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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Atlas: "Clottey is More Dangerous For Pacquiao Than Yuri"

Pacquiao vs Clottey News
By Rick Reeno sat down with outspoken trainer Teddy Atlas on Saturday to get his thoughts on Manny Pacquiao's defense of the WBO welterweight title against Joshua Clottey on March 13. Atlas was surprised that Pacquiao passed on WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman, but agreed to fight Clottey. Atlas feels Pacquiao is making a big mistake if he and his handlers believe Clottey is the easier fight.

"I think it's a mistake for them to go with Clottey instead of Foreman. I know [Pacquiao] is looking at the size [of Foreman] but sometime it's not about size. If Clottey would have kept the pressure on Cotto, I think he would have stopped him, but he let him off the hook," Atlas told

"They are wrong when they assume this will be an easier fight because Foreman is one weight class up and Clottey is one weight class down. It's about the physicality of the fighter. Of course it also has do with the style of the fighter but in this case they are more concerned about size and they are wrong. Foreman is a slight built kid who is not a physical kid and doesn't fight a physical fight. He's bigger but doesn't use his size in a way that is dangerous, which is how Clottey uses his size one weight class below."

"Clottey is much more physical and much more dangerous in this fight than Foreman. They need to look at someone who is bigger and look at how he uses that size to impact the fight. Foreman wouldn't use his size like a junior middleweight who is fighting a smaller man. He uses boxing first and uses his legs. He's a junior middleweight who doesn't act like a junior middleweight. Clottey fights like a bigger man and mentally he thinks of himself as a bigger fighter and proves it in the way he fights at 147."

If Atlas was handling Pacquiao, he would have went with Foreman instead of Clottey. He doesn't rule out the possibility of an upset. Atlas tells BoxingScene that Clottey has enough strength and enough ability to time, and hurt, Pacquiao during exchanges.

"Clottey punches to the body well. He's a strong guy who knows how to fight. It's a much greater risk. Their way of thinking is way out of line. They are saying they don't want Foreman because he is bigger but I would be saying that I don't want Clottey because he is bigger. When you match up their dimensions and their physicality, Clottey is the bigger fighter. Clottey has more than enough experience with good fighters that he knows how to time you and that's a very important element to catch a guy like Pacquiao, who is faster. Clottey is capable of doing this," Atlas said.

When I first heard about Pacquiao fighting Clottey, I immediately gave Pacquiao the obvious advantages, which are speed and workrate. Atlas agreed with some of my points. While I think speed will be the biggest factor in the fight, Atlas views Clottey's workrate as the biggest disadvantage for the Ghanian fighter. But both of us agreed that Clottey, based on styles, will be a tougher opponent for Pacquiao than Miguel Cotto or Ricky Hatton or Oscar De La Hoya.

"It's not that he's not a fast guy. He's not that slow but they probably think he's not busy and maybe one-dimensional to a degree and maybe not the bravest guy in the world with the way he fought Cotto by fighting in spots. He's not consistent, but Clottey has the mental and physical makeup of a bigger fighter and he fights like a fighter who has those advantages and with his experience it makes him very dangerous opponent for Pacquiao," Atlas said.

"Clottey is better defensively than Cotto and covers up better. Its hard to catch him with as many cleaner shots in a row as you can Cotto. I don't think the fight will be anything similar to the Cotto fight. Cotto was easy to fight and Clottey is not that easy to deal with. "


Bob Arum From Dallas: 'It's a Great Atmosphere'

Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates
1/09/2010 8:55 PM ET By Lem Satterfield

Top Rank Promoter, Bob Arum, and his stepson, Top Rank president, Todd duBoef, are in Arlington, Texas, where they are in a the box suite of Dallas Cowboys' Stadium owner, Jerry Jones, watching his Cowboys play Saturday night's NFL playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Arum and duBoef flew in on Saturday morning "to close the deal" for a March 13 bout between seven-division champion and WBO welterweight (147 pounds) king, Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts), and challenger, Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs), of the Bronx by way of Accra Ghana that Jones hopes to hold at his $1.2 billion stadium.

"I'm in the box right now, sitting here with Jerry Jones," said Arum, in a call to FanHouse about 30 minutes before game time.

