a clash of heads in the second round, and the result declared no contest. Farenas remains 26-2-3, Morales 20-13.

In other action, California junior middle Rodrigo Garcia (6-0) scored a second-round TKO over Calvin Pitts (5-13-1) of Grand Prairie, Tex., while featherweights Isaac Hidalgo and Arthur Trevino battled to a majority draw in their four-round prelim. Although one judge, Mitchell, scored it a 40-36 shutout for Hidalgo, his card was overruled by the 38-38 tallies returned by Don Griffin and Valasquez. Hidalgo is now 6-5-2, Trevino 5-3-3. 

* * *
MARCH 13, 2010
WELTERWEIGHTS: Manny Pacquiao, 145 3/4, General Santos City, Philippines dec. Joshua Clottey, 147, Accra, Ghana (12) (Retains WBO title)
Alfonso Gomez, 145, Guadalajara, Mexico TKO’d Jose Luis Castillo, 144, Mexicali, Mexico (5)

LIGHTWEIGHTS: Umberto Solis, 134 1/4, Los Mochis, Mexico dec. David Diaz, 134, Chicago, Ill. (12) (Wins vacant WBC title)

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: John Duddy, 160, Derry, Northern Ireland dec. Michael Medina, 155 1/2, Monterrey, Mexico (10)

JUNIOR MIDDLES: Rodrigo Garcia, 149 3/4, Santa Ana, Calif. TKO’d Calvin Pitts, 149, Prairie View, Tex. (2)

FEATHERWEIGHTS: Salvador Sanchez, Jr., 125 3/4, Tianguistenco, Mexico KO’d Jaime Villa, 127, Midland, Tex. (6)
Arthur Trevino, 125 , Ft. Worth, Tex drew with Isaac Hidalgo, 125, Tucson, Ariz (4)
Michael Farenas, 127 1/4, Gubat, Philippines drew with Joe Morales, 126, San Antonio, Tex. (2)

JUNIOR FEATHERWEIGHTS: Robert Morroquin, 122, Dallas,Tex. TKO’d Samuel Sanchez, 122, Dallas (2)
Eden Sonsona, 119 3/4, General Santos City, Philippines KO’d Mauricio Pastrana, 119 1/2, Monteria, Colombia (8)


Pacquiao decisively dispatches Clottey, retains title

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(CNN) -- Manny Pacquiao defeated Joshua Clottey decisively Saturday night to retain his World Boxing Organization welterweight title.

The Filipino fighter, known affectionately as "Pacman" by his fans and in his country, won by unanimous decision. Two judges scored the fight 119-109 for Pacquiao, while a third scored it 120-108, according to the WBO.

Pacquiao has now won 12 straight bouts since losing to Erik Morales in March 2005.

The 12-round decision was a longer fight than Pacquiao predicted before the match. Following his weigh-in, Pacquiao sent a message to his adoring fans that he would be targeting a quick knockout in the fight against Ghana's Clottey.

"I am not going to promise you a knockout, but I will do my best," Pacquiao told the crowd who had gathered to watch the weigh-in Friday night in the Cowboys Stadium.

Saturday's match was fought at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in front of more than 40,000 people. The stadium is the home of the Dallas Cowboys U.S. football team.

Pacquiao, who began his career as a 112 pound flyweight, has won world titles at six different weights and boasts a 50-3-2 record with 28 knockouts.

The fight attracted worldwide attention, particularly back in the Philippines where Pacquiao is a national hero.

Pacquiao was originally slated to be taking on American Floyd Mayweather Jr, in what was billed as the richest fight in boxing history, but a row over dope testing led to negotiations be called off.

The Clottey fight was arranged in its place, but many expect Pacquiao to take on the unbeaten Mayweather later in the year.


Pacquiao keeps Clottey on defensive, wins nearly every round

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Unable to land his signature punch, the straight left, Manny Pacquiao nevertheless overwhelmed Joshua Clottey in a subtle performance Saturday that did not dilute his legacy.

Pacquiao (51-3-2) won a unanimous decision, all 12 rounds on one scorecard and 11 on the other two, to retain the WBO welterweight title in Arlington, Texas, at the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium.

Jabbing and mounting a ferocious body attack, Pacquiao compensated brilliantly for his inability to land cleanly to the face. He established from the outset that he could preoccupy Clottey and discourage him from mounting an attack of his own. Pacquiao, landing only 246 punches but throwing 1,231, was three times as busy as Clottey.

Clottey did manage to hit Pacquiao with three or four uppercuts and five or six counter rights to the noggin’. But he did NOTHING else, except blocking hundreds of punches.

Nobody was going to give such an unaggressive challenger a decision in a fight like that. I gave him the fifth and sixth rounds, when Pacquiao moved less and invited Clottey to open up more, which he did a few times.

And that was that. By the seventh, it was obvious Clottey knew better than we did how badly he was outclassed. Maybe Pacquiao didn’t come close to a knockout, but Clottey obviously didn’t doubt it was possible.

“I think he’s feeling Pacquiao’s power,” Clottey’s trainer Lenny DeJesus said during a late-rounds interview with HBO.

Clottey (35-4), whose previous losses were narrow ones to Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito and a disqualification against Carlos Baldimir, gave Pacquiao his due. “He has (too much) speed,” Clottey said. “It was the first time I’ve lost a fight.”

In explaining his caution, Clottey praised Pacquiao. “He was waiting for me to open up so he could counter me.” Clearly Clottey felt that would be a lot worse than the 12 rounds of frustration and futility that ensued instead.

“It was not an easy fight,” Pacquiao conceded. But he didn’t let that frustrate him. “I wasn’t in a hurry because he was looking for a big shot, an opening.”

When he wasn’t bobbing and weaving and dodging and ducking, that is.

If there was any assumption that Clottey could have turned the tide by showing more courage, the 11th round ended that. Clottey mounted his only sustained attack of the fight, and Pacquiao answered every assault with more impressive flurries of his own.

Following his amazing victories against seemingly larger men in the past 16 months, over Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Cotto, the whuppin’ Pacquiao administered Saturday was as lopsided as his other three and in its own way just as impressive.


The Event: A tale of Pacquiao's pace and Clottey's toughness

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Moments ago Manny Pacquiao retained his WBO welterweight title against Joshua Clottey in a one sided decision victory.

Showing a tremendous pace from the outset, Pacquiao simply kept Clottey too busy to get many punches off. The overmatched Ghanaian employed his shell like defense to good effect again, but Pacquiao showed improved footwork in limiting Clottey's opportunities to catch him.

There were moments when Clottey's pinpoint punches caught Pacquiao, but he never got busy enough to win more than a couple of the closer rounds.

Clottey's defense was tight as always, and a lot of Pacquiao's punches were caught on the gloves, although the sheer volume of them put him way ahead on every scorecard, and needing a knockout in the later rounds.

The only problem Pacquiao still has is that he has always been easy to hit. Clottey was able to rock Pacquiao's head back a number of times but never often enough or hard enough to make much out of it.

A more cunning counter puncher might have a little more success, but few other fighters at welterweight could deal with the kind of barrage the always tough Clottey endured. Although Pacquiao lacked much head movement as he usually does, perennial rival Floyd Mayweather will not find much to draw comfort from if he intends to take on Pacquiao later on in the year.

In the tenth, it looked like Clottey might just be coming apart at the seams, as Pacquiao turned up the pace and found a way around his defenses on several occasions. In the last two rounds though he rallied, and with the end in sight let his hands go a little more, safe in the knowledge that he would probably be able to last the remainder of the fight.

Next for Clottey is unclear, without an immediate path open to him, he might want to consider taking on the loser of Mayweather vs. Mosley in May. Alternatively he could always move up to light middleweight and take on the winner of Miguel Cotto vs. Yuri Foreman.

Next for Pacquiao is the election in his home country, and possibly congressional duties. Bob Arum was confident that he would continue to fight either way though, so the search for his next opponent will probably begin after the election is over. Floyd Mayweather or Antonio Margarito are the favorites at the moment.

Stan Fielding, Pittsburgh PA: "Pacquiao proved again why everyone thinks he would beat Floyd Mayweather. Even Mayweather himself must know he wouldn't be able to stand up to his pace for 2 rounds"

Harry Shaw, Pittsburgh PA: "Clottey is the kind of fighter who it looks like would win a lot more if he just threw more punches. Its easier said than done against someone like Pacquiao, but when he did let his hands go he did pretty well"


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By Joaquin Henson
Sun, 14 Mar 2010

WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao defends his crown against Ghanaian roughhouser Joshua Clottey in a 12-round bout at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, this morning (Manila time) and the heavy betting is on whether the fight will go the distance or not.

