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Friday, March 12, 2010

Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Preview: Fans Still Dream Of What Could Have Been

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Written by Demetrus Stokes
Friday, 12 March 2010 15:38

Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Tomorrow night was supposed to be the biggest night for boxing in the last 20 years. A night that would have brought widespread media attention and a world of potential new fans to the sport.

On March 13th all eyes were to be on the sport of boxing for the biggest fight possibly of this era between undefeated Floyd Mayweather arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world and Manny Pacquiao, arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world.

The dispute was to be settled, the king of boxing would truly be crowned on tomorrow night.

Oh, how our dreams have been dashed.

Those who have been keeping a close eye on things know the story. A potential deal had been reached for the mega fight only to be nixed over a drug testing dispute. Mayweather wanted Olympic style drug testing while Pacquiao didn’t wanted his blood drawn too close to the fight. Eventually the deal fell through and both men have gone in different directions.

Mayweather is set to fight World Champion Shane Mosley on May 1st in Las Vegas and tomorrow night Pacquiao will fight Joshua Clottey.

Some of you are asking, who is Joshua Clottey?

Clottey is a very tough fighter from Ghana who has made a name for himself in the US and is a former World Champion. He has compiled a record of 35-3 with 20 wins coming by knockout. Of his three losses, one was a disqualification in the 10th round of a fight he was winning; the second was a very competitive fight against Antonio Margarito and the third was a controversial split decision loss to Miguel Cotto in a fight many thought Clottey won.

He has defeated very solid fighters in Zab Judah and the late Diego Corrales, so he will not be afraid of the big fight atmosphere.

On Saturday, however, he’ll be stepping in the ring with the hottest name in boxing.

Pacquiao has ridden a whirlwind of success with recent victories over Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. He has also seen his popularity rise and with the brief retirement of Floyd Mayweather has become the pound for pound king of boxing and its biggest attraction.

It’s no surprise that the biggest name in boxing will fight in the place where everything is “bigger”, Texas. The Pacquiao-Clottey fight will take place at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium with an estimated 45,000 people scheduled to sellout the venue. Having already hosted the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner) is adding another high profile sporting event to the new stadium’s resume. His hope is to attract other big name boxers to fight in his arena and become viable competition for Las Vegas, boxing's hotspot.

Booking the number one name in boxing is a great start.

Pacquiao is a 5-1 favorite going into Saturday night’s fight. Outside of Clottey’s handlers, family and the people of Ghana, no one is giving him a fighting chance to win tomorrow night.

Clottey has great defensive skills and a good chin as he has never been knocked out. He also has some quickness and power and will have to stay really active to give himself a chance against Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is just on another level right now and I just don’t see him losing this fight. This may be the first time we see Clottey knocked out or stopped. In any event, Pacquiao wins.

After the fight Pacquiao is scheduled to sing (yes he sings too) at his post-fight party and then prepare himself for his Congressional campaign in the Philippines where he is running for a seat. Whether or not Floyd Mayweather is in his future depends on whether or not Mayweather beats Mosley in May and if they can sit down together and iron things out.

Neither Pacquiao nor Mayweather will mention each other as they prepare for their fights. Both say they are focused on the task at hand and nothing else. Everyone else knows better.

The bright lights will be on Dallas, Texas tomorrow night as Manny Pacquiao will bring out former Cowboys, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and other celebrities to witness his greatness.

Though all eyes will be on Pacquiao, everyone will be thinking about Floyd Mayweather in the back of their minds and the opportunity that passed.

Here’s hoping that one day soon the dream of many if not all boxing fans will come true.


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