"It's a great atmosphere," said Arum. "And Jerry says that if it's a blowout for the Cowboys, he'll promise to put me in the game -- so make sure you're watching."

The Pacquiao-Clottey deal "is 98 percent done," Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, told FanHouse on Friday, adding, "for all intent and purposes, it's a done deal."

The domed stadium seats 80,000, but is expandable enough so that it can hold up to 111,000.

Arum called back, yet again, after the Cowboys lead, 7-0, at 14:09 of the second quarter thanks to Tony Romo's 3-yard scoring pass to Shaun Phillips that ended a four-play, 55-yard drive.

"This place is absolutely awesome, I mean you should see it," said Arum, screaming above the boisterous Cowboys' fans in the background, not long before Dallas went ahead, 14-7, with 9:14 left before halftime on a 1-yard run by Tashard Choice.

"The crowd is unbelievable. This is going to be incredible," said Arum. "This stadium, I'm telling you, with this fight, we're going to pack this place."

Arum said that he and duBoef will meet privately with Jones on Sunday in the hopes of finalizing the details.



Pacquiao vs Clottey News
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Sun, 10 Jan 2010

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was scheduled to fly to Dallas on Sunday (Manila Time) to meet with Jerry Jones, owner of the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium which is the likely site for pound-for-pound hero Manny Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title defense against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey on March 13.

Arum said he was flying to Dallas “to get the stadium venue deal done” even as he mentioned that Clottey “is on board and Manny I believe is on board from what Michael (Koncz) told me so I think we’ll have that fight on the 13th.”

Even as he prepared to finalize details of the Clottey fight which will serve as an alternative since Floyd Mayweather Jr refused to accept the compromise offered by Pacquiao on the issue of random blood tests, Arum described as “very interesting” a story by Scott Heritage that came out on

In the story Heritage claimed it came to light that Floyd Mayweather Jr has used “injectible pain killers such as Xylocaine in the past before fights” and that the irony is “this drug is illegal in nearly all states with one notable exception, Nevada.”

Heritage said that perhaps the reason for Golden Boy and Mayweather not wanting to fight in Texas now becomes clear and that with the extensive testing Mayweather asked for, he would test positive for a banned substance if the fight took place in Dallas.

Mayweather apparently used these drugs because his hands are rather brittle and he has broken both several times in the past and with a numbing agent to stop his hands hurting he could throw punches more often and without fear of hurting himself as much.

Heritage said that after all the negotiating trouble and accusations about Manny Pacquiao and his supposed steroid use “it appears that Mayweather is the one taking widely banned substances.” The sportswriter claimed that the disclosure will “further damage the already shaky reputation of Mayweather who has seen his public opinion fall greatly with the drug testing debacle which, Heritage contends, “has now backfired severely.”

Arum claimed Mayweather “hoodwinked his own people because he never wanted to fight. Otherwise he would have gone along with the 24 days that Manny magnanimously agreed to. That was the compromise.”

Mayweather’s handlers said after the talks collapsed and former federal judge Daniel Weinstein said they couldn’t agree, that they had put forward an offer of a 14-day cutoff for the blood tests. Arum conceded that they “put it forward on December 31. We contacted Manny and Manny rejected it and we told them it was rejected. Then at the conference they tried to put it forward as a compromise but we had already rejected it.“

Arum charged the Mayweather camp of “trying to hoodwink the media” and that the idea was not conveyed to Pacquiao. He said they had emailed the proposal to Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz and he spoke to Pacquiao and subsequently informed Arum that Manny turned it down and “we let them (Mayweathers handlers) know that it’s a no go.”

Arum said that the Pacquiao-Clottey showdown should be “a good fight because Clottey is a good fighter.”

The Top Rank promoter said that Clottey put up a very good fight before losing a split decision to them WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto but believes that Pacquiao “is way too fast for him. But it’s a good fight for Manny and certainly for fans watching the fight, it’s a better fight to watch than Manny and Mayweather” even if it won’t approximate the Mayweather fight in terms of public interest.

Asked whether there is a chance to revive negotiations and get the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight done later in the year in either September or November, Arum replied “we’ve been discussing that with Manny and Michael and our people. If it comes about, right from the get go no more nonsense, no more appeasing Mayweather. If you want to fight, we are the champions, we’ll fight. You’re the challenger. The money can be the same but sign on the dotted line and all of these issues about drug testing and blood testing and all this nonsense is for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to decide.”