Here are the 25 factors that may decide the outcome of the bout:

O Size. Clottey began campaigning as a welterweight in 1997 when Pacquiao was still a flyweight. In his last two bouts, Clottey tipped the scales at 147----the welterweight limit. Pacquiao was at his heaviest for Miguel Cotto last year and that only up to 144. Clottey will try to use his bulk to overpower Pacquiao in the trenches. Edge: Clottey.

O Hand-speed. Pacquiao throws from every conceivable angle, going backwards, sideways or forward. Clottey has respectable speed in unleashing counter combinations but he’s not nearly as fast as the Filipino icon. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Stamina. Nobody works harder than Pacquiao in the gym. Against Cotto, Pacquiao looked like he could go another five rounds when referee Kenny Bayless stopped it in the 12th. Clottey, in contrast, has a tendency to fade in the late going----as shown in his own tussle with Cotto last June. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Foot-speed. Clottey is basically a stand-up counterpuncher who’d rather wait than initiate. He likes to stalk his opponents, moving forward, inching in slowly to find the opening for his counters. Pacquiao is extremely mobile, using open space in the middle of the ring to run circles around his foes. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Durability. Clottey has never been knocked out and that’s a testament to his staying power. It’s not easy sending Clottey down to the canvas. He’s made of stern stuff. Besides, there may be less wear and tear in his body. Clottey has figured in only three fights the last two years compared to Pacquiao who was busier with five outings. Edge: Clottey.

O Quality of opposition. Clottey hasn’t faced anyone quite like Pacquiao. Their common opponent is Cotto whom Pacquiao dominated and Clottey lost to on a split decision. Pacquiao has engaged a slew of future Hall of Famers like Oscar de la Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton and Erik Morales. Clottey’s list of victims isn’t as celebrated. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Activity. Pacquiao has kept himself busy in the ring, logging two fights last year and three in 2008. He’s 7-0 in the last three years. Clottey saw action only once last year, losing to Cotto, and twice the year before. If there is ring rust in Clottey’s armor, he will likely start slowly and accelerate his pace as the fight unfolds. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Experience. Pacquiao and Clottey turned pro in the same year, 1995, but the Filipino has reported for 55 bouts and the Ghanaian, only 39. Pacquiao is 12-2-1 in world championship fights compared to Clottey’s 1-3. Clottey hasn’t been exposed as much to high-profile bouts. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Unpredictability. Because Clottey often resorts to foul tactics, he’s unpredictable. A fighter with bad intentions is always dangerous. Against previously unbeaten Shamone Alvarez, Clottey got into his opponent’s head and distracted him to the point of losing focus. Pacquiao had difficulty dealing with dirty fighters Nedal Hussein and Agapito Sanchez. Edge: Clottey.

O Resiliency. The ability to make adjustments during a bout is a mark of an intelligent fighter. Pacquiao proved how smart he is when he baited Cotto to fight from close range to take away his power left jab. Time and time again, Pacquiao has surprised the experts by changing tactics to fluster his opponents. In 1998, Pacquiao was badly behind on points when he shifted his attack downstairs and found Chatchai Sasakul’s weak spot. After battering Chatchai’s midsection, Pacquiao saw an opening for his left hook to the jaw and scored a come-from-behind knockout. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Hunger. Pacquiao is Clottey’s ticket to fame and fortune. The Ghanaian obviously wants to be where Pacquiao is----on top of the world. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose. The pressure is more on Pacquiao to win. Edge: Clottey.

O Knockout power. Clottey has scored just a single stoppage in his last 11 outings and his knockout rate is only 57.1 percent compared to Pacquiao’s 76 percent. Clottey relies on arm strength and doesn’t put body weight behind his shots----which probably explains his low knockout rate. In contrast, Pacquiao is a devastating puncher. It took only one shot to flatten Hatton. The mystery is whether Pacquiao’s power as a natural lightwelterweight will be as potent against a natural welterweight. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Corner. Freddie Roach is no stranger to Clottey’s trainer Lenny de Jesus. They worked together in Pacquiao’s corner for five fights. De Jesus was thrust into a chief second’s role by default and is more a cutman by profession. Roach will be assisted by Buboy Fernandez and conditioning coach Alex Ariza. De Jesus’ backups are nondescript. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Agility. Pacquiao is a master at slipping punches, moving his head, bending his body and making his opponents miss badly. That’s all because of his agility. He’s a fighter in constant motion and he won’t get tired. Pacquiao will move away from Clottey’s stronger side----the left----by sidestepping to the right but he must be conscious of coming smack into the Ghanaian’s right hand. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Arsenal. Clottey is heavier-handed because he is physically bigger. His deadliest weapons are a left uppercut, left hook and a right uppercut usually thrown like a bolo punch. Clottey also throws an occasional left jab. Pacquiao has a lot more weapons. Because of his southpaw style, Pacquiao will find it easy to land his overhand right or right cross. Pacquiao will use his left hook to the body to soften up Clottey. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Defense. Clottey likes to raise both arms in what is described as a turtle-shell defense. When he covers up, Clottey doesn’t punch and his idea is to tire out his opponent. Pacquiao will move side-to-side to break down Clottey’s defense and his bombardment to the body will be vicious. Clottey, however, has the body build to hang tough. Edge: Clottey.

O Chin. Clottey’s chin hasn’t really been tested by a banger. His solid defense is his protector. If Pacquiao hits him squarely on the chin, it’s not known how Clottey will react. For the moment, the record shows that Clottey’s chin isn’t made of china. Edge: Clottey.

O Heart. When it comes to digging deep into one’s reservoir of energy, Pacquiao has no equal. That’s because he fights with a lot of heart. It’s not just for himself that he fights----it’s for the entire Filipino nation. Pacquiao is braver than brave. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Style. Clottey was unperturbed in dismantling Alvarez and Zab Judah, both southpaws. He won’t be bothered by Pacquiao fighting left-handed. Pacquiao couldn’t care less whether he battles a southpaw or an orthodox fighter. He knows how to handle himself in the ring. His experience will show him the way. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Susceptibility to cuts. Clottey isn’t a bleeder. He bangs heads and never comes out of a collision on the short end. Pacquiao has suffered an assortment of cuts in his long career. After the Cotto fight, he was stitched up. Clottey is a vampire in the ring and extracts blood from his opponents. Edge: Clottey.

O Work rate. Pacquiao is a busybody and doesn’t stop throwing. Clottey picks his punches, countering when there is an opening. The Ghanaian isn’t a volume puncher. If Pacquiao displays his blinding hand and foot-speed, Clottey will be frustrated into a watching and waiting mode. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Combinations. Pacquiao isn’t a one-hit wonder. He’ll throw jabs, hooks, crosses and straights and move out of range before Clottey is able to unleash a counter. Pacquiao is a rhythm fighter. His timing is precise. Clottey won’t know what’s coming when Pacquiao starts to turn the heat on. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Body banger. Both Clottey and Pacquiao will look to attack the body. Clottey will try to slow down Pacquiao by leaning on him, throwing shots to the side of the body from up close and bringing him to the ropes or corners. Because Pacquiao is smaller, he may feel Clottey’s body shot more than the Ghanaian will feel his. Edge: Clottey.

O Reflexes. Pacquiao has cat-quick reflexes and it shows in the way he deflects punches, parries blows and moves his head to avoid a direct hit. Clottey isn’t as reactive. Edge: Pacquiao.

O Mental toughness. There’s no doubt Pacquiao is in a frame of mind that belies his inner strength. His focus is unflappable. Whatever he sets his mind to do in the ring, he executes with deadly precision. Clottey isn’t as mentally in control as Pacquiao who knows what it’s like to fight and win under pressure. Edge: Pacquiao.

Out of 25 factors, Pacquiao has the edge in 17.

My prediction is Pacquiao will frustrate Clottey from the onset with his speed, skills and agility. In desperation, Clottey will resort to foul tactics, trying to bully Pacquiao and using his strength to push him into the ropes or the corners. Referee Rafael Ramos will disqualify Clottey for butting, holding, hitting below the belt and whatever else in the seventh round and Pacquiao will retain his WBO welterweight title without much of a sweat.



