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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ali no match to Pacquiao

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Pacquiao vs Clottey
March 9, 2010, 6:59pm

DALLAS, Texas — Joined by an entourage that would put Muhammad Ali’s own gang to shame, Manny Pacquiao blew into this city late Monday night with the promise of a sensational showing against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey this weekend at Cowboys Stadium.

“I am going to put on a great show for the fight fans,” said Pacquiao as the chartered Boeing 737 touched down here from Los Angeles with his entire training team led by Freddie Roach and friends in tow.

As the passengers began to emerge from the plane to a waiting bus that brought them to the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, somebody from Top Rank Inc. was stunned with the number of people that were making their way out of the chartered plane.

All in all there were 141 passengers on board the plane, most of them Pacquiao’s friends from Southern California and elsewhere in the US as well as those who traveled all the way from the Philippines, including the media.

“This (flight arrangement) is much better because we all get to travel together,” said a beaming Pacquiao, pleased with the atmosphere of revelry that prevailed during the close to three-hour journey.

During Ali’s heyday, there were about 30 or so individuals who joined him in his travels to the Philippines and elsewhere.

Not counting another batch arriving here in the coming days, it is expected that the return flight this Sunday to Los Angeles would be full. The plane can accommodate 170.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao is going to flex his muscles before the media at 1:30 p.m. at the basement of the Gaylord Texan on Tuesday after Clottey held his own workout Monday as Pacquiao was busy preparing for the trip here.

“Joshua really looked big and strong,” said publicist Ed Keenan, who was on hand during the workout that Top Rank PR chief Lee Samuels said “had a very good turnout."”

Earlier in Los Angeles, Pacquiao closed out his sparring session with a four-rounder against Ray Beltran.

Roach almost had to beg for Pacquiao to take off the gloves so he could dress up for the flight to Texas.


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