Top photo: The Dallas Cowboys Stadium.


Freddie Roach says focus now on Clottey, believes mega-fight will happen someday

Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates
By Brett Okamoto
Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010 | 2:18 p.m.

Boxing fans hanging on to the hope that a mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. could still happen on the originally scheduled date of March 13 at the MGM Grand are wasting their time, according to Pacquiao's head trainer, Freddie Roach.

Roach, who has worked with Pacquiao since 2001, said at this point there is no hope that the fight with Mayweather could still work on that date and that his fighter's focus has shifted to Ghanaian fighter Joshua Clottey.

"I don't think there's any hope, the deadline for HBO is past," Roach told the Las Vegas Sun today. "Manny is going to fight Clottey on March 13 and we're just going to move on."

Nearly every detail of the proposed mega-fight between the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the world had been hammered out except for the method of drug testing.

Negotiations hit a stalemate in December when Mayweather demanded that Pacquiao undergo Olympic-style drug testing that included random blood tests. The Nevada State Athletic Commission traditionally requires fighters to undergo random urine tests, not blood tests.

When Pacquaio refused, both sides attempted a final effort to save the fight last week, meeting with a mediator, retired judge Daniel Weinstein, in Santa Monica, Calif.

When Mayweather again refused to agree to the terms set by the mediator Wednesday night, Roach says the Pacquiao camp knew the fight was dead.

"I definitely thought this fight would happen when Manny beat Miguel (Cotto, in November)," Roach said. "Floyd had made his comeback and looked really good against (Juan Manuel) Marquez. He had a tune-up fight under his belt and he's a talented guy. I was looking forward to the challenge.

"But as we got close to the fight we could see Floyd pulling away. Bottom line is he just doesn't want to fight."

Despite comments made by Mayweather on Thursday that he still wanted to fight Pacquiao, the Filipino's camp immediately went into making other arrangements.

It had been initially rumored when the Mayweather talks began to fall through that Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, was looking at either Paulie Malignaggi or Yuri Foreman as potential opponents for Pacquiao.

Roach said Saturday tha the decision to move to Clottey (35-3, 20 KO) was based on the fact the trainer wants to see his fighter in exciting fights, something he didn't feel would happen against either Malignaggi or Foreman.

"I wanted an action fight, I don't want Manny in a boring fight," Roach said. "With Paulie it would be a blowout. Let's face it, he's not in the same class as Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. Yuri Foreman is a good fighter, he's clever, but he's boring.

"I wanted Manny in an action fight and that's what we got with Clottey."

According to Roach, Pacquiao still will arrive at his Los Angeles gym on Monday to begin preparations — the same schedule the fighter was going to follow for the Mayweather fight.

Pacquiao's representatives are expected to meet with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones today about hosting the fight with Clottey at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Although Roach says the camp has shifted its focus to Clottey, Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KO) remains disappointed that the fight with Mayweather (40-0, 25 KO) was derailed.

"He wants to fight the best fighters out there and Floyd is definitely one of them," Roach said. "I had been studying his style and coming up with a game plan and we were mentally getting ready for that fight. It's disappointing because the whole world wants to see that fight and it would have been good for boxing because boxing needs that.

"But we can't force people to fight each other. He has all the excuses in the world and that's just what it is."

Roach also added that if Pacquiao defeats Clottey, they would look to the winner of a fight between Shane Mosley and Andre Berto as their next opponent. That fight is scheduled for Jan. 30 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao won't meet Mayweather in the ring March 13, but he might see him in court.

The Filipino filed a defamation lawsuit against Mayweather and his camp based on allegations they had made that Pacquiao used illegal, performance-enhancing drugs to help him successfully go up in weight classes in recent years.

When asked if the lawsuit was legitimate or more for publicity value, Roach said Pacquiao's anger toward the Mayweather camp is 100 percent real.

"He's really angry about it — the thing is all of a sudden these guys think they are drug experts," Roach said. "My fighter has never tested positive for any illegal substance, not even cough medicine or anything like that. I have trouble giving him vitamins and protein shakes.