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By Greg R. Penilla, M.D.
Sun, 14 Mar 2010

Dallas, Texas -- There is no doubt that the phenomenal success of Manny Pacquiao, boxing’s pound for pound king, can never be explained by just being a naturally gifted and hardworking fighter. There must be something else. His incredible rise from a gangly undernourished 106 pound boxer to an extraordinary, out of this world, elite, welterweight champion is beyond rational.

And at this stage of his career, it is already safe to proclaim him as “one of the greatest boxers of all time” in the company of Ali, Armstrong, Leonard and Duran.

I am very much convinced that PED is behind his colossal success.

Not just one but two different kinds of PED’s. Yes folks, PED’s. Not the chemical kind, but different type of PED’s that no Olympic style drug testing can detect. PED’s that Manny Pacquaio himself would like the whole world to know and share.

Prayer Every Day. His super PED

This PED makes Pacquaio not only a special boxer but also a remarkable human being. Manny Pacquiao’s strong faith and belief in God has made him the person he is now. He is unabashed in acknowledging that without Him, he is a just an ordinary boxer.

Pacquaio has accepted that he is not just a boxer but a special person with a higher calling. The whole world knows that he continues to fight not just for his own fame and glory but to give his beloved country, the Philippines and her 90 million people something to be proud of.

And that is where the second PED comes from.

Pilipinos’ Enormous Devotion.

There is not a single person in this planet that can make a whole country come to a standstill, other than Manny Pacquiao. Not even POTUS (President of the United States) can do it.

Bitter political rivals, setting aside differences and watch him fight together. Communist rebels, secessionist Muslims and Philippine government soldiers laying down their arms at least during the day Pacquio is fighting. Streets are deserted. Even criminals take a break.

To his adoring countrymen, he is Elvis, Jordan, Ali, and Pele combined.

Manny Pacquaio summons this energy from his people when he fights, each time giving a virtuoso performance that provides the whole nation a sense of tremendous honor.

And with all the fortune he has amassed, Pacquiao is generous to a fault in giving back to the less fortunate

In just another few hours, a PED enhanced Manny Pacquaio will once again prove he is the undisputed boxing’s royalty, unfortunately at the expense of an equally nice guy, Clottey.



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By Jason Aniel
Sun, 14 Mar 2010

Arlington, TX—With just a few hours before the beginning of “The Event”, Manny Pacquiao is in his final stages of his preparations for his fight against Joshua Clottey. This included a pre-fight mass at the Convention Center at the Gaylord Resort, which concluded a few hours. Manny is expected to sleep for a few hours before eating one more meal and going on a pre fight walk around the hotel with his trainer Freddie Roach.

Many fans and boxing experts forecast a dominant Pacquiao victory over the bigger and stronger Clottey. Pacquiao is expected to win not because Clottey lacks any talent or boxing ability, but because Pacquiao is in great shape—physically and mentally. With seven weeks of hard training and all taking place at Los Angeles, Pacquiao may even be in better shape then he was when he stopped Miguel Cotto in 12 rounds in his last fight in November.

Both Pacquiao and Clottey made the 147lbs weight limit at the weigh-in that took place yesterday and the magnificent Cowboy Stadium. Pacquiao did not have to struggle or reduce to make weight, coming in at 145.75lbs. Clottey came in right at the limit at 147lbs.

After the weigh-in, Pacquiao prayed the rosary in his hotel suite before shooting a quick scene for his sitcom show “Show Me the Manny.” There, he explained that he has a few tricks up his sleeves and some surprises in store of Clottey. If Clottey thinks he’s figured out Manny based on the tapes he watched, then he’s in store for a big shock.

Close to 50,000 seats have been sold and officials of the stadium intend to open up the standing room only section of the stadium. With the 72 feet HD Screen lowered to about 50 feet above the ring, there is not one bad seat in the house. However, surprisingly, despite the big screen, the stadium seems perfect for boxing because there are many great sight lines to the ring itself. Credit goes to Dallas Cowboys owner and co-promoter, Jerry Jones, for having the foresight to envision a stadium that would feature big time boxing.


Because this is not a typical Vegas fight, many fight fans will venture to the stadium early to catch some of the undercard bouts. Two Filipino fighters will take on tough opposition.

Michael Farenas, 27-2-3 (24 KOs), takes on the toughest opponent in his career in Joe Morales, 20-13 (4 KOs). While the record is far from impressive, Morales has fought many current or former world champions like Rogers Mtagwa, Joan Guzman, Rocky Juarez, Zahir Raheem, and Joel Cassamayor. If Farenas wants to take his career to the next level as a championship contender, he must defeat this experienced journeyman. Despite the record, Morales is not a fighter you can knock out quickly and easily. He will force his opponents to go several rounds. Farenas is part of the Gerry Penalosa boxing stable. Penalosa’s prized pupil, Farenas has quietly made a name for himself as a force in his weight class, and has earned a fight in one of the biggest cards of the 2010.

Youngster, Eden Sonsona, 20-5 (6 KOs), like Farenas, is taking on an experienced journeyman in former world titlist, Mauricio Pastrana, 35-12 (23 KOs). Manny Pacquiao is handling the career of the 21-year-old. Pastrana does have a flare for an upset when he beat rising prospect, Antonio Escalante, in 2007. Therefore, if Sonsona expects an easy fight against a shot Pastrana, then he’ll play into the hands of the unset minded Pastrana.


Manny Pacquaio v Joshua Clottey, “The Event”, Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Texas

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By Gary Todd
Sun, 14 Mar 2010

Going into this fight, there’s not a lot more you can say about Manny Pacquaio. He has done it all. Well almost.

Since debuting in 1995, he has worked harder than most to become a sporting superstar. He has fought the best fighters in multiple weight divisions and beaten ring legends to become recognized as the number one fighter in the world today. Well almost.

With the fight being billed as “The Event”, only hours away, and all the hard training over for Pacquaio and Clottey, both men will be resting, replenishing, and focusing on what lies ahead.

For Clottey, this is his biggest test to date in his 15 year career as a prizefighter. For Clottey, it’s everything. He knows, if he wins, he will become a millionaire, a national hero to his people of Ghana, but more than that he will get to fight the winner of Mosley and Mayweather.

For Pacquaio, its just another opponent. Well maybe.

When I spoke to Freddie Roach, after the Cotto fight last year, I asked what Pacquaio still had to prove, and who they wanted to fight. Freddie said Mayweather. Another guy jumps into the conversation and asks Freddie, “what about Mosley”? Freddie said, “Mosley is our toughest fight.”

I smiled at him, and he said ”Im serious.”

I couldn’t believe it.

For me, he has to fight Mayweather, then retire. If the Mosley fight was 5 years ago, at a lighter weight, then I would have to agree with Freddie, but not in 2010.

Anyway, lets get back to Clottey.

Clottey is a strong, but limited fighter who has a good left hook, and a decent uppercut, but seems to lose focus after 6 rounds. He will be, as always, in great physical condition, and will be bigger on the night. Throw in, a height and reach advantage, for him, and really, a nothing to lose attitude, then it makes for an interesting fight. Well maybe.

Pacquaio has fought bigger guys who trained hard, and none of them could adjust or adapt to his speed or angles.

For Clottey to have any chance of beating Pacquaio, he has to get inside and go to the body, and follow up with the uppercut, left hook. [ his best punch]

At first, Pacquaio just wont be there. He will box and stay outside, counter punching Clottey as he throws his hooks. Clottey has a bad habit of dropping his hands, when he throws his hooks, and Pacquaio will catch him all night long.

Interesting to note though, Pacquaio will have to be careful , not to get sloppy, or try to exchange bombs, on the inside, as Clottey has a lethal weapon,- his head. If you look at his record, you will see that in some of his fights, his best punch was his head. In some of his biggest fights against, Miguel Cotto, Zab Judah, Steve Martinez, Carlos Baldomir, and Richard Guttierrez, he resorted to fighting with his head, which cost him dearly.

The fight and my prediction.

I see Pacquaio fighting his fight, from the outside, and in the centre of the ring. Clottey will try everything and anything to try and get to Pacquaio on the inside, and he will at some point, make contact with Pacquaio’s eyebrows, causing a bad cut. This will be a turning point in the fight, and it should force Pacquaio to go for the knockout. After another head clash, the referee will stop the fight, and the fight will go to the scorecards.

A bloodied Pacquaio wins on points.


Video: Manny Pacquiao on Good Morning America

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RAPEVINE, TEX. -- On Saturday morning -- a mere hours before he is to defend his WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title against Joshua Clottey -- Filipino superstar boxer, Manny Pacquiao, made an appearance on Good Morning America.

