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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey Fight Preview and Prediction

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Published: Feb 13 2010 by: Scott Levinson
On March 13, Manny Pacquiao will defend his WBO Welterweight Title against Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Obviously, the boxing world was hoping to see Pacquiao face Floyd Mayweather, but this is at least a reasonable replacement. Clottey is a top welterweight and a tough out for any fighter at this weight. Having the bout take place in a football stadium adds a little something extra to this fight. It will be nice to see the sport take center stage in a U.S. city other than Las Vegas, NYC, or Atlantic City. The stadium setting allows fans to hearken back to a time when boxing was big enough to pack the biggest stadiums in the country. It will be a big event.

Pacquiao vs. Clottey Preview

Manny is a sizable favorite in this bout and for good reason. His entrance into the welterweight ranks has seen him pick apart his opponents. De La Hoya and Cotto never looked to be winners in their fights with Pacquiao. Many are not surprised that Manny has been able to succeed at welterweight, but it’s safe to say the manner in which he has blitzed through his competition has left fans slack-jawed in admiration of this great little warrior from General Santos City.

Pacquiao and Clottey are what you would call young veterans. 2010 marks the 16th year of both men’s professional careers. Pacquiao and Clottey are only 31 and 32, respectively. In other words, they know what they’re doing and still have plenty of youth to do something about it.

There is no secret what Pacquiao brings to the table at this point. A super-fast and concussive puncher, Manny has added a few new wrinkles to his game since coming up in weight. He moves beautifully, rarely leaving himself in a vulnerable spot for too long. He has improved his right hand to the point where it is a formidable weapon in its own right. Perhaps even more impressive is his advanced vision of what happens in the ring. It has been enough to make him the best fighter in the sport.

What can Clottey bring to the table to counteract this?

Size: Clottey, while only about 2 inches taller than Pacquiao, is a bigger man. He always seemed to be a welterweight a little on the big side. He has been fighting in the 140’s ever since he turned pro. He looked bigger than Cotto when he fought him. When Pacquiao was still fighting at flyweight, Clottey was already a welterweight.

Durability: Clottey’s bread and butter. 15 years in the game, and I’ve never seen him in danger of being stopped. Usually, top fighters with such a long career behind them have showed a time or two when they were on the verge of being stopped. Clottey, however, has been able to survive his bouts with such offensively explosive fighters as Antonio Margarito, Zab Judah, and Cotto without ever being seriously hurt. He is a rare case—a hard nut to crack.

Defense: Clottey is not an easy guy to land clean shots on when he goes into a defensive posture. He can hide behind his arms and gloves well and knows how to ride out the storm. Manny’s recent opponents have been easy to find. Perhaps, Clottey has the right mix of defense and durability to give Pacquiao a difficult night.

Bad Signs for Clottey

Power: Clottey looks like a power puncher and sometimes throws punches that would lead one to fancy him a hard hitter in the ring. It is therefore a bit surprising to reflect on the fact that he has scored only one KO since 2004, spanning 11 fights. Those are bad numbers for those banking on Clottey’s strength to win the day.

Work Rate: There have been times when Clottey doesn’t move his hands enough. With dwindling power numbers, Clottey will have to escalate this part of his game to stand a chance with Pacquiao. Sometimes, it appears that Clottey is either on the offensive or the defensive. He will have to be able to do both at the same time if he hopes to threaten the pound-for-pound number-one guy in the game.

Ring IQ: Not to question the man’s ring smarts, but there have been times when his strategic outlook hurt him more than anything his opponent was doing. In the Cotto fight, it appeared Clottey was gaining a strong foothold in the middle rounds. He was troubling Cotto greatly. As the bout went into its final few rounds, Clottey inexplicably took his foot off the gas and let Cotto sweep the final stanzas to earn a controversial, but well-deserved split decision. One can never tell exactly what is going on in the mind and body of a fighter in a demanding fight, but it seemed Clottey had enough in the tank to close the show, but he didn’t do it for some reason.

The “Book” on Clottey

He is a very good fighter, but he is not great. There’s a little something extra that separates the very good from the great and Clottey has not showed it yet. The greats find a way to win, especially when they are in imminently winnable situations. Clottey has not yet answered the call for greatness. He was ahead against Margarito before hand problems rendered his offense non-existent. Then against Cotto, he again found himself in a fight he could win, and at the end of the day, he didn’t get it done.


Will Manny suffer a letdown? After being so close to fighting Mayweather, is there a chance for Manny to let his focus slip a bit here? Will he be overlooking Clottey as if this is just a stay-busy fight? Can Clottey find that something extra? Knowing that he isn’t getting any younger, will the severity of the situation give way to a renewed spirit? Fighters can sometimes rise to the occasion when their careers are on the line. Clottey surely knows that he is not likely to receive any further opportunities like this one. The now or never scenario might just light a fire under him.
Pacquiao vs. Clottey Prediction

There is almost nothing in Manny Pacquiao’s career to suggest he will be anything but peak for this mega event at Cowboys Stadium. There is still work for him to do in the sport. He wants to leave an indelible stamp of greatness on the sport. He has a vision of what he wants to accomplish. It seems almost inconceivable that he would somehow phone this one in, being on the cusp of not only fighting Floyd Mayweather, but also being so close to establishing an all-time great legacy worthy of being in the top pantheon of all-time greats.

Clottey is not going to go quietly and meekly, however. I think Manny’s speed and movement will give him an incredibly difficult evening. I see Clottey able to get some bodywork done and drive home a series of meaningful shots on Pacquiao in the form of uppercuts and straight rights. Clottey will be pumped up. He will feel a greater urge to let his hands go to curtail the fury of the Filipino juggernaut.

At some point in the middle rounds, Clottey will begin to incrementally lapse into a more defensive posture. He will remain dangerous and continue lashing out with enough menacing punches to keep Manny honest. As the late rounds approach, the only suspense remaining will not be whether Clottey can pull out the win, but whether or not he can last the full route.

A late stoppage is not an unlikely result. The feeling here is that Clottey’s grit, chin, and defense will be enough to see him through to the final bell. In a dominating performance, Pacquiao will win 10-11 rounds for a resounding decision victory.

Prediction: Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision.


Examiner Bio Month to go, Ghana Lion Joshua Clottey mauling sparmates

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Boxing Examiner | Michael Marley

He's been saying nothing but nice things about Manny Pacquiao so far but, make no mistake.

Joshua Clottey is not the Pinoy Idol's kissing cousin and he did not send any Valentine's Day hearts, flowers or Godiva chocolates over to the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

The Bronx resident and native of Ghana is one month away (March 13) from the big bout in the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas and manager Vinny Scolpino told me Saturday that, despite rumors and reports, Team Clottey is right on schedule.

"Joshua and the team have been in Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale for two weeks now and the camp is going very good," Scolpino said from his New Jersey home.

"Joshua's head trainer has his visa almost approved so he'll get there soon, in the meantime we've got (veteran trainer) Lenny DeJesus and the rest of the team. He's on target, he's beating the crap out of people in sparring and I would say he is definitely on his 'A game.'"

Clottey has gone on record, describing the Pacman date as his "miracle fight" and saying he will score one of the biggest upsets ever.

Perhaps Clottey learned a valuable lesson when he took his foot off the accelator in the so called "Championship Rounds" against Miguel I'm No Angel Cotto last June at Madison Square Garden.

It was a winnable fight but, after getting lethargic and backing up, fighting protectively rather than aggressively in the late rounds, Clottey came out on the short end of a split decision.

His former trainer, Kwame Asante, was bitter about being discharged after that defeat. But Asante is picking his ex-chage to upset Megamanny, saying that Clottey "knows" how to handle lefthanders.