"Look at his moods; he's always smiling. Steroids usually don't let you do that. Why can't people just realize he's a good fighter? All the greats — Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard — went up in weight because that's where the competition is. I know that Manny Pacquiao is clean for a fact. I'm with him every day in training camp and I know him very well. He would never do something like that."

While Roach says there's no shot that the mega-fight will still happen in March, he said he does believe Pacquiao and Mayweather will fight eventually.

In addition to a matchup the world wants to see, the fight was expected to be the richest in boxing history, with each fighter making as much as $50 million.

"I do think it will happen eventually," Roach said. "I don't think that either one of them has many other options out there if they want to keep fighting the big fights. And if Mayweather keeps gambling and living the lifestyle he does, he's going to need money again."


Schaefer holding out hope as Pacquiao turns to Clottey

Posted Jan. 8, 2010 at 02:55pm
By Michael Rosenthal

Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, the promoter of Floyd Mayweather Jr., hasn’t given up on the showdown with Manny Pacquiao on March 13 even as Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey appear to be closing in on a deal.

Schaefer said the fight can be saved if Pacquiao agrees to have his blood tested 14 days before the fight, which is the midpoint between the cutoff dates each fighter wanted –- Pacquiao 30 days, Mayweather any day up to the fight.

Schaefer said he made the 14-day offer before negotiations went to mediation but it was rejected by Top Rank, Pacquiao’s promoter. Arum and the Pacquiao camp said no such offer was made before or during mediation.

Pacquiao, worried that giving blood too close to the fight would weaken him, has agreed to move the cutoff date up to 24 days before the fight. Mayweather rejected that offer.

“These are lies,” said Schaefer, referring to Arum’s denial that a 14-day offer was made. “I can’t say Pacquiao is lying because maybe Arum never told him. We sent a Blackberry text message (before mediation) to float the idea. (Top Rank President) Todd duBoef wrote back saying it’s a no-go.

“Clearly, they knew about it. Assuming that Pacquiao isn’t lying, he must not have known about it.”

Schaefer said that the 14-day cutoff is an reasonable compromise.

“I cannot find a reasonable person who doesn’t think that’s a fair compromise,” he said. “If Pacquiao walks away from what I and most people consider a fair compromise, then so be it. There’s nothing I can do. I do hope that (Pacquiao) has not been told. He should be told now, though.

“This is a message from Floyd to Manny: Here, we’re being reasonable. Let’s split it down the middle and do this fight.”

The Los Angeles Times asked Arum his opinion of a 14-day option.

"We had a (mediation) deal based on 24 days, but we said it's all off the table if (Mayweather representatives) get a no from Floyd, and they got a no," he told the newspaper. "So the train has left the station. We have moved on. We don't want to talk about Mayweather anymore until the fall."

duBoef said that he was instructed by lawyers not to comment on anything related to the mediation.

Schaefer didn’t want to talk about prospective opponents for Mayweather because he holds out hope that the Pacquiao fight can still be made, although he did say Mayweather will fight someone -- even if it's not Pacquiao -- on March 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Schaefer added that Arum, exploring options for Pacquiao, asked whether Golden Boy-promoted Juan Manuel Marquez would be interested in fighting Pacquiao.

The Mexican veteran -– 0-1-1 against Pacquiao –- told Oscar De La Hoya that he would be interested in a third fight but only at 140 pounds, with a 50-50 split of the purse and blood testing two weeks before the fight. That probably eliminated Marquez from serious consideration.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao and former welterweight titleholder Clottey reportedly are near an agreement to fight on March 13, possibly at the new Cowboys stadium in Dallas.

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, said on ESPN that Pacquiao and Clottey are "close" to a deal but that there is still time for Mayweather to save the fight -- presumably by agreeing to the 24-day cut off.

Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site that a delegation from Top Rank is scheduled to travel to Dallas this weekend to complete a deal with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Pacquiao originally targeted Paulie Malignaggi when it first appeared his showdown with Mayweather was falling apart. Malignaggi was deemed an unworthy opponent by the Pacquiao camp.

Then they turned to junior middleweight titleholder Yuri Foreman, a Top Rank-promoted fighter who would provide Pacquiao the chance to win a belt in an eighth weight division. However, Pacquiao was concerned about a Foreman’s height -- 5-11 (180cm) to Pacquiao’s 5-6½ (169cm).