Among the nuances discussed on the show is the fact that Pacquiao was abandoned by his father, earned $35 million last year, and that when he throws a punch, what goes through his mind is, "Power."

Pacquiao also unveals his ability to imitate the Braveheart movie character's Scottish accent, as it was portrayed by Mel Gibson.

There are also references to his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.


Cowboys Stadium: The Event Venue

Pacquiao vs Clottey Weigh In Videos

THE EVENT: Will Pacquiao be the first to stop Clottey?

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By Eddie Alinea
Sat, 13 Mar 2010

When Manny Pacquiao fought British Ricky Hatton last year, the then reigning world junior-welterweight champion had never been knocked down fighting in the 140pound division.

The Filipino sensation sent Hatton to the canvas, not only once but thrice, the first two right in the opening bell on the way to a sensational second round dethroning of the bigger and heavier British to capture the sixth of his historic seven world titles in as many weight classes.

Today the 31-year-old Pacquiao stakes his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown against former champion Joshua Clottey of Ghana, who boasts of a distinction of not having kissed the floor in his previous 38 bouts of a rather roller-coaster career, winning 35, 20 of which via knockouts.
Can Pacquiao do to Clottey, definitely a taller, heavier and heftier slugger what he did to Hatton and become the first man to deal the Ghanaian his first loss via stoppage?
Or can Clottey cut short the Filipino’s winning streak to 50, 38 of them via KOs, deal Pacquiao his fourth loss and stash away with the title in addition to his biggest earning ever?

The fight will be held at the spanking $1.2 million Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium built for the NHL but will start venturing on big time boxing in this biggest event in sweet science this year fittingly titled “The Event.”
“The Event” actually got underway Friday (Saturday in Manila) with the weigh-in ceremony held before a jampacked crowd, including members of Team Pacquiao and Team Clottey.
Pacquiao checked in at a chiseled 145 ¾ lbs, while the finely-tuned Clottey weighed in at the division limit of 147 lbs..

At stake is the WBO welterweight title Pacquiao took from Puerto Rican Miguel, whom he dethroned via a violent 12th round stoppage TKO last November.
On the strength of his four-straight stoppage victories the past two years that earned for him the mythical pound-for-pound king over Juan Diaz ((9th round), Oscar De La Hoya (9th round), Hatton (2nd) and Clotto (12th), Pacquiao has been installed heavy favorite to keep the title and go home to start campaigning for a congressional he is seeking in Sarangani province this May 10.

That triumphant march following a split decision verdict over Juan Manual Marquez that, likewise, gave him the moniker “the Mexican Assassin”, led the Filipino southpaw to his third “Fighter of the Year” award in 2009 by the Boxing Writers Association of America besides establishing himself, too, as the biggest draw in the sport today.

After romping off with a piece of the 140-lb title at the expense of Zab Judah August of 2008, Clottey, on the other hand lost his lasts fight to Cotto via a controversial 12-round decision nine months ago.
Clottey will be playing plays the role of a happy accidental challenger hoping to cash in on this lifetime opportunity to earn his biggest purse ever coming on the heels of a nine-month layoff.
Clottey’s luck came about after plans for a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr.showdown fell through due to an unresolved dispute over the handling of drug tests. Clottey could be, as he promised, determined to burn, but how long he can against Pacquiao’s master of the challenger's limited skills and straightforward approach, only chief trainer Freddie Roach knows.
Roach, for instance has already spotted all of Clottey’s bad habits like his tendency to remain stationary while covering his face with his gloves and leaving the body open defensively.

That could spell trouble against a busy fighter like Pacquiao who fires punches from so many angles and blurs the line between offense and defense so effectively. The challenger can eat leather all night, but it's Pacquiao's work downstairs that will set the stage for the first stoppage of Clottey's career.
No additional drug testing beyond what’s required by the Texas Boxing Commission has been demanded by either the Pacquiao or Clottey camp.

A crowd of 45,000 is expected to file in to the newly renovated state of the art Cowboys Stadium, a testament to Pacquiao’s drawing power alone. This because of the fact, except for features written about him in the course of the matchup, Clottey is only known in hardcore boxing circles.


Fightwriter: Pacquiao-Clottey

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By Graham Houston

Superstar Manny Pacquiao tops the bill in the year’s biggest fight so far, meeting the durable Joshua Clottey in a welterweight title fight on Saturday that will be watched by a 40,000 crowd at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas and a worldwide TV viewing audience (HBO PPV in the U.S., Sky Box Office in Britain). Even though Pacquiao is a massive favourite, people want to see the fighter who is now regarded as a potential all-time great. The way Pacquiao has stormed through the weight divisions from flyweight right up to welterweight, and the thrilling, dominant displays of speed and power against big-name fighters Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto have established the Filipino as a phenomenon, the type of fighter who comes along once in a lifetime.

Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight title on Saturday and he is meeting a worthy challenger. Clottey is a big, strong fighter who will likely be coming into the ring as a junior middleweight. The fighter from Ghana promises to take the fight to Pacquiao and put him under pressure. Clottey is expected to put up a good fight. He has never been stopped. With his tight defence and his sturdy chin, Clottey has a blast-proof look. Can Pacquiao get him out of the fight inside 12 rounds? For many, this is the most intriguing aspect of the fight.

Clottey is a seasoned fighter but predictable. He moves straight ahead with gloves up and elbows tucked in, and he likes to unload bursts of punches once he is in firing range.

This style can be very effective against many fighters. Clottey was too strong and industrious for the faster, flashier Zab Judah, for instance. Although it was a cut over Judah’s eye that caused the fight to end prematurely, it did seem that Clottey was breaking down the southpaw from Brooklyn.

Pacquiao, of course, is no ordinary fighter. His hand speed and foot speed are very difficult to deal with for the more methodical types of fighter such as Clottey.

It seems to me that Pacquiao, at 31, is punching even harder — and taking a better punch — than at any time in his career while remaining just as fast as when he was boxing at much lighter weights. Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn’t believe Pacquiao is doing this naturally, and his suspicions caused their potential superfight to fall apart, but in Pacquiao’s camp they say that it is modern nutrition and diet and incredibly hard work — plus the body’s growing process — that has seen the former flyweight give devastating displays at 147 pounds.

Pacquiao isn’t the only fighter to have started out as a slender flyweight and moved up to become formidable through the weight divisions. Old-time light-heavy champion Georges Carpentier started out as a flyweight; so did Jimmy McLarnin, who became a big-hitting welterweight champ.

The people associated with Pacquiao say that we should enjoy him while we can because we aren’t likely to see anyone like him again, and the success of Saturday’s show indicates that the public has got the message.

I am expecting an exciting performance and a convincing win from Pacquiao. Although Clottey is a capable fighter he has shown a tendency to do enough to lose in the big fights — he faded late against Antonio Margarito after making a strong start, and his failure to keep punching caused him to blow the late rounds and lose narrowly to Miguel Cotto. I can see him getting befuddled and discouraged if he if he finds himself unable to hit Pacquiao while getting peppered himself.

Clottey can give Pacquiao a competitive fight but I don’t think he will be able to maintain the constant, fists-pumping pressure that would give him his only chance of success. I think Clottey will find himself running into punches, and if he goes to the ropes and covers up he will get hammered to the body.

Pacquiao’s southpaw style as such might not be a factor, because Clottey has fought well against left-handers, but the Filipino’s speed, power and sheer dynamism are another matter. I think that Clottey might be struggling by the later rounds and it is easy to picture him being rescued while under bombardment. A head clash ending is an unfortunate possibility — Clottey has been involved in a few of those as he tends to lean in with his head when he throws uppercuts, and Cotto was badly sliced in a collision. I tend to lean a bit towards Pacquiao by decision rather than by KO or TKO, but he is on fire right now and Clottey might need all his durability and closed-shutters defence to hear the final bell.


Pacquiao plans to head off any butts in this fight

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By By Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times

from arlington, texas

The best strategy for challenger Joshua Clottey in his fight against Manny Pacquiao may be to use his head.

Not his brain, his head.

There is a history here, and the Pacquiao camp is aware. Their fighter is so heavily favored that some odds on Pacquiao winning have been as high as 15-2. There has been more discussion about where the fight is taking place — massive Cowboys Stadium in front of 45,000 people — than how it will turn out. To most, it's a foregone conclusion.

Still, Pacquiao and his people know that danger lurks in any ring battle, no matter the odds. They know that, in this one, Clottey's forehead may be as dangerous as his fists.