We shall see soon enough.

Tick, tick, tick...


Salary battle: Mayweather vs Pacquiao

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International Sports Examiner | Marv Dumon

Albert Einstein: "The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive."

The exercise of profiling the compensation of the world's top athletes can be interpreted as solely the fortunes of the hard-working and tenacious. And what they can simply consume and purchase with their hard-earned dollars.

When one finally achieves high success, others focus on the luxuries, the women, and lifestyle of such athletes. But to attain that maximum level of physical prowess and mental state, an athlete will have accumulated tens of thousands of days at the gym and on the field - training, enduring, and giving maximum effort. When no one was looking. When they were "nobodies."

They pursued a goal, did not relent, and loved what they do. Despite what they did "not being rationale." Reasonable people go to school so that they can get a job, and earn a paycheck. The world belongs to unreasonable people.

A Lifetime of Tenacity >

When people partied, the athlete jogged. When people drank liquor, the athlete abstained. When people watched television, the athlete went to bed (at 8pm). When people slept, the athlete woke up (at 4:30am). When people conducted chores, the athlete outsourced. When people did everything else, the athlete worked.

When people complained about their boss, the athlete remained dedicated to a craft he loved. When people whined, the athlete endured - and excelled. When people switched professions, the athlete improved his skills. He stuck to it no matter what. When people were being "reasonable," the athlete was unreasonable. He rejected people's bull.

The athlete walked the talk. People speculated. When people got bored, the athlete honed basic fundamentals. He would not, and could not, relent. Despite unimaginable pain, he persisted. And it allowed him to experience ineffable highs.

Basketball phenom Lebron James is the third-highest paid American athlete, earning $40.45 million in the past year.

When Lebron takes off and goes for a dunk, he can generate up to 700 lbs of force in order to lift his 270 lb body as a projectile force in the air. Not everyone can do that.

Not everyone put in the thousands of hours of taxing physical and mental preparation that James put in. People don't know that James' mother was on welfare checks, maintaining a single parent household. Poverty. That they constantly moved around.

That the sensible thing as a young child was to perhaps think about being able to secure a stable job. Not everyone saw that. The world is created by what cannot be seen. Athletes - before becoming famous - chose not to break, even when they were broken.

In a prior article ("Highest Paid International Athletes"), we mentioned the awesome responsibilities of today's elite athletes, even outside of the courts.

The modern sports competitor not only exacts superior results on the field, he must maintain a regulated routine: supervised intake of vitamins, oxygen treatment, legal (and sometimes banned) performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), special diets and treatments. On and on. Then you have the product endorsements, interviews, family functions, awards dinners . . .

The top earners for international and American athletes reflect the tastes of sports fans around the world, and in the United States. The international top 20 are dominated by soccer players. Nine of the top 20 highest paid international athletes play soccer.

The top 20 for the U.S. are dominated by basketball players, with 10 coming from the sport. There is something telling about the global marketplace as well. Golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson rank first and second on the top 20 list. These top two earn more than any other athlete in the world, American or foreign - by far. The list is not even close.

Combined compensation for Woods and Mickelson (for 2009): over $190 million (for the year). This supports the premise we presented in the previous article. Similar to wealth distribution statistics around the world and in the United States, the best of the best in sports enjoy skewed, disproportionate earnings.


Mosley vs Pacquiao is the real fight

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Mississippi Fight Sports Examiner | Brad Cooney

As far as marketability a Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr fight would probably make more sense. It would probably generate more PPV buys, and it would probably make the HBO 24/7 episodes a little more interesting, but the real fight would be Pacquiao vs. Mosley.

Mayweather Jr vs. Pacquiao would more than likely not be a fans fight. There would be a pursuing Pacquiao against a defensive countering Floyd Mayweather. If Manny and "Sugar" Shane ever mixed it up, both guys would be coming at one another, and both guys would be throwing bombs.

A Mosley vs. Pacquiao fight is a much more exciting fight. It lacks the good guy vs. bad guy feel, because both guys are good fellas. A Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight definitely has the good guy vs. bad guy feel, but lacks the excitement in the ring. If Mosley can get by Mayweather, and Pacquiao gets by Clottey, it is very likely that the two will meet in the ring next.

If Floyd gets defeated by Mosley I am guessing that he will be thinking hard about tossing 40 million dollars aside over some blood test demands. There are not a lot of times in a man's life when he is offered the opportunity to put 40 million dollars in the bank. The window may very well have opened up and closed on that opportunity.

So even though a Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight wouldn't make the same PPV buys as a Mayweather fight would, it certainly has the makings of a much more exciting fight.


Friday, February 12, 2010

5 Reasons Why Pacquiao Is Considered the Best

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February 12th, 2010
by Lorne Scoggins

The consensus on Manny Pacquiao is that he is the greatest fighter on planet earth. While his status as the top boxer in the world can be debated, the fact that the vast majority considers him the best is irrefutable. The Manny Pacquiao story isn’t just about boxing anymore, and it has overflowed far beyond the boundaries of the Philippines Archipelago. The man who has long been an icon in his home country of the Philippines has now found his way into the hearts of millions from all over the world. Pacquiao is one of those rare pugilists who has crossed over into mainstream media. Top Rank publicist, Lee Samuels recently announced that Pacquiao will be featured in an upcoming episode of 60 Minutes.

As I considered the reasons why Pacquiao is so endearing to the general public, I constructed a list that outlines the qualities that have played a role in his iconic rise to the top.


Pacquiao has never taken full credit for what he has accomplished. He understands where his talent comes from and he’s always quick to point out that he owes his success to God. He openly demonstrates his faith by getting on his knees to pray in the corner of the ring before and after every fight. He doesn’t claim to be perfect. In contrast, self-righteous individuals feel no need to pray.

Loyalty to his fans

The man who currently has the most loyal fan base of any boxer in the sport is in turn equally loyal to his supporters. He often states that his job is to make people happy. In the Pacquiao-Cotto post-fight press conference, Manny said, “My goal is to give happiness…enjoyment to all the people who are always watching us.” He spends hours signing autographs and talking to fans. During open training sessions, it’s not uncommon for him to stay at the Wildcard Gym until he has interacted with each and every devotee.

The ability to rise above all odds

Manny Pacquiao was born into extreme poverty in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines. He only completed a grade school education before he started working to help support his family. By the time he was 16 years old he was a professional boxer. When he came to the United States to search for an American trainer, he was rejected time and time again. He was repeatedly told that there was no market for a Filipino boxer. Freddie Roach wisely disagreed and took him under his wing. When Pacquiao scored a TKO against Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003, the boxing world began to take notice. The once poor kid from the Philippines is now ranked among the highest paid athletes in the world. He is an inspiration to millions and is exemplary of the fact that great things can be achieved by faith, determination and perseverance.


“I always think to myself that I’m just an ordinary fighter and sometimes I can beat a good fighter.” You will never hear Manny Pacquiao boast about his accomplishments or discredit his opponents. That’s just not his character. He is one of the true gentlemen of the sport. His brand of low-key charisma makes him an endearing figure in the public eye.

Fight style

It has been said that no boxing trainer will ever say “Fight like Manny Pacquiao.” His style is inimitable. His explosiveness and work ethic inside the ring make him enthralling to behold. Pacquiao could fight anyone and it would be exciting while it lasted. His unorthodox and unpredictable style injects a unique sense of suspense into each and every fight. When he gets rocked with a hard punch it only ignites him. At the moment he appears to be hurt, he instinctively becomes more dangerous. During such occasions, he often winds up gaining back the advantage during the flurries that follow.