Clottey, a tough slugger from Ghana, lost a split decision to Miguel Cotto on June 13, his most-recent fight. Cotto subsequently was knocked out by Pacquiao in the 12th round of their Nov. 14 fight.


Top Rank settles for Pacquiao-Clottey

Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming
By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated January 10, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - It’s Manny Pacquiao vs. Josh Clottey in Dallas.

Yes, the fight’s going to happen at Jerry Jones’ $1.3 billion Cowboys
Stadium which fell short in its $25 million bid on the aborted superfight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The fight will take place on March 13, the same day that was originally reserved for the Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“But Las Vegas is no longer available on March 13. So, most likely it’s Dallas. And it’s still March 13,” said Pacquiao’s adviser, Mike Koncz, yesterday.

He said Pacquiao leaves for Los Angeles on Jan. 17 to begin his eight-week training for the Clottey fight. He will train in LA until the week before the fight when he takes a 160-minute flight to Dallas.

“The elections are coming up and there will be too many distractions if Manny trains in Baguio City,” said Koncz, referring to the May 10 elections where Pacquiao is seeking a congressional seat in his province of Sarangani.

It was not clear whether Mayweather would fight at the MGM Grand on March 13. But it’s a possibility and they’re looking at Paulie Malignaggi as the opponent.

Hopes for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight died after both parties could not agree on the blood-testing procedure. Pacquiao wants it done 24 days before the fight, and Mayweather 14.

Another Pacquiao adviser, Wakee Salud of Cebu, had proposed a blood-testing 19 days before the fight but it seems that the proposal came a little too late.

Besides, there’s too much animosity now between the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps, after the Filipino boxing icon hurled the Mayweathers and his representatives from Golden Boy to court with a defamation suit.

The opposite camp had insisted on a stringent blood-testing Olympic-style because they suspect that Pacquiao, who has incredibly gone up in weight four times over the last 12 months, is into performance-enhancing drugs.

Now the blood-testing problem is gone, and so is the superfight that could have generated more than $100 million and given both fighters as much as $40 million each.

Clottey is also under Top Rank, like Pacquiao, and there shouldn’t be any problem sealing the fight. Pacquiao’s new opponent, who lost to Miguel Cotto last June, will climb that ring with or without any blood tests.

Arum said from now on, Pacquiao will entertain no more demands for drug-testing Olympic-style and would insist on the way it’s always been done before, Nevada-style, which is mostly based on urine tests.

Falling into Mayweather’s trap, for random blood-testing, and being dragged into countless hours of negotiations did the fight in. From the start, Pacquiao’s camp should have insisted that there’s no way it would happen.

“That was my biggest mistake, allowing any of this to happen. I should have said no. We’re not revisiting [blood testing]. We’re not negotiating with these punks anymore. If Mayweather wants to fight Pacquiao down the road, he will have to go by the testing the state commission asks for. If not, life goes on,” Arum told the Sports Illustrated.

And that goes to any of Pacquiao’s future opponents as well.


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Pacquiao-Clottey Bout for W.B.O. Title

Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming
Published: January 9, 2010

Manny Pacquiao will put his W.B.O. welterweight title on the line against the Ghanaian Joshua Clottey in March after talks for a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. fizzled, Pacquiao’s promoter said. The fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather broke down when negotiations between the sides hit a snag over Mayweather’s demand for a rigorous dope-testing procedure. Clottey beat Zab Judah for the I.B.F. welterweight title in August 2008 and lost a split decision to Miguel Cotto last June.


Pacquiao, Clottey reach deal to fight March 13 at Cowboys Stadium

Pacquiao vs Clottey News
By Chris Mannix,

WASHINGTON -- As representatives from Golden Boy Promotions work feverishly to keep a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao megafight alive, Pacquiao has reached an agreement in principle to defend his WBO welterweight title against former title holder Joshua Clottey on March 13, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told

The fight between Pacquiao and Clottey will likely take place at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

Arum and Top Rank have been embroiled in contentious negotiations with Mayweather and representatives from Golden Boy Promotions, which is representing Mayweather. At issue is drug testing: Mayweather is insisting on random blood testing before the fight while Pacquiao will submit to unlimited urine testing -- all that is required by the Nevada commission -- but only agree to blood testing 30 days before the fight.