"We're not going to fight him in the box, straight on, where his head can get at Manny," says Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, of the Saturday night match.

The memory of Clottey's fight last June 13 against Miguel Cotto in Madison Square Garden remains vivid to all in boxing.

In the third round, Cotto and Clottey banged heads and Cotto was cut over his left eye. The remainder of the fight was a struggle in Cotto's corner to stop the blood flow, and it wasn't until the last two rounds that Cotto seemed to recover enough to chase down Clottey and score enough points to escape with a split decision.

In November 1999 in London, a then-unbeaten Clottey fought Carlos Baldomir of Argentina. Ahead on all three judges' cards, Clottey was penalized two points in the 10th round for what was termed an "intentional head butt" that opened a cut over Baldomir's left eye. In the 11th, Clottey was warned again about leading with his head, and when he did it one more time, the referee stopped it and gave Baldomir the fight on a disqualification.

The rules state that if a fighter is cut by a head butt, but is deemed by medical personnel to be able to continue, then there is no recourse for the wounded fighter, other than disqualification for repeated offenses, as happened in the Baldomir fight. With Cotto, there were no further detected head butts, so he had to fight his way back through it.

The exception occurs if the head butt happens in the first four rounds and the wounded fighter is judged to be unable to go on. Then they go to the scorecards to get the winner.

The head-butting issue is especially significant in this fight because Pacquiao has a history of not doing well when cut.

"He freaks out a little bit," Roach says.

Pacquiao has lost only three fights on the way to his current 50-3-2 record and status as the best boxer in the world. One loss occurred March 19, 2005, when Erik Morales cut him over the right eye — ruled a cut by punch, not head butt — and Pacquiao lost a unanimous decision.

"I couldn't see out of one eye, and it was very hard," Pacquiao said then.

He went on to avenge that loss by knocking out Morales twice.

Interestingly, the cut man in Pacquiao's corner Saturday night will be Miguel Diaz, whom Roach calls "the best in the business."

There is some history there too.

In May 2004, Pacquiao, still a little-known boxer on the rise, took on Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas. In the first round, Pacquiao nearly destroyed Marquez, knocking him down three times. The third time, Marquez barely made it to his feet in time, but his nose, clearly broken, was a bloody mess.

In his corner, veteran trainer Nacho Berenstein struggled to stop the bleeding in Marquez's nose. Sitting nearby at ringside, having worked an undercard fight, was Diaz, who saw the problem, knew how to help and went to Berenstein's aide, despite some resistance from security guards. He wasn't allowed in the ring, but he handed Berenstein the extra medical tools needed. Marquez went back out for the second round, survived, and Diaz did the same thing for Berenstein in the corner after the round.

Somehow, with the blood stopped just enough for him to be effective, Marquez turned the fight around enough to get a draw from the judges, one of whom had not realized he could have scored Pacquiao's three knockdowns in the first as a 10-6 round, rather than the 10-7 he made it.

Saturday night, Diaz will be on Pacquiao's side, just in case Clottey uses his head too much.

"I told Manny," Roach says, "that he's got the best cut man in the world in his corner. I told him not to worry."


Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey bout just specter of what fans should've received

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GRAPEVINE, Tex. - When Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey step into the ring for their 12-round welterweight match at the palatial Cowboys Stadium Saturday, the specter of the fight that should be taking place will hang heavily in the air.

This was supposed to be the night that Pacquiao, the current No. 1 pound-for-pound king, faced off against Floyd Mayweather Jr., the man who held that title before he retired in 2008. The two men were placed on a collision course when Mayweather returned to boxing last year and as Pacquiao steamed through opponents such as Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto.

But the negotiations for that fight fell apart because of Mayweather's insistence on Olympic- style drug testing for himself and Pacquiao and Pacquiao's refusal to agree to random blood testing.

So instead of the bonanza of Mayweather-Pacquiao, boxing fans, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones - who wanted to showcase a major fistic event at his new stadium - are left with Pacquiao-Clottey, something of a consolation prizefight.

Even though Jones, Pacquiao, Clottey and promoter Bob Arum have been talking up the welterweight showdown between the Filipino star and the former IBF welterweight champ from the Bronx by way of Ghana, it is hard to keep Mayweather out of the conversation.

As trainer Freddie Roach was laying out the strategy for how Pacquiao could dismantle the steel-chinned Clottey in the press room at the Gaylord Texan Hotel on Thursday, he was asked if he thought Mayweather-Pacquiao would ever happen.

"I think the fight will happen because he (Mayweather) wants to make Pacquiao money," Roach said. "He can't make it with anyone else. It's a great fight. It's the fight that everybody wants to see. That puts us (boxing) back in the lead of MMA. That's a fight that's good for the sport."

In order for there to be any talk of resurrecting the negotiations for that fight, Pacquiao must first take care of Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs) and Mayweather must defeat Shane Mosley in Las Vegas on May 1.

Those two fights are not layups for either man. Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) has to contend with a full-fledged welterweight who might come into the ring weighing as much as a middleweight.

"My guy will weigh in at 147 pounds, but he'll come in at 155 or 160 pounds," said Lenny DeJesus, Clottey's trainer. "He likes to eat, and that's his normal walking around weight."

Pacquiao hit 145-3/4pounds and Clottey 147 at the weigh-in at Cowboys Stadium yesterday.

Roach expects Pacquiao's quickness, speed and confusing attacking angles to be enough to thwart anything that Clottey might bring. And he expects those skills to pave the way for Pacquiao to do something that none of Clottey's other opponents, including Diego Corrales, Zab Judah, Antonio Margarito and Cotto, have done - stop him.

"I think he can stop him," Roach said. "He's got a good chin. But the punch that will get you is the punch you don't see."

Despite the fact that Clottey isn't a household name in boxing, a win would be an impressive one for Pacquiao, who will start campaigning for a seat in congress in the Philippines once the fight is over. And he has talked about retiring, although he hasn't been too specific about the time frame.

There won't be much left for Pacquiao to accomplish in boxing if he can't get Mayweather into the ring. And if Pacquiao loses his race for the congressional seat, there won't be much to do in the Philippines, except enjoy his money and his fame. And that might be enough.

For Clottey an upset victory over Pacquiao could lay the groundwork for greater respect in the welterweight division. He would be in line for a match against the winner of Mayweather-Mosley.

Of all the people connected with this promotion and those who hover above it, Clottey is the one who will receive the biggest bounce if he wins.


Clottey’s comedy corner turns weigh-in into laugh-in

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ARLINGTON, Tex. – Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey tried to play it straight when they were asked to pose. The stare-down is supposed to be serious stuff. One blink signals fear. But Pacquiao and Clottey laughed like kids at play. They couldn’t stop laughing.

A weigh-in, a well-rehearsed ritual, can be funny. One in front of Cowboys Stadium Friday was more laugh-in than weigh-in. Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) and Clottey (35-3, 21 KOs) made the welterweight limit, Clottey at 147 pounds and Pacquiao at 145 ¾, for their fight Saturday night at the $1.2 billion arena.

After they stepped off the official scale, they must have laughed off another quarter pound or two. The Clottey camp played the straight man, the tomato can. Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach delivered the punch lines.

Clottey camper Gjin Gjini, owner of John’s Gym in New York, leaned over and told Roach that if the corners were fighting, Clottey’s corner would win in a beat-down. It was the equivalent of one kid telling another kid: My dad can whip your dad. No wonder they were laughing.

“He tells me that if the corners were fighting, we’d get beat up,’’ said Roach, who didn’t recall Ginji’s name and referred to him only as “the Albanian.”

At 50, Roach is well-past his best days as a brawling featherweight. Nevertheless, he has managed to become a target for insults from opposing corners. Floyd Mayweather, Sr., spouted dismissive poetry and few other things at Roach before Pacquiao knocked out Ricky Hatton. Joe Santiago took his rhetorical shots at Roach before Pacquiao’s stoppage of Miguel Cotto.

“When Manny fights Floyd Mayweather Jr., no telling what will happen between me and Roger Mayweather,’’ Roach said of Floyd’s uncle and trainer, also a former fighter. “Roger really doesn’t like me.’’

Anger at Roach from opposing camps might just be rooted in Pacquiao’s recent run of dominance. Nobody has been able to beat the Filipino, who was heavier than he has ever been at an official weigh-in. The Pacquiao reign isn’t expected to change against Clottey in a ring above the 50-yard line and beneath the biggest and brightest high-definition screen in this video universe and maybe a few others.