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the pugilist is the fact that he improves exponentially with each fight. Somehow he manages to stay hungry and focused in spite of all the success he’s already achieved.

Pacquiao’s legacy is sealed. Like Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, the name “Manny Pacquiao” will be repeated continually by boxing enthusiasts long after his career has been completed.


PACQUIAO WATCH: No dying out

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EVEN if both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jnr had already found separate foes after a botched negotiation to have them face each other, their destiny and fate seem to be meant for each other.

Until now, many could still not get over with the waste of opportunity and chance to see two of the greatest boxers in this generation square off in their prime.

Pacquiao will face Joshua Clottey a month from now in what many hope will just be a tune up fight for the Filipino champion before he finally meets Mayweather later in the year.

For Manny, the Clottey fight affords him a chance to remain active while earning a few hundred million pesos to bankroll his burgeoning political campaign.

He has done this before. Fighting for the money and bidding his time. In 2004, Manny fought an out-of-his-league Thai boxer Fahsan 3K Battery to have something “for the boys” for Christmas. He was overheard saying this while playing ‘tong-its’ for two straight nights in a makeshift gaming room fashioned out from a videoke bar VIP room in General Santos just three weeks before the fight.

Coach Freddie Roach was not in his corner during the fight, if I am not mistaken.

Despite taking the fight lightly, Manny literally knocked the totally outclassed Thai out of his feet.

It would be a different case when he fights Clottey. The Ghanian is definitely no trial horse. He has an impeccable record of being one of the few welterweights that have never been stopped before.

Overconfidence and complacency could doom Manny’s statue as the highest paid boxer today and Roach definitely has this in mind.

Mayweather on the other hand faces far riskier fight in Shane Mosley, an ageing but still a legitimate marquee welterweight. Had this fight happened ten years before, it would have been one of the best match ups of the decade past.

Despite Pacquiao and Mayweather already penciled to fight different opponents, their camps are still at each other’s throats – Mayweather especially.

The way Floyd has been blabbering, it is obvious that Manny got him under the Filipino’s skin.

Floyd can shout his heart out claiming he is the best in the division and in all of boxing today. A handful will probably believe him but a lot will certainly raise an eyebrow or two.

To his credit, Manny has never bragged about his being considered the number one pound for pound boxer today despite an almost unanimous choice from among virtually all reputable boxing pundits, scribes and publications.

Even if Mayweather beats Mosley, a more formidable opponent than Clottey is to Manny, Floyd still could not dislodge Manny from the top. He can’t reclaim his throne as boxing’s best without defeating Manny atop the ring.

That is precisely the reason why the Pacquiao-Mayweather thing refuses to die down.


Pacquiao vs. Clottey: Texas sadly can't make a decision

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Dallas Boxing Examiner | Matt Stolow

DALLAS, TX - While the World Boxing Organization (WBO) had officially secured the services on Wednesday of Texas referee Laurence Cole to work the MannyPacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey fight on March 13, it appears Cole has been reassigned to the co-main event and main event status now goes to another Texan, Rafael Ramos.

Ramos, of San Antonio, has had a long-time allegiance to the WBO while Cole has primarily worked World Boxing Council (WBC) fights.

The biggest fight in the career of Ramos was the fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz last year in Houston, TX.

The decision apparently was made not by the WBO but by William Kuntz, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Kuntz, a state official, doesn't deal with the media unless to his advantage so we will never know the truth as to why the switch was made. But trust me, politics, not smart professional boxing played the biggest part.

The WBO sent an email to the officials involved including Kuntz's office with the news that Cole would referee the main event and with the rest of the March 13 assignments.

Kuntz's decision came the next day.

Texas hasn't even decided what to do with Antonio Margarito yet and then all of a sudden they make a quick decision the day after the WBO made their decision.

"I'm happy for Rafael, but I'm working the WBC fight on the card," said Cole.

Cole is referring to the WBC World Lightweight Championship between Humberto Soto and David Diaz.


Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey referee switch: Ramos in, Cole out

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Boxing Examiner | Michael Marley


He's done so many big fights in Japan he should open up a sushi place in Tokyo.

He's done so many bouts in Texas, particuarly close to Mexico, that he could get a side job with the Border Patrol.

He's also refereed to favorable notices in Ecuador, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, France and Germany.

He's a ringwise veteran with a solid international refereeing resume now in its 11th year.

Rafael Ramos has paid his third man dues, so to speak, now he goes into the big world spotlight on March 13 as word has seeped out to me that it will be Double R and not his Lone Star State colleague Laurence Cole handling the March 13 Joshua Clottey-Manny Pacquiao WBO 147 POUND title bout in Cowboys Stadium (Arlington).

William Kuntz, who oversees all 29 departments of the Texas Licensing and Regulations Board (including boxers, barbers and more), has informed Ramos that he's drawn the big bout assignment.

I picked through Ramos' record and nothing jumps out, no hint of controversy or even alleged mistakes. I'd say he is as solid a ref as there is and he's been assigned to world title bouts previously by the IBF and the WBA.

On Jan. 11, Ramos was in Tokyo where he handled the Poonsawat Kratingdaengym-Satoshi Honson WBA super bantamweight title match.

in timing and spirit in halting Juan Diaz's game Houston effort against Juan Ma (AP Photo)

Early in his career, Ramos did a lot of bouts in New Jersey, getting his start in Atlantic City.

When Evander Holyfield launched a comeback in Dallas in 2006 against pushover Jeremy Bates, Ramos was the referee.

on the mat as Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez celebrates, ref Rafael Ramos counts (Golden Boy/Hogan Photos)

He also handled Juan Manuel Marquez's TKO 9 in Houston Feb. 28, 2009, against hometown star Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz.

It's no bull, baby or otherwise, that Ramos is a ref fit for the job.

Texas is lucky to have both the competent Cole and the steady Ramos in its officiating ranks.


Cheated out of the ‘Fight of the Decade’

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It coulda been a contender - for ‘Fight of the Decade’. America’s Floyd Mayweather Jr, universally regarded as a unique talent, and Filipino star Manny Pacquiao, who has been absolutely sensational as he’s risen through the lower weight classes, are two boxers who appeared destined to meet in the ring. The fight was mooted, hyped, discussed, negotiated - and then collapsed.

The negotiations to make what would have been an extremely lucrative ‘superfight’ were surprisingly smooth until Mayweather’s team demanded blood tests for performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao, in perhaps not the most convincing statement in the world, refused because of his ‘superstitions’ about needles and not wanting to be weakened before a fight. However, despite insinuations emanating from Floyd Mayweather’s father that Pacquiao was a cheat (strenuously denied on all sides and now the subject of a defamation case), there is no reason to believe that Pacquiao is guilty of anything. Being an outstanding athlete, and being unwilling to submit to the kind of endless random testing that other athletes are accustomed to, does not mean that Pacquiao’s performances are chemically enhanced.

In any event, there are more effective ways for boxers to cheat - more of that later.

There is no doubt it would be fantastic to see these two in the ring and it is staggering that either man could walk away from the millions each would get for this fight. I wouldn’t fight Floyd Mayweather for $40million, but I definitely would if I was Manny Pacquiao. If the right to call yourself the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world means nothing, what happened to good old greed?

Some have argued that Mayweather torpedoed the fight to keep his perfect record and mighty ego intact. That doesn’t seem right to me, particularly as I’d pick Mayweather to win. Maybe he was trying to mess with Pacquiao’s head, dominate the negotiating process or perhaps project himself as a clean influence on the sport.