Earlier this week, the two sides agreed to mediation by retired federal judge Daniel Weinstein. During the mediation, Pacquiao agreed to blood testing up to 24 days before the fight. Mayweather refused and, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, countered with a 14-day testing window.

Schaefer told on Friday that he believed Pacquiao was never told of the 14 day offer. He referred to an Internet report where Pacquiao and his representatives denied that Mayweather had offered to reduce the testing window to 14 days before the fight. Schaefer said he had text messages between Golden Boy's Chief Marketing Officer Bruce Binkow and Top Rank President Todd DuBoef during this week's mediation discussing the 14-day window.

Arum, however, says Pacquiao has known about the 14 days since Jan. 1 and said he had an email exchange between DuBoef and Pacquiao's advisor, Michael Koncz, that prove that Pacquiao had received the offer and rejected it.

"That offer was rejected a long time ago," said Arum. "It was off the table. They are just trying to get under Manny's skin. It serves no purpose than to aggravate Manny Pacquiao."

Arum scoffed at the notion that the fight could be saved, indicating that neither he nor anyone in his company had been in contact with anyone from Mayweather's camp. " If they are negotiating, they are negotiating with themselves," said Arum. "We aren't talking to them."

Schaefer said Arum approached him on Thursday to discuss the possibility of making a third fight between Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. But the discussions went nowhere because besides insisting on a 50-50 split, Marquez also asked for the same level of drug testing as Mayweather. Schaefer also said that while he had not spoken to Shane Mosley about a future fight with Pacquiao, it was likely that Mosley would also require blood testing before any fight with Pacquiao.

Arum said he would no longer consider any form of testing beyond what the state commission requires for any future fight with Pacquiao -- including Mayweather.

"This is beyond stupid," said Arum. "That was my biggest mistake, allowing any of this to happen. I should have said no. We're not revisiting [blood testing]. We're not negotiating with these punks anymore. If Mayweather wants to fight Pacquiao down the road, he will have to go by the testing the state commission asks for. If not, life goes on."


Sizing up Joshua Clottey as Manny Pacquiao’s next foe

Pacquiao vs Clottey
Las Vegas Boxing Examiner | Chris Robinson

Late last night news broke via Top Rank’s facebook page that the next opponent for Manny Pacquiao would be former IBF Welterweight champion Joshua Clottey. Upon hearing the news I was quite surprised, as I didn’t expect Pacquiao to face off with such a formidable challenge following the Mayweather fallout. I have to tip my hat to Manny; if the Clottey fight goes through I think he deserves credit for not opting for a safer touch. Joshua Clottey is no pushover.

It’s somewhat fascinating to me when I analyze a Pacquiao-Clottey matchup. There is a lot to take in because of the contrast in styles. While Pacquiao relies on his work rate, endurance, and placing his power punches from a variety of angles, Clottey is a completely different mold of fighter. The Accra, Ghana native is as strong and sturdy as they come and he possesses excellent stamina, a compact defense, a menacing jab, and a physical nature that has lead him to having a 35-3 record while being regarded as one of the top five or six Welterweights in the world.

When thinking of the matchup further, here is my take on Clottey and how he matches up against his Filipino foe.

Making Ghana proud

Hailing from Accra, Ghana, Clottey comes from a country known producing gritty, tough, and proven combatants. In somewhat recent years Azumah ‘The Professor’ Nelson and Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey have represented the country proud by becoming quality champions inside of the ring.

Nelson had great longevity and was a threat in the lower weight classes from the early 80’s to mid 90’s. He fist broke on the scene as a newcomer in 1982, losing a tremendous battle to the late Salvador Sanchez. When it was all said and done Nelson won titles at 126 and 130 pounds, defeating the likes of Wilfredo Gomez, Juan La Porte, Jeff Fenech, Gabriel Ruelas, and Jesse James Leija. Nelson was crafty, durable and extremely consistent throughout his hall of fame career.