An undercurrent of rancor between the Clottey camp and Roach starts with Lenny DeJesus, who moved into Clottey’s corner as the lead trainer when Godwin Kotey of Ghana could not get a U.S. visa in time to travel to Dallas.

DeJesus was Pacquiao’s cutman. His role ended in 2005 after the Filipino’s loss to Erik Morales. It also was the last time Pacquiao lost. That fight represents some important history. DeJesus hopes it repeats itself. Roach has been making sure that it won’t. Pacquiao was badly cut over the left eye in the fifth round by head butt. DeJesus couldn’t stop the bleeding. Pacquiao, bothered by a river blood the flowed over and into his eye, couldn’t see well enough to stop Morales. Pacquiao lost a decision. DeJesus lost his job.

With Clottey, DeJesus has an opportunity at revenge with a durable fighter whose best weapon might be a head butt. A clash of heads against Cotto in June almost allowed Clottey to escape New York’s Madison Square Garden with a major upset instead of a loss by split decision.

“We won’t be there for that to happen,’’ Roach said of the head-butt possibility. “We’re at perfect fighting weight.”

Roach paused and added:

“We’re where we want to be.’’

Pacquiao has been for a while. That’s no joke.


Seconds Out: Clottey defence is no real test for King Pacquiao

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by Nick Peet

WITH so much going on right on the doorstep right now it would be easy to miss the fact the current, worldly accepted, pound-for-pound number one returns to arms tonight.

Manny Pacquiao takes on Joshua Clottey in front of around 100,000 fans in Dallas, Texas but I – like may others – will feel short changed regardless of how long the brave Ghanaian lasts.

All I will be thinking in the small hours of this morning will be, ‘What if?’

What if Pacquiao had committed to fight Floyd Mayweather Jnr ahead of chasing the dollars here. What if we’d be sitting down to the biggest fight of this generation tonight rather than waiting for Pacquiao to devour yet another ‘game’ opponent in spectacular but predictable fashion.

Reports of Clottey looking poor on the pads during his public workout earlier this week certainly don’t old well for the WBO welterweight title challenger, especially as Pacman’s hand speed was reportedly “better than ever”.

If Clottey survives the distance in the small hours of tomorrow then he’ll have done his people proud, but I don’t envisage this one going past eight rounds.

Come on Manny, it’s Mayweather we want to see you test yourself against. Surely, until you face ‘The Man’ you’ll never truly be the world number one.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Matthew Aguilar: Joshua Clottey's great but Manny 'Pac-Man' Pacquiao is greater

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By Matthew Aguilar / Special to the Times

Joshua Clottey is as tough and dangerous a welterweight as there is in boxing.

He has cut his teeth against the world's best 147-pounders; he has an aggressive, straight-forward style that makes him fun to watch and easy to root for. He is gutsy, determined and skillful, and two of his three losses have come via decision to a pair of boxing's elite fighters.

Those who think the native of Ghana is a mere replacement for Floyd Mayweather Jr. don't know boxing.

Unfortunately for "Grandmaster," he is fighting the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world -- a superstar who is in his prime and considered not only the best fighter of the last decade, but one of the greatest warriors to ever lace up the gloves.

Yes, even for highly-qualified, deserving, former world champions like Clottey, facing Manny Pacquiao is a daunting task. And the challenger will need a superhuman effort to come out victorious when the duo meets for "Pac-Man's" WBO welterweight title at Cowboys Stadium (7 p.m. today, HBO pay-per-view).

Matchup problems

Clottey, 35-3 (20 knockouts), nearly hit the jackpot in his last fight, a razor-close 12-round decision loss to Miguel Cotto last June. He rebounded from a flash knockdown in the first round to punish Cotto down the stretch, turning the Puerto Rican's face into a bloody mess.

Cotto got the disputed decision, with that knockdown playing a vital role in the outcome. Afterward, Clottey -- painfully close to a career-defining victory -- pleaded for a rematch.

It is ironic then that, nine months later, Clottey is getting an opportunity against the guy who beat Cotto. It goes without saying that he matched up better with Cotto. Because nobody matches up well with Pacquiao, 50-3-2 (38 KOs).

The Filipino mega-star not only fires lightning-quick punches out of a southpaw stance -- making him one of the most technically-difficult fighters in the world -- he also is among the hardest punchers in boxing.

He caught Oscar De La Hoya with a stiff, jarring left hand in the first round of their December 2008 fight, and the bigger, taller De La Hoya never fully recovered.

From there, it was a massacre, with the 5-foot-6 Pacquaio registering a ninth-round TKO over the 5-10 De La Hoya. That was the start of an all-time great stretch for Pacquiao, who since then has knocked out Ricky Hatton (KO 2) and Cotto (TKO 12) in spectacular fashion.

Pacquiao is at the top of his game. But, at age 31, you have to wonder how much longer the joy ride will last.

A tough one

The first six rounds will be key for Clottey.

If the Ghanian can survive Pacquiao's speed, accuracy and crunching power for 18 minutes, his physical strength and bigger frame could have an effect on the Filipino. And, since Pac-Man hasn't been shy lately about engaging in toe-to-toe slugfests -- especially against fighters to which he feels superior -- a bonafide war could ensue.

That would be Clottey's best chance at victory.

But, even then, the challenger would be outgunned -- and getting beat three punches to one. At least. Every round will be exciting, and the Texas crowd will be treated to an action-packed, historic fight.

But, at the end of the day, the champ is just too good.

Pac-Man will use his amazing speed and power to wear Clottey down, who will be badly beaten and swollen at the end -- but gallant and still standing.

Pacquiao by 12th round TKO.


Manny Pacquiao got push to star status

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By George Kimball
Saturday, March 13, 2010

ARLINGTON, Texas - With announcer Michael Buffer repeatedly describing the venue as “the Eighth Wonder of the World,” Cowboys Stadium hosted a dry run last night, as the world’s top boxer, World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and his Ghanaian challenger, Joshua Clottey, weighed in atop a stage erected on the concourse fronting the venue.

Just before Pacquiao and Clottey emerged from their dressing rooms, the massive floor-to-ceiling glass doors were winched open, leaving the end of the stadium fully exposed. With a beaming host and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and promoter Bob Arum looking on, first Clottey (147 pounds) and then Pacquiao (145) mounted the scale under the supervision of Texas boxing official Dickie Cole.

Pacquiao’s appearance was greeted by a thunderous ovation from what seemed to be thousands of Filipino supporters (as well as by one man carrying a sign whose allegiance proclaimed “Irish for Pacquiao”).

Clottey was met with polite applause.

According to Arum, one man is more responsible than any other for the fact that Pacquiao and Clottey will mix it up before a sold-out crowd of 45,000-plus, not to mention a pay-per-view audience that could top 750,000 buys and a worldwide television audience that will number in the millions.

And no, Arum wasn’t talking about himself, his partner Jones or even Floyd Mayweather Jr., although all of the above certainly bear some responsibility. Rather, the guy Arum had in mind was David Diaz, who in June 2008 put his World Boxing Council lightweight title on the line in agreeing to face Pacquiao.

“He didn’t have to do it,” noted Arum.

At the time Pacquiao had 50 professional bouts, but since he had never weighed more than 130 pounds, his credentials as a lightweight were nonexistent. There were those who felt Diaz might be too big for him and that the talented Filipino southpaw might be overreaching with the step up in weight.

But Pacquiao stopped Diaz in nine rounds that night to set in motion a remarkable journey that has taken him from a widely admired boxer to a veritable superstar legitimately compared to the very best who have ever worn gloves.

A guy who had never fought as a lightweight until he met Diaz will be fighting for the third time as a welterweight. In the interim he has fought and disposed of some of the sport’s biggest names: Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, none of whom survived to hear the final bell.

Win, lose or draw tonight against Clottey, Pacquiao will be in New York come June to pick up his third consecutive Fighter of the Year award from the Boxing Writers Association of America.

“But if the Diaz fight doesn’t happen, neither does the De La Hoya fight,” said Arum. “He might not have fought Hatton or Cotto, and he might not be fighting Clottey (tonight).”

Diaz’ reward is a berth against Humberto Soto in the televised portion of the 10-bout card, a fight in which he will attempt to regain the same championship he lost to Pacquiao 21 months earlier.

It is a bout that could well be the swan song for Diaz (35-2-1). The 33-year-old Chicagoan, who has fought only once since a majority decision over Jesus Chavez last September, is a 5-1 underdog against Soto, who brings a career mark of 50-7-2 to Dallas.