But Mayweather has shown himself to be pretty pragmatic when it comes to getting the right opponent for the right money. He’s even given a second chance to the current WBA welterweight champ and veteran of previous super-fights, ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley. While the idea of Pacquiao being a cheat is nothing more than insinuation, Mosley has got form for it. He got caught up in the BALCO drugs scandal (which also saw the fall from grace of sprinter Marion Jones) and admitted ‘unknowingly’ taking performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 before beating Oscar De La Hoya.

Clearly Mayweather isn’t that concerned, then, about the issue of drug-taking. More likely, with Manny Pacquiao having lined up an exciting match against Joshua Clottey in March, Mayweather needed a new opponent and a big name to try to outstrip Pacquiao’s pay-per-view sales. Mosley represents a legitimate, high-profile opponent. Mosley has, of course, agreed to any testing regime Mayweather wants, as long as both fighters submit to the same tests.

All of this confirms that the negotiating process and business of making boxing matches is gloriously Byzantine. On the bright side, Mosley v Mayweather is a fight people have wanted to see for a decade. In the past, Mayweather has never sounded hugely enthusiastic about taking on Mosley. Mosley even leapt into the ring after Mayweather outclassed Juan Manuel Marquez last year to call out Floyd in what became a rather bad-tempered stunt. Mosley is now 38, but fought like a much younger man when he defeated Antonio Margarito to win the welterweight title in January 2009, putting on a storming performance to keep his name right at the top of the sport.

Mention of Margarito brings us back to the sticky subject of cheating. For years, Margarito had been a very good fighter and held the WBO welterweight title, but had never quite graduated to the really top drawer of marquee fights. In July 2008, he took on the highly rated Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, winning the WBA welterweight title by absorbing considerable punishment in the early rounds but ploughing endlessly forward and wearing his opponent down to earn a surprise victory.

However, when he faced Mosley the following year, Mosley’s eagle-eyed cornerman noticed a plaster-like substance being applied to the wraps around Margarito’s hands, basically ‘loading’ his gloves to make them heavier. Margarito was forced to re-wrap his hands several times before being allowed into the ring. After his defeat, Margarito was banned for a year, which seems highly lenient when you consider the damage he might have caused. To my mind, cheating in boxing, a sport where the risks can be so high, is very serious. Some find it easy to call boxing barbaric, but I think it is heroic. However, to box is a choice and to make that choice every boxer must be as fully informed as possible about the risks they are running. In one sense, the rules of boxing are arbitrary. The thresholds for weight classes perhaps or, for example, having eight-ounce gloves rather than 10-ounce gloves. But the important point is that both fighters have the same setup. It seems to me that ‘loading’ your gloves, like Margarito did, is one of the worst crimes you can do in a boxing ring, because it is so effective.

Perhaps I am being na├»ve, but even though some of the sports biggest names have been caught with drugs in their system, I haven’t been too worried about boxers being ‘juiced’. If nutrition in the sport is anything to go by, I don’t think boxing, at least at grassroots level, is at the cutting edge of sophistication. Perhaps only the top boxers can afford the luxury of steroids. But I’m also prone to thinking that, unlike a sprint where tiny fractions of seconds count, the difference between winning and losing in boxing depends more on reactions, experience and timing. I’m not aware of any synthetic stimulants that can help you with that. Of course, having muscles that pack more of a punch will help, but you need to develop good technique to deliver a punch with any power. For those reasons, I fear it may be more in a boxer’s interest, if he’s inclined to win at any cost, to cheat Margarito-style.

Boxing as a sport has many afflictions. But I remain optimistic. At heart it’s about putting together prizefights. It does not have one single, overarching body that can lay down regulations for the game as a whole. There are different commissions, which have different requirements for getting a licence to box. Given this proliferation of rules and bodies, it seems reasonable to me for drug testing regimes to be agreed along with every other detail as part of the negotiating process, especially for the really big fights.

Boxing fans everywhere will hope that Pacquiao and Mayweather do eventually get it on. Pacquiao should drop his lawsuit and trust that the public are perfectly capable of understanding that someone, even a superstar boxer, is innocent until proven guilty. Let’s hope that the Fight of the Decade fell apart for no more complex reason than as the unintended consequence of neither side wanting to back down and expecting the other to relent. But I also hope that Floyd Mayweather can stop worrying about drug testing and learn to love the money.


Highest paid international athletes

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International Sports Examiner | Marv Dumon

Within the past 25 years, athletic competition at the highest levels have grown to become immensely lucrative as a profession. Thousands of hours spent in extremely rigorous training yield peak results in games, which in turn yield high dollars.

This modern reality stands in contrast to simpler days of antiquity, when many of the first Greek competitors secured sports performance relying on more natural prowess and ability. They would marvel at the daily, professionalized regimen of today's marketplace athletes.

The modern sports competitor not only exacts superior results on the field, he must maintain a regulated routine: supervised intake of vitamins, oxygen treatment, legal (and sometimes banned) performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), special diets and treatments. On and on. Then you have the product endorsements, interviews, family functions, awards dinners . . .
A Global Entity >

Today's athlete is not merely "just an individual," per se. He has transformed into a monarchical organization, attended to by security personnel, butlers, personal assistants, legal counsel, nutritionists, doctors, trainers, strength coaches, managers, and publicists. Gone are the human generalists. The specialists who "tunes up" the athlete reflect modern society's segmentation of the populace into thousands of categorized vocations. Ever heard of a zoo dentist? That's an actual job.

The peak-performing sports uber man is a brand. For some, he is a god. That is not a statement of sacrilege. In some ways, sports icons have positioned out religious figures for man's share of the mind and heart. Can you name a basketball player or boxer more popular than the Pope? I can. Several of them.

Sports, in a collective sense, has replaced something else. War. The battle is in the tennis and volleyball courts of the world. Not in Waterloo or Pearl Harbor or Gettysburg.

What's your point Dumon?


What made the exponential jump in earnings from the past 25 years is globalization and the awesome emergence of the conglomerate media.

Before, the nexus of power resided in:

1. the Church
2. the State
3. and the Immediate Rulers of your particular kingdom
4. Those who possessed indespensible goods (water, hunting tools, etc.)

Now, the nexus of power resides in:

1. the Media
2. the State
3. the Employer
4. the Spouse - maybe

ESPN, and its multitudes of affiliates and partnerships, as well as, its smaller competitors, have pried open previously localized markets. They have this capability - to just open up entire nations - to the ways of MTV. Imagine Iran's leaders, a generation from now, speaking in this tongue: "Dude, I gotta work today? Screw that." The media brainwashes. It may not intend to all the time, but its grip on the mind took over what was previously held by the Church. (See list.)

Brazil, India, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, these markets (and their best athletes) are thrown into the mix. That hodge podge lies in the center of a digital planetary arena. A virtual bowl where the absolute best from each region compete. The best of the best. The elite of the elite. The world's cream of the crop. Sounds like a stolen thought from Top Gun.

A population of six billion people can now access the top 30 most popular sports virtually 24 hours a day. Television conveys the prioritized coverage. The internet disseminates information from a democratized media web. Sports becomes the conduit from which multi-billion dollar products and services companies extend their offerings in a hyper-competitive marketplace. Back to the purpose of the article.


The contenders to Manny Pacquiao's pound for pound throne

Pacquiao vs Clottey News, Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming, Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates
Pittsburgh Fight Sports Examiner | Scott Heritage

Manny Pacquiao has been the consensus number one pound for pound fighter in the world for the past couple of years now and has few rivals. When he either retires or gets beaten though, there will no doubt be new names vying for the top position in the sport.