Ike Quartey won the WBA Welterweight title in June of 1994 by stopping Crisanto Espana in the 11th round. Quartey was known best for his tremendous physical strength, his potent and deadly jab, and stout chin. He bested the likes of Vince Phillips and Oba Carr while losing a close and some say controversial decision to Oscar De La Hoya in February of 1999 after a 16 month layoff. Quartey would return well over a year later and lose a clear but competitive decision to Fernando Vargas in April of 2000 after moving up in weight.

Quartey disappeared from the scene after that before returning in 2005. He finished his career by defeating Verno Phillips and Carlos Bojorquez while losing a disputed match to Vernon Forrest and a lopsided decision to good friend Winky Wright. While some say that Quartey’s true potential was never realized, as he was the victim of repeated spells of inactivity, he certainly was regarded as one of the world’s top three Welterweights in the late 90’s alongside De La Hoya and Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad.

In seeing Clottey in the ring you can see shades of both Quartey and Nelson, as he attacks with a high and tight guard while always pressing forward and looking to force the action. As was the case with Quartey, Clottey is a physical powerhouse on the inside and his tight-knit defense makes it extremely hard for opponents to break through.

Clottey’s early 2010 gift

2009 must certainly have been considered a downer for Clottey. He only fought once the entire year, suffering a very close split decision to Miguel Cotto. It was a very eventful bout, as Clottey was dropped early before regrouping and working his way back into the fight. Cotto suffered a huge gash above his left eye from an accidental head butt in the third and showed his warrior’s spirit, fighting Clottey tit for tat as the middle rounds approached.

Just when it looked at those Joshua was running out of steam he would regroup, as was the case in the seventh round when he unloaded on Cotto to turn the tide of the fight. The fight was back and forth from that point forward. In the twelfth round Clottey was grazed with a punch behind the head and seemed to overact to the punch, turning around as though he was in severe pain. Cotto would close the show strong and go on to win a split decision, with 116-111 and 115-112 tallies going in favor of the Puerto Rican while Judge Tom Miller sided with the Ghanaian fighter 114-113.

The loss to Cotto didn’t drop Clottey’s stock tremendously because he fought on nearly even terms with a fighter of Cotto’s class. The remaining months of the year had to be terribly frustrating, however, as proposed bouts with Carlos Quintana and Sergio Martinez never came to fruition. Clottey was recently scheduled for a January 16th appearance at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas against Michael Rosales and apparently turned the fight down due to his desires for a bigger fight. It doesn’t getting any bigger than facing Pacquiao and right now Joshua Clottey must be happy with the new opportunity on his horizon. This is the exact opportunity he was looking for.

Clottey at his best

When looking at Clottey’s career in recent years there are several fights and moments that stand out where the former champion was at his best.

In July of 2006 he showed tremendous stamina and a great work rate in winning a convincing and entertaining decision over then-undefeated Richard Gutierrez. Clottey’s air-tight defense negated anything that the Columbian had to offer as he pulled away late in the fight.

Clottey was also impressive against both Zab Judah and Diego Corrales. Against Corrales, who was moving up two weight classes for the bout, Clottey was too strong and efficient for the late Diego to handle, dropping him twice late in the fight on his way to a near shutout win. Clottey defeated Judah in August of 2008 by simply applying pressure and staying consistent. Clottey wasn’t fazed by Judah’s speed and had great success working the body and using his physical strength on the inside as he walked away with a nine round technical decision win.

Even in losing to Cotto and Antonio Margarito, Clottey more than held his own during long periods in each fight. Both of those contests were nip and tuck affairs in which Clottey showed much worth while falling just short. Against Cotto he seemed to ease off the gas pedal when having his best moments and that came back to hurt him. He started strong against Margarito but a reported injury to his left hand in the 4th round lulled his momentum.

Sizing up Pacquiao vs. Clottey

For as much success as Pacquiao has had in recent years I personally feel that Clottey is a tremendous and underrated threat to him. The matchup in styles pretty contrasting and it will be interesting to see whether Pacquiao’s speed and power or Clottey’s aggression and physical strength prove to be the key factors.

One thing I notice is that while both Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto were physically imposing opponents, they both had suspect defense, as seen in previous fights. Clottey’s defense is very sound and it will be interesting seeing how exactly Pacquiao goes about trying to break him down. If Clottey can find a way to get on the inside consistently and force the action he could have great success.