Examiner Bio Pacquiao vs. Clottey: addressing the weight difference on fight night

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Pittsburgh Fight Sports Examiner | Scott Heritage

Earlier on today, Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey both made weight for their showdown tomorrow night in Dallas.

Pacquiao, who reportedly struggles to keep weight on to make welterweight, came in at 145 ¾ to Clottey's solid 147. On the night of the fight, Pacquiao isn't expected to come in a lot heavier than 150lbs, while Clottey's camp estimates 160lbs will be his actual fighting weight.

While on paper this might look to be in Clottey's advantage, there are some drawbacks of being that much bigger than his already faster opponent.

Pacquiao, coming from the lower weights is already much faster than Clottey. In fact the only welterweight who could probably match him today is Floyd Mayweather, a defensive fighter himself but a far cry from the Accra standout.

Clottey will try to use his size and weight to wrestle Pacquiao, rough him up in the clinches, lean on him and let's face it, its pretty likely he might cut him with his head. Pacquiao for his part will need to keep his distance and vary his usual pattern of straight forward attacking.

Pacquiao doesn't do well with dirty opponents or being cut, but similarly Clottey and his extra bulk is only going to slow him down even further. One of the biggest intangibles is that Clottey's stand in trainer used to work with Pacquiao as a cut man, and was present the last time Manny lost. DeJesus knows Manny isn't keen on being cut, and he also no doubt knows Clottey has a head like a block of concrete and his skin is like shoe leather. Other fighters can clash heads with Clottey all they want, but they are the only ones getting cut open.

If Clottey does cut Pacquiao, unintentionally or otherwise, then the fight will probably be a lot closer. Pacquiao's whirlwind attack will have to be more measured and Clottey might find picking him off as he comes in a lot easier.

Pacquiao will probably still take it, but Clottey might not go down without a fight as some are expecting.

Shaun Smith, Pittsburgh PA: "Lots of people thought Clottey's trainer being away would hold him back, but in the end it worked out a lot better for him. Lenny DeJesus is a better trainer than his original one, and he's worked with Pacquiao before as well"

Frank Hague, Pittsburgh PA: "My big worry about Clottey was that he might have struggled to make the 147lb limit. Cotto looked like a skeleton against Pacquiao and the fight reflected that. Clottey looked in great shape though, should be a good one"

Dean Martel, Pittsburgh PA: "Clottey looks a lot bigger than Pacquiao, but he'll need a lot more than size alone to make much of an impact. Cotto couldn't make a dent and he was nearly as big as Clottey by fight time"


Pacquiao, Clottey will tangle for title belt

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By JOHN WHISLER San Antonio Express-News

ARLINGTON — His campaign for political office in the Philippines will begin soon. He has hinted that this could be his last fight.

And then there is the lingering hangover from the whole Floyd Mayweather Jr. mess.

Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) has ample reason to be distracted when he steps into the ring tonight against Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs) in boxing's debut at Cowboys Stadium.

But don't bet on it.

“I know he's bigger and stronger than me,” said Pacquiao, who hasn't lost in five years. “So I can't underestimate him because he is a former world champion also.”

A sellout crowd of 45,000 is expected for the 12-round bout for Pacquiao's World Boxing Organization welterweight title, the main event on an HBO pay-per-view card that starts at 8 p.m.
Heavenly bout

On paper, it's a match made in boxing heaven: Pacquiao, the world's greatest fighter, competing in perhaps the world's greatest sports venue.

Maybe that's why promoters dubbed it “The Event.”

“The Fight,” the one fans wanted to see, is Pacquiao-Mayweather. But it died a slow and painful death after negotiations broke down over Mayweather's camp demanded random, Olympic-style blood tests.

Pacquiao and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum walked away from the bout and decided on Clottey, another fighter from the Top Rank stable.

Clottey, 32, is no Mayweather. His best hope for victory might be a distracted Pacquiao. A native of Accra, Ghana, now living in the Bronx, Clottey is coming off a 12-round split-decision loss to Miguel Cotto in June, a fight some say Clottey won. He owns wins over Zab Judah and Diego Corrales, but lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Antonio Margarito in 2006.

Pacquiao dominated Cotto in November in his last fight, winning by 12th-round TKO.

A durable fighter with underrated hand speed whose forte is blocking punches, Clottey has never been stopped or knocked out in 38 pro bouts.

But Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, predicts that will change.

“We've watched a lot of tape on Clottey,” Roach said. “Manny will overwhelm him with his speed and I do believe he will be the first person to (knock him out).”

Pacquiao is a 5-1 favorite in the scheduled 12-round fight.

Pacquiao weighed in at 145¾ pounds for the fight; Clottey weighed in at 147 pounds Friday.

Pacquiao, 31, maintains he is focused on this fight and nothing else.

He plans to return to the Philippines by March 22 to begin his campaign for a congressional seat. He ran for office in 2007 and was defeated.

“This is my last fight before the election,” Pacquiao said. “I am not saying I am going to retire.”
Strong denial

Pacquiao maintains he has never taken steroids and has declined to discuss the blood-testing issue in recent days.

It won't be a problem for this fight because Texas only requires urine testing after a fight.

Rafael Ramos of San Antonio will referee the bout.

San Antonio featherweight Joe Morales (20-13, four KOs) is scheduled to appear in a non-televised bout on the undercard.


ESPN’s ‘Around the Horn’ thinks the Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight is ‘no big deal’

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Sacramento Fight Sports Examiner | Rick Rockwell

You can count out some of today’s panelists on ESPN’s Around the Horn for being excited about the upcoming Pacquiao fight. 3 of the 4 panelists on today’s episode think that this fight is no big deal at all. Some panelists even said don’t bother them until Pacquiao and Mayweather fight. Let’s examine further.

During the show’s “Buy or Sell” segment, the host Tony Reali asked the question “is the Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight a deal or no deal”? All 4 panelists J.A. Adande, Woody Paige, Gene Wojciechowski, and Kevin Blackistone had an opportunity to share their opinions about the fight.

Gene Wojciechowski
“This is no deal. PPV? You gotta pay me to watch this fight.”

J.A. Adande
“It aint Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, that’s why I’m not interested”.

Woody P.
“I will find something on the food network rather than pay to watch this fight. When he fights Mayweather then I will care. They could have marble shooting at that stadium and 45,000 people will show up”.

Kevin B.
“It is a big deal and I will be there. Pacquiao’s the champion and he’s the biggest personality in boxing. And it’s the first big fight there.”

Only Kevin Blackistone thought this fight was a big deal and he was correct in the reasons that he gave. But let me add a few more obvious reasons. The stars that are showing up this fight will give it the “important” feel. The venue is a first of it’s kind. And Pacquiao is the best fighter in the sport.

Kenny Wallace Roseville, CA “Did you catch Around the Horn today? What was Gene smoking?”

Yeah, I thought Gene’s comments were absolutely absurd. Pacquiao is the best fighter in the world. Even if he’s fighting someone that might be perceived as inferior, there’s still the entertainment value of watching one of the All-Time greats at the top of their sport. Gene needs a reality check.

Mark Jones Sacramento, CA “What was up with all the Mayweather talking on Around the Horn today? Don’t they realize that Pacquiao is fighting a top welterweight contender?”

It’s clear that they only want to see Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. And who can really blame them? However, to act like this fight has no meaning is just ignorant. Clottey is a legit fighter.


Pacquiao: World’s only Seven-division Champ

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13 Mar 2010

Boxing writers named him as having re-invented the sport of sweet science, inspired millions, perhaps billions of people around the world. It would not be an overstatement that Manny Pacquiao is being hailed these days as the savior of a sport and a nation.

The Filipino boxer, who barely stands at 5ft 6½ inches , is universally regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, a point he emphatically demonstrated the past decade by crowning himself world champion in seven weight classes, the last the welteweight belt at the expense of Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto only November of last year, in the process enriching himself by US$13 million.

No less that Bob Arum, his promoter who head Top Rank, believes Pacquiao, otherwise – known as “ Pacman”, is the one boxer responsible for a resurrection of the long-dormant sport.

As for his countrymen, he approximates the status of deity.

Every time he fights, crime in the country drops to virtually zero. Whenever Pacquiao’s fights are on television. Shooting between army troops and the rebels in the south or elsewhere actually stopped.
All this simply adds to his status in as a humble superstar who gives away thousands of dollars each year to help his fellow countrymen cope with grinding poverty.

