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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The FJ Fury 01.12.10: Clottey is a Way to Stick it to Mayweather

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Posted by FJ Parlan on 01.12.2010

It's on for March 13, 2010 at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas: Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey.

To some, it leaves a lot to be desired. Clottey doesn't have a title to make it a unification bout. Pacquiao has beaten the last opponent who defeated Clottey already. The fight doesn't have a whole lot of money to offer.

But that stench, folks, is just because of the after-effects of Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. As we all know, it didn't materialize as negotiations sputtered for a few random samples of blood. No fight could be an alternative to that fight, especially money-wise.

Now, taking all of that in, the truth is Clottey's actually the next best thing in the welterweight division. Suck it up, now, boxing fans. Maybe a Mayweather-Pacquiao super-duper-fight will still transpire down the road, and by then, it might actually be an even bigger fighting event.

We must trust that Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, knows what he was doing when he officially turned down Jr. Middleweight titleholder Yuri Foreman. Freddie knows best, right? Bob Arum is always astute, too. With the quest for a title in an eighth weight class out of the way, the best remaining option for Pacquiao in his new home weight class is Clottey.

The Mayweather fight can't be prepared for now. Shane Mosley and Andre Berto are facing each other. He has already fought and beaten other top welterweight Miguel Cotto.

So, who does that leave us with? That's right. The guy who controversially lost to Pacquiao's last opponent - the durable, defensive, and dangerous Clottey.

But a better question is: Who does that leave Mayweather with? That's right. No one.

Over the years since he cared more about his glossy record than actually fighting the best, "Pretty Boy Floyd" has used up all his wiggle room in the eyes of fight fans. Right now, he has no other choice or excuse (as good as he invents them) but to fight the best in his own weight class. See the five guys I mentioned with his name above? Think about it, those are the only ones (including Pacquiao) that true and caring boxing fans would allow Mayweather to fight. The best welterweights or retire, fans might say. If he doesn't fight Cotto, Mosley, Berto, Pacquiao, or Clottey, his next fight is as good as boycotted.

As said, Mosley-Berto is occupied with each other. Cotto's still resting and wouldn't fight any time soon. His fight with Pacquiao is blown.

And now, Clottey is taken?

Nice move by team Pacquiao.

You know the "Bloodtestgate" issue for Pacquiao and Mayweather? It leaves us with either of two conclusions: One, that Pacquiao is hiding something, and two, that Mayweather is a coward.

Clottey is about to enjoy his biggest payday against Pacquiao and there's no reasonably formidable opponent available for Mayweather.

Arum, Roach, and company might say "Look, Floyd, we fought another top welterweight. If we were afraid of you, why would we fight someone who you appear to be afraid of? Now, how about you, who are you going to fight?" That Roach, he has a viable alternative for Pacquiao in case Mayweather continue to look to eschew him: the winner of Mosley-Berto.

Floyd, good luck finding your next opponent.

Crashing Right Hooks:

- I'm guilty. I like Paulie Malignaggi. I really do. Part of it is because of the way he talks. He's fast-talking and opinionated. But I don't like the words going out of his mouth lately. He tries his best to communicate that he just wonders whether Pacquiao is on something or not, but he has said it too much that he has now openly accused Pacquiao. What the heck is that? I'm sorry but I'm losing some respect.

- I don't think Mayweather is going to fight Luis Collazo, Rafael Jackiewicz, or Jan Zaveck (the remaining boxers on The Ring's top ten division rankings). He's just going to say that there's not much money on the table. There's more money in a Matthew Hatton fight (as it'll be an event in UK). Some sources say that Mayweather has been in touch with Hatton's camp.

- Malignaggi would be a better opponent than Hatton, but that still goes far from satisfying boxing fans. That affair would be entertaining until it gets in the ring. With their styles, it's going to be a stinker. Plus, as good as Malignaggi has improved, he's still a poor man's boxing version of Mayweather. It's a mismatch.

- Clottey is a very dangerous opponent for Pacquiao. Malignaggi and Foreman would have presented some problems too. Their styles, it's something Pacquiao hasn't quite dealt with before.

- The criticisms (and/or hate) for Mayweather continues. An online petition was set up by a fan adjuring for endorsers to discontinue their business connections with Mayweather. Not that I'm endorsing it myself (I didn't sign it, I have to be partial, and I am), but to make you aware and if you want to check it out, here's the link.

- For the record: Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of my favorite fighters. Just so you know, he's in my top ten for current fighters. But for crying out loud, I'm just tired as the next boxing fan of his nonsense. What I said to close out the column is sincere, but as that same column indicates, Mayweather's options are limited and may now be gone in some fans' eyes, thanks to that cagey opponent choice by Pacquiao's camp.

- As for Mayweather still being slated to fight on March 13, finding fans to purchase that PPV (it most certainly would be) may be as hard as finding his next opponent. I don't love this whole messed-up situation, but the Mayweather camp has the lower hand. Good luck on that too.

- As a result of the cancellation of Pacquiao-Mayweather, the sport will take a hit. The blame can be put on neither, either or both sides. But if you look around the sport, it's still fine and going strong, this momentum halting notwithstanding. Thankfully, the best matches are still getting made (outside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao), and my interest isn't dwindling. I would understand if yours does, but I hope you get over it. There's a lot going on outside Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. We will continue to roll.


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