In the immediate future, the only real contender there appears to be if Floyd Mayweather Jr. who has been at the top of the rankings before. His only path back to the top would probably be to get through Pacquiao though which could be problematic given the result of the last time the pair tried to put a fight together.

Should they come to terms in the future though, and should Mayweather win, which he was an early favorite to do, then he would once again top the list. Someone like Mosley or even Josh Clottey might beat Pacquiao, but have too many losses on their records for much to be made of it outside the welterweight division. Not to mention they have size and strength advantages against Pacquiao anyway.

Bernie Walker, Pittsburgh PA: "Pacquiao's fans will all be crying when their little roid monster gets picked apart by a real boxer like Floyd Mayweather. He might have balut (aka drug) power but he won't catch Mayweather all night long, if he don't back out of the fight again"

(Scott: Bernie, I would advise you not say any of that stuff out loud if you find yourself in the Philippines anytime soon.)

Fellow Freddie Roach disciple and now latest Golden Boy signing Amir Khan is a fighter tipped for great things by many. Coming from an Olympic silver medal and now boasting a record of 22-1 and the WBA light welterweight title, Khan looks to be going places. Reportedly he even gets the better of Pacquiao sometimes in training when the pair are sparring, although of course this isn't much of an indication of how a real fight would go.

Khan is unquestionably still a work in progress at the moment, and although he has almost every tool he needs for greatness, he has yet to face any top fighters. This might change in May when he fights in America for the first time, as he will look to quickly build up his name with a marquee opponent, and that means a big step up in skill as well.

Amir and Manny are said to be friends, and coming from the same gym are very unlikely to fight each other. By the time Khan is ready for someone of Pacquiao's caliber, not to mention weight class, Manny will probably have retired anyway. Someday though, so long as Khan continues to progress under Freddie Roach as much as he has already, he might make it to the top.

Eric Waters, Pittsburgh PA: "Khan isn't the best out there, but he does have al the makings of a great champion in the future. He works with Freddie Roach, spars with Manny Pacquiao and has a great background from his amateur days"

Edwin Valero is another exciting fighter who many have pegged as an eventual successor to Manny Pacquiao, although the Venezuelan would prefer to fight him instead. Holding a slightly padded record of 27 wins and 27 KO's, Valero nevertheless proved there is some substance to his hype with a one sided crushing of Antonio DeMarco last time out.

So Valero has the desire to keep climbing the divisions and taking belts from whoever he comes across, but does he have the skill?

Not so very long ago I would have said definitely not, but it seems there is a lot more to Valero than meets the eye. In his next few fights when he will again take on bigger, stronger opponents we will see just how good his skills are if his power doesn't do the job for him. But it's a case of so far so good from Valero overall.

Suntok, via email:"Valero’s record is impressive, but I don’t know if he really fought skilled fighters. Also can Valero move to the Welterweight division? If ever Pacquiao wins over Clottey I think the next step of Pacquiao is to fight the winner of the Mosley-Mayweather bout. If Valero will get lucky he would be getting a fight with Pacquiao in 2011. Nevertheless, we really can’t say who will win but it would all defend on skills in the welterweight division. Regards to all."

At the moment then, outside of Floyd Mayweather, all Pacquiao's other challengers look to be a couple of years away from being ready at the least. The chances are pretty good that Pacquiao will retire as the pound for pound champion. But who will take the reigns from him when he's gone is an interesting thought.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pacquiao-Clottey undercard is missing punch

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Between the 27 inches of snow that pummeled Northern Virginia on Saturday and the additional foot that crushed us Wednesday -- not to mention the bitter cold and extreme winds -- there hasn't been much to do but think about boxing even more than I usually do (which is scary).

Nobody around these parts can even leave the house, especially considering that my entire neighborhood was never even plowed out after the Saturday storm.

I grew up in upstate New York, where we were used to terrible winters, but this has been incredible even by those standards. Put it this way: We are Ricky Hatton. The weather is Manny Pacquiao.

So I'm going a little stir-crazy. Everything is closed. The roads are in ruins. The mail has been canceled. My wife has had two snow days (so far). Fortunately, we're stocked with supplies and toilet paper and have not lost power.

Seemed like a good time for this week's random thoughts …

• One of the fights being considered by Top Rank for the March 13 Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey pay-per-view undercard -- now that it looks like the return of Antonio Margarito to face Carson Jones in the co-feature is probably off, because Margarito may not be licensed (good!) -- is Humberto Soto against David Diaz, possibly for a vacant lightweight belt. At the risk of being given the finger again by Top Rank's Bob Arum, the fight is an atrocity. First, I don't think it will be very competitive, considering how badly faded Diaz is. Also, the notion that the WBC possibly would sanction it for a world title is ridiculous, considering that after Pacquiao laid waste to Diaz in June 2008, he has fought just once, a life-and-death majority decision against the totally shot Jesus Chavez six months ago. The entire undercard, as presently constructed, is pathetic, which has become the norm for Arum's major pay-per-views. Here's what you probably will get for your hard-earned money besides the main event: Soto-Diaz, the totally shot Jose Luis Castillo against Alfonso Gomez and John Duddy-Michael Medina. At least there's a silver lining: No Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (suspended) or Yuri Foreman-Daniel Santos.

• I've heard from multiple sources involved in Showtime's Super Six tournament that it's quite likely that the April 17 Group Stage 2 bouts -- Andre Ward defending his super middleweight title against Allan Green in Oakland and Carl Froch defending his title against Mikkel Kessler in Europe -- will be moved to a new date because of some sort of logistical issue involving Kessler-Froch. If that happens, I can't say I'll be disappointed because it means boxing fans will avoid an HBO-Showtime conflict. HBO has its own excellent split-site card planned for that night with middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik due to defend against junior middleweight titlist Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City and super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute defending his belt against Edison Miranda in Montreal. So if Showtime needs to move to another date, it actually will work out better for fans.

• Like most fight fans, I would love to see Pavlik fight Paul Williams, but it's not happening right now. It's not because Pavlik is afraid to fight him, as some folks like to wrongly suggest. It's math. Williams and his team want a 50-50 deal, and that's not happening, nor should it. So I'm fine with Pavlik-Martinez, which is also a first-class fight. Williams, meanwhile, still has no opponent for his May 8 HBO date. His promoter, Dan Goossen, is talking to promoter Lou DiBella about a junior middleweight fight with Kermit Cintron and has talked to Don King about a welterweight fight with Luis Collazo. Williams and his team say he can still make 147 pounds, and a fight with Collazo at the weight would prove that, but what is the point? I like Collazo as much as anyone, but he has virtually no shot against Williams.

• Been hearing that DiBella proposed a card to HBO of Amir Khan-Paulie Malignaggi and Andre Berto's return against Zab Judah for April 10 at Madison Square Garden, which DiBella has on hold. With an eye on fighting at junior welterweight, Judah turned it down, so DiBella would like to instead match Berto with former titlist Carlos Quintana. The Garden loves the card, I am told. I love it too. However, HBO isn't jumping up and down for the show. For some reason, HBO seems to prefer Berto-Malignaggi. The Khan-Malignaggi fight is still possible, especially with Golden Boy having so many problems putting a Khan-Juan Manuel Marquez fight to bed. But if Golden Boy, Khan's promoter, does Khan-Malignaggi it wants the fight on its card in Las Vegas on May 15. But we all know that if that fight happens, it belongs in New York.

• I had to laugh at this quote from Freddie Roach, when discussing the Pacquiao-Clottey fight: "This is going to be the Super Bowl of boxing." Pacquiao's trainer is dead wrong. The fight is more like the conference championship. The Super Bowl of boxing is Pacquiao, if he wins, fighting the winner of the May 1 Shane Mosley-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight.

