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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pacquiao to begin training for Clottey bout


WASHINGTON, D.C.: Manny Pacquiao will begin training next week in Los Angeles for his fight against rugged former welterweight champion Joshua Clottey on March 20, according to key members of Team Pacquiao. “We’re moving on and getting ready for training,” said renowned trainer Freddie Roach from Hollywood, California. “We’ll go fight Clottey and later fight the winner of [Shane] Mosley-[Andre] Berto.”

Clottey (35-3, 20 by knockouts) beat former undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah for the International Boxing Federation title on August 2, 2008.

Clottey, who is also under the promotional umbrella of Top Rank like Pacquiao, has fought some of the best welterweights—Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and the legendary Mexican Diego Corrales in what was Corrales’ final fight prior to his death from a car crash.

This developed as the Pacquiao camp has all but written off a mega fight with unbeaten American welterweight Floyd Mayweather Jr. over an acrimonious dispute on drug testing that eventually killed potentially the richest showdown in boxing history.

Roach’s assistant Alex Ariza, Pacquiao’s diet and conditioning adviser, said Clottey, who lost a disputed split decision to Miguel Cotto on June 13, 2009 is a dangerous fight for Pacquiao, adding that their decision to fight him reflects the Filipino icon’s attitude of fighting the best opponents available.

“Pacquiao-Clottey going to be war—two warriors mixing it up in the middle of the ring,” Ariza said from Los Angeles Saturday night [Sunday in Manila].

Can rival Pacquiao-Cotto
“Believe me this fight might end up being better than Manny’s fight with Cotto because both of them are big punchers who love to fight. I won’t be surprise if this match-up ends up being a Fight of the Year candidate.”

Ariza is also thrilled as the prospect of the Pacquiao-Clottey being held at the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys Arena in Texas.

Texas billionaire Jerry Jones on Saturday sent his private jet to Las Vegas to fetch Top Rank Promotions bosses Bob Arum and Todd duBoef to discuss the idea of holding Pacquiao’s next fight at the brand-new stadium, which can accommodate as many as 120,000 seats for a boxing event.

“Holding the fight at the Cowboys Stadium is a phenomenal idea. It would bring boxing back to the mainstream and it would allow a lot more people to watch the fight live with more affordable tickets,” Ariza said.

He said Arum, who is used to organizing major boxing events, would go all-out to hold the fight there.

“Big guys like Jerry Jones, who have deep pockets, have a way of hosting major event that are meant to be winners,” Ariza said. “If this fight pulls through at Jerry World [the moniker of the Cowboys’ home turf] that will be another testament to the greatness and drawing power of Manny Pacquiao.”


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