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Sunday, January 24, 2010

PACQUIAO WATCH: Manny headed for big box office hit

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SOME 20,000 tickets were reportedly sold out within three hours after these went on sale Saturday. An indication that there is no letting up in Manny Pacquiao’s drawing appeal at the box office.

When Manny meets Joshua Clottey of Ghana at the Dallas Stadium in Arlington Texas on March 13, it will be his first time after six fights to again appear before boxing fans in the Lone Star State of Texas.

He already twice fought in the said West Coast state. The first was in 2003 when he annihilated Marco Antonio Barrera in eleven rounds to capture the imagination of mainstream American boxing fans.

The other occasion was in 2007 when he dropped Jorge Solis in the eight round for the fringe World Boxing Council international super featherweight title.

The early ticket sales bodes well for Manny’s continuing debate with Floyd Mayweather Jnr as to who is the better draw between the two top pound for pound fighter in all of today’s boxing.

While Manny was quick to move on after the aborted megafight date with Mayweather by taking on tough and durable Clottey, that cannot be said of the American pretender.

While the drug-testing issue created a dent on Manny’s stature as the best prizefighter in boxing today, it was Mayweather who ended up the bigger loser.

Mayweather has no choice but to take Shane Mosley to trump up Manny’s date with Clottey.

Mosley may be the better boxer than Clottey but the problem is Mayweather has been avoiding him since 1999.

A loss against Mosley could spell the doom for Mayweather. That is why I am having serious doubts he will take the fight as suggested by many boxing experts.

That said, I am likewise skeptical it will draw in more live viewers than what the Pacquio-Clottey fight is fast shaping up.

Manny already scored big when HBO decided to cover his fight with Clottey via pay per view telecast despite Mayweather having struck a deal for the March 13 schedule with the giant cable program provider.

Mayweather’s reluctance to take on quality opponent with a chance to hand him his first loss has upset many boxing scribes and experts.

They have been repeatedly questioning Mayweather’s obvious attempt to keep his immaculate record by picking smaller opponents this late in his career.

For whatever reason, Mayweather must now begin to realize his prima donna days are over.

He has to take Mosley and later fight Pacquiao and win both fights to prove and validate his claims as the best fighter ever to don the boxing gloves.

Those nagging questions are never issues with Pacquiao.

Manny have always been known to step up against competition – taking bigger and more dangerous opponents en route to winning four lineal championships and six world titles.

Many believed he won another one to add up to seven when he shamed Barrera who was stripped of his featherweight title for refusing to pay the WBC sanctioning fees.

These traits, as opposed to Mayweather’s suspect match making decision, are what make Manny a fight fan favorite.

I won’t be surprised if Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will consider reconfiguring the stadium to seat more than 40,000 boxing fans – the projected number of tickets that are needed to make the Pacquiao-Clottey fight an unqualified success.

This time Manny will outdo himself - box office-wise, I am sure.


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