• There are some out there who are gullible enough (or just dumb enough) to believe the gibberish being bandied about in cyberspace that HBO concocted a plan under which it agreed to televise the Marcos Maidana-Victor Cayo fight as long as the winner didn't press his mandatory with junior welterweight titlist Khan for the rest of the year. Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous in your life? Now, Golden Boy -- with the OK from Khan and interim titlist Maidana -- has a plan under which both men will fight a couple of times to help build the commercial value of their potential fight. That's boxing business as usual. I have no real complaint about that, other than that if they're going to avoid the mandatory fight, the one unwilling to make it immediately ought to be stripped of his piece of the title. But since the reprehensible WBA is not pressing the issue -- shocking, right? -- it is what it is. But to think HBO orchestrated a deal to prevent the fight from happening this year just goes to show you how little some people actually understand the business.

• I want to bid a fond farewell to "Rich Marotta's Neutral Corner," which is leaving the Southern California radio airwaves after more than 11 years. The last edition is Sunday morning, the victim of Marotta's own success. Marotta, a longtime friend and one of the classiest guys in the business, is now the color commentator on the new "Top Rank Live" series. The three cards per month are on Saturday nights, leaving Marotta unable to do the show live on Sunday mornings because of the heavy travel demands. Mailing it in with a taped show, in which he could not discuss the previous night's results, is not Marotta's style, so he has decided to end the show. It was one of the few places on radio in the nation with intelligent boxing discussion and a dependable lineup of interviews with all the sport's top newsmakers. I'm proud to say I was even a guest many times.

• Speaking of "Top Rank Live," the new Fox Sports Net and Fox Sports en Espanol series is off to a great start. I just hope Top Rank keeps it up, because the first few cards have been very good overall, including Vanes Martirosyan-Kassim Ouma, Jorge Arce winning a vacant junior bantamweight title against Angky Angkota and a sensational performance from Brandon Rios in stopping Jorge Teron. We're seeing toss-up action fights on a regular basis, and there are more scheduled. So far, I'm loving it.

• I love the idea of a Tim Bradley-Edwin Valero fight as much as anyone, but I seriously doubt it will happen.

• I dig the proposed Tomasz Adamek-Cristobal Arreola April 24 HBO fight, but I can't figure out why Adamek would want to go to California for the fight -- which is where it's being planned -- when the bigger gate would be in Newark, N.J., where Adamek draws huge crowds. If he could draw more than 10,000 to the Prudential Center for a fight with Jason Estrada last week, imagine the gate he could do with Arreola, who is better known than Estrada but not a proven ticket-seller in So Cal.

• Paging Joel Casamayor.

• I'm sure I speak for all boxing fans when I wish the very best for Casey Guerrero, the seriously ill wife of junior lightweight titlist Robert Guerrero, who understandably withdrew from a March 27 HBO fight with Michael Katsidis to be at his wife's bedside.

• Top Rank signed brothers Lamont and Anthony Peterson with great fanfare in 2008. I scratch my head wondering why in the world Top Rank, which knows how to sell tickets and how to build a fighter in his hometown, has not only never come to Washington, D.C. -- their hometown and a city dying for some top-level boxing -- but never even seriously considered it. It's baffling.

• Happy birthday to my good pal, Larry Merchant. The HBO commentator turned 79 on Thursday. He's the greatest boxing television analyst ever. And before that, he was one of America's foremost sports columnists.

• DVD pick of the week: It's not too often that HBO features little guys -- meaning fighters below junior featherweight -- but when it does, we usually see something pretty interesting. Such was the case when I went back to Feb. 15, 2003, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. That's where two of the best bantamweights of the era, Tim Austin and Rafael Marquez, tangled for the title. Austin had defended the title nine times and was considered a top-10 pound-for-pound fighter. Marquez was the top contender, but known better for being the younger brother of Juan Manuel. The fight turned out to be a good scrap, although Austin seemed in control and was ahead on all three scorecards as they went to the eighth round. But that's when Marquez, blessed with great power for a small guy, took it to Austin and knocked him out for the upset. I remember it well, partly because it happened to be the first fight I watched after getting engaged earlier that day.


Soto-Diaz World Title Fight Added to Pacquiao-Clottey Undercard
Fri, 12 Feb 2010

ARLINGTON, TX (February 11, 2010) – World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight champion HUMBERTO “Zorrita” SOTO and former WBC lightweight champion DAVID DIAZ will go mano-a-mano for the vacant WBC lightweight title, headlining the pay-per-view undercard of THE EVENT: PACQUIAO vs. CLOTTEY, World Welterweight Championship. The Pacquiao vs. Clottey pay-per-view telecast will also feature 10-round rumbles between two-time world champion JOSE LUIS “El Terrible” CASTILLO in a welterweight battle against top-10 contender ALFONSO GOMEZ and “Ireland’s” JOHN DUDDY in a middleweight duel with MICHAEL “Myckol” MEDINA..

These six gladiators have four world titles between them and a combined record of 216-24-8 (146 KOs) – a winning percentage of 87% and a victory by knockout ratio of 68%.

“The pay-per-view undercard is a perfect complement to the main event, capturing the cultural flavor of Texas” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Each matchup will feature a world class fighter from a different region of Mexico or a Hispanic region in the United States. And the fans who watch the fight live at Cowboys Stadium will be treated to seeing SALVADOR SANCHEZ, III, the nephew of the great champion Salvador Sanchez, and undefeated Dallas wunderkind ROBERTO MARROQUIN in separate non-televised undercard bouts.”

Soto (50-7-2, 32 KOs), of Los Mochis, Mexico, captured the vacant WBC super featherweight in December 2008, winning a lopsided unanimous decision over former WBC interim super featherweight champion and top-rated contender Francisco Lorenzo. Soto successfully defended the title three times in 2009, knocking out Antonio Diaz, Benoit Gaudet and Aristides Perez in a nine-month span, all the more impressive considering they had a combined record of 61-5-1 when he fought them. He enters this fight riding a six-fight winning streak, his most recent victory a December 2009 10-round lightweight unanimous decision over former International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight champion Jesus Chavez.

Diaz (35-2-1, 17 KOs), of Chicago, is looking to regain the WBC lightweight title he lost to pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao in June 2008. A 1996 U.S. Olympian, Diaz captured the WBC interim lightweight title by knocking out defending champion Jose Armando Santa Cruz in the 10th round of their 2006 rumble. He successfully defend the title against future Hall of Famer Erik Morales in 2007, winning a unanimous decision in one of the year’s most exciting fights and sending the three-division world champion into a three-year ring exile. Diaz, currently world-rated No. 7 by the WBC, won his last fight, a 10-round decision over Jesus Chavez.

Castillo (60-9-1, 52 KOs), of Sonora, Mexico, is considered one of the most exciting world champions to come out of Mexico over the past 20 years. A two-time WBC lightweight champion, his 2005 world title unification fight with Diego Corrales was not just the Fight of the Year, but considered by many to be the Fight of the Decade and one of the all-time greats. Diaz has claimed victories over many world champions, including Corrales, Joel Casamayor, Stevie Johnston, Cesar Bazan, Julio Diaz, and Jorge Paez. Since moving up to welterweight, Castillo has won five of his last six bouts, all by knockout including all four of his 2009 fights. He is currently world-rated No. 7 by the WBC.

