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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Biggest name in boxing in biggest US stadium

Pacquiao vs Clottey
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The brand new and extremely modern Dallas Cowboys Stadium easily stands out here in Arlington.

The $1.2 billion-stadium is the home of the popular Dallas football team, but this Saturday (Sunday in Manila), it plays host to the boxing championship fight of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey from Ghana.

The stadium is being transformed for the welterweight showdown. The fighters' names are flashing all over the place.

The center of attraction is the much talked about huge HD screen, the biggest in the world. Measuring 180-feet wide, the screen alone costs $40 million or P1.8 billion.

“We’ll show Manny Pacquiao fighting, he’ll be about be 72-feet tall and 50 feet above the ring,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Filipinos thoroughly enjoyed the experience of walking inside the stadium, taking many pictures from different angles.

“I can’t believe I’m here!” said one Pacquiao fan.

“It’s so beautiful,” said another.

Pacquiao-Clottey presser
Pacquiao arrived early at the stadium with wife Jinkee. He hung out in a private suite with his team.

The Filipino champ, who checked out the boxing ring, said he is very excited to fight here.

The popular Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders escorted both Pacquiao and the Clottey to the center stage. Boxing media from all over the world came to hear both fighters.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum introduced the champion and challenger.

The 32-year-old Clottey said he has done all he can to get into tip-top shape to take everything the 7-division world champion will throw at him.

“I never cracked before so I want to test him to see if he can do that but no matter what happens, I will still respect him,” said the Ghanaian.

Pacquiao expressed his appreciation for the respect shown by his opponent.

“I like this match because there was no trash talk from both sides,” he said.

Pacquiao and Clottey were very friendly as they went side by side for pictures.

Experts speak their mind
Most boxing experts believe Pacquiao will win. But at the same time, they said Clottey can put up a fight.

“I think it’s a very interesting fight. I think Manny will win the fight because I think he’s got a lot more speed and a lot more quickness than Joshua does,” said Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports.

“A lot of people who aren’t familiar with Joshua Clottey probably think Manny is gonna dominate the fight and while I think Manny wins the fight, I don’t think he dominates,” he added.

Kieran Mulvaney of Reuters echoed Iole’s observation.

“In the early parts of the fight, it’s gonna take Manny a little while just to figure out because he’s (Clottey) a big strong guy. It could cause him some problems. I think ultimately, what will happen is that Manny’s angles, his speed and his footwork and his combinations will be too much,” he said.

Forty-five thousand fans are expected to fill the stadium to watch the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight bout.

Fans can hardly wait for the very first boxing fight here at the Dallas stadium where the world's biggest name in boxing, Manny Pacquiao, will be fighting inside the biggest stadium in America.

And of course, The Pacman himself is looking for another resounding victory to take home to the Philippines.


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