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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pacquiao-Clottey versus Mayweather-Whoever

Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming
Dennis Carreon

Now that the most awaited fight in more than a decade has flat lined and hopefully will be resurrected later this year, the battle shifts to the match-ups and PPV buys as current pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao and former pound for pound main man Floyd Mayweather are still tapped to climb the ring against separate opponents on March 13.

The Pac-Man is close to completing a deal with former title holder and consensus #5 best welterweight Joshua Clottey of Ghana. Top Rank’s Bob Arum and the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones completed a deal to host the WBO welterweight title fight at the impressive Cowboys Stadium. The stadium will be reconfigured to seat 40,000 and expand to as much as the ticket demands dictate. Top Rank is capable of producing PPVs coverage if in case HBO decide on going a different way. HBO is understandably quiet until a definite opponent for Mayweather is named.

Compared to a Pacquiao-Mayweather tiff, it may not be as anticipated but the styles of both fighters will most likely entice more action as Clottey is a hard-hitting constantly attacking brawler and we all know that Pacquiao will always be his usual swirling devilish way.

Clottey is an unquestionable tough challenge for Pacquiao. It can be argued that Clottey could have been undefeated today. His close split decision loss against Miguel Cotto last June may have gone either way. The setback against the possibly “reinforced” Antonio Margarito three years ago might have a different outcome if Clottey didn’t break his hand early in the fight. Then, he was clearly ahead against Carlos Baldomir in 1999 when he was disqualified in the 11th round because of the head clashes.

Clottey had a couple of convincing wins against significant opponents in Zab Judah and the late Diego Corrales. In the Judah fight, Clottey pummeled Zab until the ninth round where Judah, because of a nasty gash over his right eye, complained of vision problems prompting the referee to stop the bout. The referee ruled it was caused by an accidental head clash even though replays clearly show that it was Clottey’s fist that did the damage. Clottey still won the fight through the scorecards but denying him of a knockout win. In the Corrales bout, Clottey totally dominated with an overwhelming lead in the scorecards for a unanimous decision win. That was Corrales’ last fight as he shortly died in a motorcycle accident.

Turned out that the Pacquiao-Clottey fight is not a bad alternative after all. More action and a lot less running anyway. Besides, majority of the reason fans, both casual and hardcore, are eagerly awaiting the Manny-Floyd fight is because of the excitement that Pacquiao brings not the defensive skills that Mayweather supposedly display. With the Clottey fight, fans will not miss out on what is actually expected from the Pac-Man.

As for the Mayweather camp, there have been a lot of names floating around but the opponent remains a mystery. I will not hold my breath on it. Golden Boy’s Richard Schaeffer has not conceded on the March 13 date yet and insisted that MGM still has that date reserved for Mayweather. That will most likely be another major blunder, as if they haven’t learned from the way they handled the negotiations, if they still decide to go against the Pacquiao-Clottey telecast especially if the mystery opponent is Matthew Hatton. A Ricky Hatton rematch does not appeal either. Not even a Tim Bradley or a Nate Campbell will help. Considering that both Bradley and Campbell are undersized and will be forced to move up. Well, what’s new anyway? The always animated Paulie Malignaggi is another reported candidate but is not really a viable and attractive option. Fans clamor for blood not a pillow fight. It will be an easy decision for HBO to take on the Pacquiao-Clottey if any of these names end up opposite Floyd’s corner.

The top welterweights that will merit HBO consideration are not available. Sugar Shane Mosley and Andre Berto will be unifying their titles at the end of the month. Whoever wins, there will not be enough time to get something done against Floyd by March 13. Miguel Cotto is Top Rank so forget that so is Antonio Margarito even if he gets reinstated. Besides, Margarito is slated to be in the Pacquiao-Clottey undercard if he gets his license back. Luis Collazo might not be a bad idea but with Mayweather’s cherry-picking method, the dangerous southpaw is a high risk low reward option.

So who else can Mayweather fight to at least get a decent shot of closing in on projected better PPV numbers of Pacquiao-Clottey if he decides to insist on March 13? The answer is the Punisher. Paul Williams, according to his team, is still capable of getting down to 147 or a catch weight over. This is definitely high risk but there are significant intangible and monetary rewards. Floyd’s ducking image will be put to rest if he gets in there with legitimate elite. Williams is fresh from an arguable fight of the year scrimmage against Sergio Martinez. For as long as a Kelly Pavlik opportunity is unavailable or even so, it will be illogical for Williams to turn down an offer from Mayweather.

Williams will carry a 5-inch height advantage and a wingspan that can batter Floyd. But Floyd’s speed can offset that edge and can chop down the long yet slender Williams. It’s been awhile since Williams fought as a welterweight – June of 2008 when he knocked Carlos Quintana out in the first round in their rematch. If Mayweather pulls this one out; his case to reclaim his mythical pound for pound title will gain some ground (but still not enough), his infamous ducking image maybe forgotten and he can possibly outsell Pacquiao in the PPV war. It is an absolute enormous risk but a legacy changing reward.

He might fail but at least he didn’t avoid a legitimate fighter for a change.


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