Gomez (21-4-2, 10 KOs), a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, who fights out of Whittier, Calif., is best known for fighting on the inaugural season of NBC’s “The Contender,” where he went 4-1-1, including a victory over world title challenger Peter Manfredo, Jr. He saved his most impressive victories for after “The Contender,” including a seventh-round knockout of two-division world champion Arturo Gatti and a 10-round decision win over world title challenger Ben Tackie. Since unsuccessfully challenging WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in 2008, he has won his last three fights, two by knockout. He is currently world-rated No. 10 by the WBC and the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

Duddy (28-1, 18 KOs), a native of Derry, Ireland who also fights out of New York, has been a Madison Square Garden fan favorite for most of the last decade. Making his Texas debut, the former WBC Continental Americas middleweight champion boasts a record that includes victories over former world champion Yori Boy Campas, former world title challenger Howard Eastman and rugged contenders Matt Vanda and Anthony Bonsante. Duddy is currently world-rated No. 12 by the WBO.

Medina (22-1-2, 17 KOs), of Monterrey, Mexico, will be making his U.S. debut on this card. The Mexican super welterweight champion since 2007, Medina has successfully defended his title four times and is currently world-rated No. 11 by the WBC.

Remaining Tickets to Pacquiao vs. Clottey, priced at $700, $500, $300, $200, $100, and $50, can be purchased in-person at the Cowboys Stadium box office in Arlington, or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased online at

The Pacquiao vs. Clottey pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight week updates, log on to or


Meet the man to rival Pacquiao

Thursday 11 February 2010
by Phil Barnett

Boxing comment: Venezuelan boxer and Chavez fan Edwin Valero is arguably more exciting than the Filipino star

Anyone still sulking about the collapse of Manny Pacquiao's blockbuster clash with Floyd Mayweather Jnr might just be about to perk up.

The possibility of a scrap between Pacquiao and Edwin Valero will drag even the most disillusioned fight fan out of the doldrums - a mouth-watering scrap rising from the ashes of the scuppered pound-for-pound play-off with Mayweather.

Valero, arguably the only fighter on the planet more exciting than the revered Filipino, has set his sights on what he rightly claims to be "the fight the world wants to see."

While a clash between pound-for-pound king Pacquiao and predecessor Mayweather must, for the good of boxing, happen at some point in the future, a Pacquiao-Valero tear-up would excite most boxing insiders more than any other fight in the last decade.

With a record of 27 stoppages from 27 fights, Valero is the most exciting and aggressive fighter on the planet. Pacquiao, meanwhile, is the most complete fighter of his generation, having started out at light-flyweight before moving through the divisions and dishing out beatings to everyone put in his way.

While Pacquiao-Mayweather would be an intriguing and necessary clash pitting the world's top two against each other, a fight between the Filipino firebrand and Venezuelan Valero would be pure indulgence for the viewing public.

It promises a blur of furious violence so thrilling that nobody would complain about paying hefty pay-per-view fees for a fight likely to last barely a few rounds.

After dismantling tough challenger Antonio DeMarco to force a retirement after nine rounds last weekend, WBC lightweight champion Valero, who moved up a division last year to capture that belt, revealed his ambition to step up again and compete at light-welterweight.

To do so would be to head tantalisingly close to Pacquiao-infested waters.

And just the suggestion of a fight between the two is prompting many in the sport to get excited.

First, it seems likely Valero will jump in at the deep end by challenging WBO light-welterweight champion Tim Bradley and, should he come through, with Pacquiao meanwhile navigating his way past Joshua Clottey, a meeting between the two will move to the top of the agenda.

"That's the fight the world wants to see," Valero said after impressing against DeMarco.

"I demonstrated once again (against DeMarco) that I am a boxer, that I do side steps and I'm technical. I've never said it, but all my team and the people around me know that I can box.

"It's just that a majority of the fights have been against boxers who have gone out early."

While it seems that promoter Bob Arum, who also promotes Pacquiao, is keen to throw him in against Bradley, Venezuelan Valero is also eyeing hardman Juan Diaz.

"I hope that it can be in Texas against the Baby Bull Diaz so I can prove I have power in this weight category," said Valero.

There, however, is the first of two stumbling blocks. Texas is the only place in the US where Valero can fight, because of an ongoing refusal to license him elsewhere due to an old head injury suffered in a motorcycle crash early in his career.

Unless that changes - and it would be a suspicious coincidence for a change of heart to suddenly occur if such a massive fight was in the offing - the fight cannot be staged in Las Vegas or New York.

The other obstacle in Valero's way is his desire to hold onto his WBC lightweight belt, with the scrapper appealing to the governing body to allow him to move up to 140lbs while retaining his title.

Keen to keep one of their most marketable champions, they may cede to his request, while Pacquiao is fighting Clottey in Dallas anyway, so why not stage a showdown there as well?

Valero's biggest challenge will be surviving such a dangerous tune-up fight, however, be it against Diaz or Bradley.

Wherever their allegiance lies, fans of the sweet science will be rooting for both men to come through and remain on this most tantalising collision course.


The third man in the ring for Pacquiao-Clottey?

by Allan Tolentino

Being a referee is a very tough job. It is in the referees' hands to keep the fights in violent order. The job requires tremendous physical and mental competence, as well as strength of character to come up with quick accurate decisions. We have to understand that sometimes a punch can travel 0.004 seconds, almost invisible to the naked eye, plus add the adrenaline and hoopla of the fights, can make any referee get confused and make a wrong judgment or misjudgment.

All men make mistakes. It happens all the time in all officiating officials of any sport. More so in our sport of boxing, back in the day, celebrity champion boxers were tapped to officiate a fight. This is so to amp up the hype and sell more tickets. And the result can be horrible. If we take a look back at Ali vs. Liston 1, former World Heavyweight champion Jersey Joe Walcott was asked to be the referee in the fight. Although Jersey Joe was a very good champion, he was totally inexperienced as a referee! That's why when Ali got Liston down, he couldn't decide if he'll count, or stop the fight or take Ali to the neutral corner. Pandemonium erupted at that moment and he decided to announce Ali as the new champion. But sometimes even a very experienced referee can make a bad judgment or bad misjudgment just like what happened during the Soto vs. Lorezo 1, when Joe Cortez couldn't decide what to do consulting the Nevada State Athletic Officials on the
ring-side while Lorenzo was on the canvass bleeding profusely, then later on decided to announce Lorenzo as the winner by disqualification. But as the saying goes "Nobody is perfect, even referees make mistakes."

But what about if the referee makes too many bad calls?

When I watched Kelly Pavlik vs. Espino fight, I was appalled on how biased the referee in favor of Kelly Pavlik! I have no doubt that Kelly won that fight, but does the referee needed to blatantly side in favor of Kelly Pavlik? You have to wonder why does the referee pulls Espino away but does not push Pavlik? And at the end of the rounds the referee shoves Espino hard. There was one time when Pavlik was taking some punches from Espino and out of nowhere the referee jumped in the middle and broke off the fighters even if there were no clinch! Watch the video clip in youtube at 3:52 second mark. Hilarious!

Now let's try to take a look at the proposed referee for Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight.

Jim Rex Jaca vs. Juan Manuel Marquez: There was a clash of heads in round 8 that bloodied the face of Juan Manuel Marquez. Referee Cole stopped the fight and called for a time-out. He brought Marquez in a corner and had him checked by the ring-side doctor, and you know what he told Marquez? Watch.

He was asking Marquez if he wants to stop the fight and told him he is ahead on the scorecards! What kind of unbiased referee would say something like that?

Now, let's take a look at Pacquiao vs. Barrera 1

Round 1, how the heck can Referee Cole calls that a knockdown in favor of Barrera when Barrera didn't even threw a punch? Round 6, 12 seconds remaining in the round, two solid upper-cuts landed on Barrera's head that sent him crashing to the canvass. And what did Referee Cole called it? A slip!

