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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Clottey not predicting outcome of fight

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Pacquiao vs Clottey

GRAPEVINE -- Joshua Clottey quietly entered the Gaylord Texan exhibit hall Monday dressed in a black track suit and took a jog uninhibited by boxing fans.

Meanwhile, superstar Manny Pacquiao was scheduled to arrive late Monday night in a chartered airplane, custom-decorated with Pacquiao's likeness and holding 178 members of PacMan's traveling party.

The unassuming Clottey worked out for about 45 minutes then met the media in advance of Saturday's matchup against Pacquiao, the 147-pound division champion.

"The Event" offers Clottey a shot at Pacquiao's World Boxing Organization world welterweight title at Cowboys Stadium.

The right handed Clottey (35-3) said fighting the southpaw Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) presents an interesting matchup.

"I have a sharp right hand, a sharp right hand," Clottey said. "I can throw a sharp right from far, so that's always dangerous."

Pacquiao takes his turn in front of the cameras at 1:30 p.m. today in a workout open to the public at the Gaylord.

Clottey, a natural welterweight, said he's already at 148 pounds, which means he'll have no trouble making the 147-pound limit.

The Ghana-born Clottey didn't return the verbal jabs from Pacquiao's trainer, Freddy Roach, who predicted a knockout.

"I have no way of predicting the fight," Clottey said. "I know how it is in boxing and I always say let's see what happens."

Jerry's view

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones took in Clottey's session and said reaching the Hispanic community with boxing and promoting the Cowboys offers a side benefit to the bout.

"We have all the incentive in the world to make this a great experience," Jones said. "But just as important, as Bob [Arum] pointed out, Tex Schramm told me not two days after I bought the Dallas Cowboys that the NFL cannot become a studio game. It needs the pageantry of the crowd. It needs the pageantry of the Coliseum of Rome. That can come across on television and there will be millions of people watching it on pay per view, but millions and millions watch it worldwide, so we want our stadium to help make the event."

Arum says more for less

Promoter Bob Arum said the 45,000 seats allotted for the fight means a cheaper ticket for boxing fans. Tickets start at $50 and top out a $700 rather than the $1,200 for ringside in Las Vegas.

"I would swap a lesser gate to get more people," Bob Arum said. "Because to get more people and have people witness boxing live and in person only grows the sport. And if we go back to Vegas all the time and we put these fights before the casino customers, we're not expanding the base.

"We're not doing really anything to grow the sport. And it's as ludicrous as having the Super Bowl in the same city every year. The Super Bowl wouldn't be the Super Bowl if it was played in the same arena year in and year out. Boxing does itself no favors bringing every big fight to Las Vegas. That's no good for the sport."

The fox on hand

World Boxing Council lightweight champion Humberto "Zorrita" Soto held a workout after Clottey's session.

Soto (50-7-2, 32 KOs) is slated for a title defense against Chicago's David Diaz (35-2-1, 17 KOs), who lost this lightweight title to Manny Pacquiao in a 9th-round TKO on June 28, 2008.

The nickname "Zorrita" or Little Fox was given to Soto by his grandfather, who said Soto was always running around and never staying in one spot as a child.

Soto won his title in December 2008 and has defended it three times.

Staff writer Jan Hubbard contributed

to this report.


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