If I had to pick a winner right now I would side with Pacquiao because it’s hard to deny the success he has had. Blowout wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto in succession don’t come around too often and Pacquiao is a primed and well oiled machine at the moment. Clottey will definitely come into the fight with high hopes but he has shown in the past that he can be complacent and inactive during key stretches of a fight. I think Pacquiao’s speed and activity will be the key factors on his way towards winning a competitive but clear decision win.


Pacquiao camp says fight with Clottey set for March

Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates
By Frank Pingue Frank Pingue – Fri Jan 8, 6:21 pm ET

TORONTO (Reuters) – WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao will put his title on the line against Ghanaian Joshua Clottey in March after talks for a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. fizzled out this week, the Filipino's promoter said on Friday.

The planned fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. broke down when negotiations between the two sides hit a snag over the American's demand for a rigorous dope testing procedure.

Pacquiao's new opponent beat Zab Judah of the United States for the IBF Welterweight title in August 2008 and lost a split decision to Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto last June.

"This is a better fight," Bob Arum of Top Rank, Pacquiao's promoter, told Reuters in a telephone interview. "(Clottey's) a real strong, aggressive and hard punching African from Ghana and he poses a real test for Manny."

Arum said a location for the fight would be decided on Monday.

News of the Pacquiao-Clottey bout pours cold water over talk that a match with Mayweather, which was expected to be one of boxing's biggest revenue-producing fights, could be salvaged in time for March.

Mayweather Jr. had issued a statement on Thursday that said he still wanted to fight Pacquiao, but Arum said any possible fight between the two sides would have to wait.

"There's always later in the year and there's next year, it's up to Mayweather. But if he starts this nonsense again with testing or anything then let him take a walk," said Arum.

"We are not going to get into a debate with him ever again on stuff that we know nothing about and that only regulators really can understand."

Mayweather's camp had called for random blood and urine sampling prior to and after the proposed fight with Pacquiao in March.

Pacquiao agreed to have blood taken for testing before the initial media conference and immediately after the fight but would not agree to have blood drawn within 30 days of the bout.

The commission that would have overseen the fight in Las Vegas only requires urine testing.

"We have commissions who regulate this sport, if (Mayweather Jr.) wants any special testing he should address it to the commission that will have jurisdiction over the fight," said Arum.

(Writing by Frank Pingue; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: Yahoo! Sports


Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming
By Scott Shaffer

Boxingtalk has learned from reliable sources that welterweight contender Joshua Clottey has agreed to terms for a fight against Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao has approved Clottey as an opponent and the fight will take place on March 13th as a pay-per-view fight. If the source is correct, Floyd Mayweather would be out a super fight and would need a new fight date, perhaps March 20th on HBO. Remember where you heard it first! (4:55 PM ET)


Manny Pacquiao will fight Joshua Clottey if Floyd Mayweather bout is cancelled

Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming
By Gareth A Davies, Boxing Correspondent
Published: 10:27PM GMT 08 Jan 2010

Negotiations between the Filipino favourite and pound-for-pound rival Mayweather appear to have broken down irretrievably this week after a mediator was unable to help them reach an agreement for the March 13 Las Vegas super-fight.

The bitter row stems from Mayweather's insistence upon extra-stringent drug testing - namely the enforcement of blood sampling close to the fight - with WBO welterweight champion Pacquiao launching legal action and all parties seemingly conceding the bout is now off.

The arguing continued on Friday night following Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum's claims the fight is dead in the water with mediator Judge Daniel Weinstein and Mayweather himself having their say.

Early suggestions were that new WBA light-middleweight champion Yuri Foreman was the likely stand-in but now Clottey - like Foreman, an Arum Top Rank fighter - appears to be the favourite.

A statement reportedly on the Top Rank Facebook Fan Page said: "Sorry had numerous chances to make the fight of the century happen. We are no longer waiting around for you!

"Top Rank is pleased to announce that Manny Pacquiao will defend his World Boxing Organisation welterweight championship title in a bout with Joshua Clottey, Saturday March 13, 2010! It's on!"

No official announcement has been made, however. Mayweather appeared to be suggesting that the fight could still take place, if the two parties can get over their disagreement to salvage a fight which could gross almost $200 million, and which is expected to break all box office pay per view records.

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