Born 31 years ago in the little-known town of Kibawe, Bukidnon in far south Mindanao, Pacquiao grew up selling breads and flowers to help keep his family in food. Like many of his countrymen, he had no shoes, little formal education and no future until he fled home at 14 to try his luck in prizefighting.
From the time he won his first professional fight, a four-rounder by decision, on January 22, 1995, rose from a 106-pound fighter to someone who has won world titles at flyweight (112), super-bantamweight (122), featherweight (126), super-featherweight (130), lightweight (135), light-welterweight (140) and welterweight (147).
His victims include Ricky Hatton, Oscar DeLa Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, and |Erik Morales, future Hall of Famers all and, in baseball, members of the murderers’ row in the batting order. Those victories catapulted the Filipino icon to the world pound-for-pound throne, a mythical title he has worn the past three years.

Pacquiao has fought 55 times, six fewer than the great Muhammad Ali and had boxed the same number of rounds (305) that Sugar Ray Leonard had when he retired.

Reason why even on the very eve of his fight with Ghanaian challenger Joshua Clottey for his welterweight plum on Sunday, debate on whether he should retire continues.

And chief trainer Freddie Roach, who has been handling him since 2001 as a flyweight champ,, has been pursuing the issue as a reminds of the perils of an overextended boxing career, as he battles the effects of pugilistic Parkinson's syndrome.

"It's hard to say. Is this my last fight? We'll see," Pacquiao, for his part, said. "One never knows. It's still so early to be talking about this, but I do like the thought of going out on top."We did a lot in boxing, achieved a lot -- more than what we set out to do."

Arum though, citing money as reason, said he was "inclined to doubt" that his star fighter would walk away from the sport
Another reason could be politics as the 31-year-old father of four with wife Jinkee is running anew for congress in the lone district of Srangani province.
Despite his iconic stature, he was unsuccessful when he ran for the Philippine Congress in 2007. Undaunted, he is running again this year.
Time magazine honored in 2009 ranked Pacquiao among the 100 people who most affect the world. Among his peers were Sister Mary Scullion, an advocate for the homeless in Philadelphia, and Suraya Pakzad, a women's rights activist in Afghanistan. He also appeared in the Time cover, the first Asian athlete to have been honored.
Pacquiao was already a pretty good fighter when he walked into Roach's Los Angeles gym in 2001 and asked Roach to be his new trainer. Pacquiao had won 31 of 35 bouts outside the United States and already owned the first of his major titles, the WBC flyweight (112-pound) championship. But the fighter, who relied almost exclusively on his dominant left hand, sensed he needed more if he wanted to conquer the sport in the United States. Roach agreed.

Roach, whom Pacquiao referred to as his “master”, tutored technique and preached the importance of ring strategy. He taught the importance of angles as well as the art of hitting and running. In the end, it has been a match made in boxing heaven. In their first fight together, Pacquiao won the IBF super bantamweight (122-pound) championship in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao has won his last 11 bouts by KO, including a career-ending against DeLa Hoya. He’s been voted Fighter of the Year in 2006, 2008 and 2009 by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Has a 90-1-2 record in world championship fights.


Pacquiao’s Challenger Clottey Follows in Footsteps of Warriors

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ARLINGTON, Tex. — Even here, with Saturday’s welterweight title fight in Cowboys Stadium, with nearly 45,000 seats sold, with Manny Pacquiao defending his latest world championship, the fight that fell apart looms over the proceedings.

Every day, someone asks Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, about the other fight, the dream bout between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., boxing’s undisputed kings. Roach gets that question in grocery stores and shopping malls, from Magic Johnson and the celebrities who train at his Wild Card Boxing Club, even from a waiter at an ice lounge in Los Angeles.

“I was wearing an Eskimo hat,” Roach said. “Same question. Everybody wants to see that fight.”

Instead, Pacquiao will face Joshua Clottey under the most jumbo of all JumboTrons, in the fight few wanted except for the participants, none more so than Clottey. To get here, he survived poverty in Africa, career turmoil and four years spent out of boxing, all to become the latest challenger from the most unlikely of boxing hotbeds.

Pacquiao travels in a luxury bus with his image plastered on the side. On Thursday, Clottey rode to Cowboys Stadium in a hotel shuttle van. Pacquiao houses his sizable entourage in two homes in Los Angeles. Clottey lives in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx.

Clottey lives a simple life, born out of necessity, buoyed by boxing, each of his 32 years defined by struggle and by spirit.

“I have the mentality of a warrior,” he said. “I love to be in the ring.”

Clottey grew up in Accra, Ghana, a place he described with two words: small and poor. His father worked in road construction, earning barely enough money to care for six children and Clottey’s mother.

Clottey grew up in a house with one room. As many as 10 people stayed there at a time, sharing a single bed, sleeping in shifts.

Clottey, part of the Ga tribe, grew up in a neighborhood called Bokum. He said the Ga fancied themselves as warriors, and that translated naturally to boxing.

“There is no help from nowhere,” Clottey said. “That makes you a harder boy. You have to be hard. Because if you don’t do that, you’re not going to eat.”

Boxing reigned in Bokum, like football in Texas or basketball in Harlem. Except, instead of pickup basketball, the boys in Bokum had pickup boxing.

Clottey said his neighborhood was split into seven areas, each with its own gym. He used the word “gym” loosely, because fights often took place on concrete, inside a thin rope, without hand wraps and with torn, mangled gloves. “Like there,” Clottey said, pointing to a dilapidated parking lot.

From this warrior mentality sprung dozens of warriors, the modern-day kind who fought their battles inside makeshift boxing rings. All the fighters — from the featherweight champion Azumah Nelson to the bruising welterweight Ike Quartey, among others — came from this small, poor place.

Many boxing champions have risen from similar circumstances, but the concentrated volume made Bokum different. Boxers became the area’s chief export.

“Manny Pacquiao’s poverty makes an American kid’s poverty look like luxury,” said the promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing. “From what I’ve heard, Clottey’s poverty makes Manny’s poverty look like luxury.”

Throughout his career, Clottey carried with him the spirit from the neighborhood. He endured a disastrous stretch in England, where he said he never faced top competition. He returned to Ghana, where he began plotting his big break — which was available only in the United States.

He arrived in 2003, broke, and landed in the Bronx, minutes from Yankee Stadium. The first time his manager, Vinny Scolpino, watched Clottey spar, Scolpino had never so much as heard of him.

“I didn’t know him from a hole in the wall,” Scolpino said. “Joshua Clottey was nobody, basically, just another 10-round fighter. I always thought he had something, a spark. Maybe because he had so little, he needed something.”

Clottey compiled a 35-3 record, with 21 knockouts, and his losses came against world champions. He beat Zab Judah. He lost by close decision to Antonio Margarito, despite fighting with a pair of broken hands. In his most recent fight, last June, he lost by controversial split decision to Miguel Cotto.

None of those fighters knocked Clottey down, or cut him, or left any mark other than three losses on his record. The only mark on Clottey is the tattoo he had inked a few weeks back, his initials interlocked with boxing gloves on his right forearm.

Roach predicted Pacquiao would become the first fighter to “stop” Clottey, to end the fight before the scorecards are tallied. Clottey responded: “Why would Manny Pacquiao knock me out? That surprises me. He can’t knock me out with punches.”

After the Cotto fight, Arum consoled an emotional Clottey in the dressing room by promising bigger future fights. Neither Scolpino nor Clottey envisioned what came next, when the Mayweather negotiations fell apart because of blood testing and Clottey landed the biggest of all bouts.

All week, these fighters tossed compliments at each other. Pacquiao called Clottey a gentleman and a “nice guy.” Clottey, while vowing to attack the smaller, quicker Pacquiao, lauded his place in boxing history.

Scolpino believes his fighter can shock Pacquiao on Saturday. He pronounced Clottey to be in the best shape of his career and said, “If he comes out with a ‘W,’ man, he’s on top of the world.”

If Pacquiao wins, and Mayweather defeats Shane Mosley on May 1, negotiations are expected to resume for the fight that would transcend boxing. But first, Pacquiao must topple Clottey, a fighter familiar with long odds.

“People have lost sight of Clottey because of the Mayweather stuff,” Arum said. “He’s never had the exposure. He’s never been a network favorite. But people who say this is going to be a walk in the park for Pacquiao are crazy.”

Inside Cowboys Stadium on Thursday, Clottey leaned forward in the stands, his eyes fixed on the scoreboard that read “Pacquiao-Clottey, The Event.” Clottey had secured the fight he always wanted. For him, Mayweather-Pacquiao could wait.

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