And now, Referee Laurence Cole was reportedly the referee for the Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight despite of all of these evidence of his bias officiating?

For one, I agree with promoter Gary Shaw when he advocates against these incompetent officials. And what should we do about it? Boycott them!

These incompetent and biased referees and judges, they give boxing a really bad image.

I hope that the powers may be could do something about this.


Not a Sure Thing: Joshua Clottey’s Manny Pacquiao Challenge

By Gina L. Caliboso

Just to be clear, I am not going to begin my article with a lot of reasons on why the Manny Pacquiao – Floyd Mayweather, JR., mega fight never happened.

The ugliness of steroids overall is a horrible yet unfortunate reality about today’s modern athlete. Fingerpointing and lecturing aside, I’ll refrain from further comment that the fight negotiations were just – how can I put this?


I’m just saying that there’s a whole year left. I don’t count out the possibility just yet.

For now, Pacquiao definitely looks like he’s gearing up for the fight against Joshua “Grand Master” Clottey, 35-3, 20 KO’s, set for March 13th at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. But given some thought about Clottey as an opponent, I’ll argue that he may give Pacquiao some competition.

Some competition meaning that the fight is going to end with a unanimous decision in favor of Pacquiao over 12 rounds. However, Clottey is not and should not be taken lightly because there is never a sure thing for a fighter – even for Pacquiao – once he steps into the ring.

I had to look back at some of Clottey’s previous bouts. And, l always feel that looking at a fighter’s losses are more telling and if whether his post loss matches were better or worse. Clottey’s fight record is a veritable list of who’s who in the current welterweight division. And, unlike Pacquiao, he’s always fought at welterweight so he’s established himself at that weight against some heavy hitters and can definitely take some punishment at the hands of his opponents.

From footage I’ve seen, Clottey fights great inside. He has a good jab-hook combination that if properly executed, rocks his opponents. He goes to the body with left uppercuts, followed by barrages of hooks.

Clottey is definitely at his best when he’s in the middle of the ring. He has a tendency to get cornered and as such, doesn’t work too hard to dominate, especially if he’s against the ropes and in the corner. Once he establishes close in-fighting exchanges, he does not back down at all.

Clottey easily loses points when he fails to be aggressive and works tentatively showing moments of strong fighting and winning by points, but then somehow takes times off in a round or two without establishing his will on his opponent. Clottey’s lackluster ring generalship allows his opponents to win rounds he could have easily won if he weren’t so reluctant to exchange.

Now, I just stated that his ring generalship is a little lackluster, but it’s not lacking too much. This is where I just love to theorize about boxing tactics because I definitely think Clottey has an awareness of the referee. Call it “dirty tactics,” but I think Clottey is very aware of the referee in the ring and what he can possibly do to his opponent depending on what the referee may or might not be seeing. Yes, fight fans, others have said it. Clottey is notorious for the timeliness of his clashing of heads. And, it’s usually his opponents that get the worst of these accidental head butts.

Back in 1999 in his fight against Argentina’s Carlos Baldomir, Clottey scored a DQ. He lost two points for his headbutting of Baldomir in the 10th round and repeated a headbutt again in the 11th resulting in the disqualification. Again, timeliness of the head clash, but in this case, he lost big because he was ahead on the judges’ scorecards at the time the fight was stopped.

Back in June 2009, Clottey faced Miguel Angel Cotto. Clottey had suffered a knockdown in the first round. But later, towards the end of round three, Cotto had suffered a cut above his left eye again by an accidental headbutt. Cotto went on to win the fight by split decision over 12 rounds, but the cut didn’t exactly take one or two stitches. According to reports, the cut took 20 total stitches (14 over and 6 below the eye – ouch!)

In this fight, Clottey definitely gave Cotto a hard time despite the knockdown in the first round, but still didn’t really looked like he could beat Cotto.

Clottey is definitely a different type of opponent for Pacquiao. He has solid talent, has shown definite ability to work and exchange on the inside. But as a slow starter, he cannot afford to be tentative. It’s a big moment and venue for the fighter from Ghana. If Clottey can step up his game and the occasion, he has nothing to lose by any means. Given his history of accidental headbutts, Pacquiao’s southpaw stance makes him even more vulnerable to the possibility of a clash of heads.

Pacquiao must show even more technical ability, combined with his speed and power, to take the fight quickly. However, it’s up to Clottey to make this his fight and not make the fight about his opponent Pacquiao. So, was Clottey the safer choice for Pacquiao? Probably, but maybe, just maybe, Clottey will make this fight about giving some competition to Pacquiao.

Will he win?

I say no, but I don’t see him exactly standing there getting beat up either.



Pacquiao Clottey 24/7 Episodes, Pacquiao Clottey The Event, Pacquiao vs Clottey, Pacquiao vs Clottey News, Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming, Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates
By Ed de la Vega, DDS
Thu, 11 Feb 2010

Hollywood actor Danny Trejo (R) poses with P4P king Manny Pacquiao (C) and trainer Freddie Roach at the Wildcard Gym in Hollywood Wednesday. Photo by Dr Ed de la Vega.

LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood television and movie star Danny Trejo came to the Wildcard Gym today (Wednesday, Feb 10) to rub elbows with the famous Filipino spitfire, Manny Pacquiao and give him a souvenir from his huge Hollywood movie hit.

Trejo is one of the pride and joy of the Latino community particularly in the Southern California area.

He is a prolific actor, appearing in many movies and television shows albeit mostly as the “bad guy”.

He was in movies that included big names such as Al Pacino, Nicolas Cage, Robert de Niro, Harrison Ford among others.

Amongst his movie credits are “Dusk Till Dawn”, Machete and “Desperado” where he appeared with Antonio Banderas and Selma Hayek.

He is noted for his distinctive appearance. In addition to his heavily lined face and a mustache, he has a large tattoo of a woman in his chest wearing a sombrero.

Trejo presented Pacquiao a copy of his famous photo from “Desperado” where he shows of his many knives under his long jacket.



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By Ed de la Vega, DDS
Thu, 11 Feb 2010

P4P king Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (L) shakes hands with martial arts expert and movie star Jean Claude Van Damme at the Wildcard Gym in Hollywood Wednesday afternoon after Van Damme paid a surprise visit to Pacquiao who is deep in training for his fight against Joshua Clottey on March 13 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Dr Ed de la Vega.

Feb 11, 2010, LOS ANGELES -- Just before Manny Pacquiao started his afternoon training today a little after 3 PM, we spotted Claude Van Damme walked in to the Wildcard Gym to pay his respects to Pacquiao and visit for a while. Van Damme was escorted to the ringside and introduced to Freddie Roach and Pacquiao by security chief, Rob Peters.

Van Damme is the famous Belgian martial arts artist best known in Hollywood and world over for his martial arts action movies.

His most successful films include Bloodsport in 1988, the Universal Soldier in 1992, Hard Target in 1993 and Timecop in 1994. Van Damme who is a former “Mr. Belgium” is also better known as the “Muscles from Belgium”.

Pacquiao invited Van Damme to Texas to see his fight with Joshua Clottey adding to the array of celebrities that will be flying or driving to Arlington ,Texas to see Pacquiao defend his WBO Welterweight Title against the fame slugger from Ghana, Africa.


Pacquiao Watch: The fight is on (in Sarangani)

by Edwin Espejo

The Philippine election body (Commission on Elections – Comelec) recently dismissed the petition by the lawyers of Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao to disqualify Roy Chiongbian as candidate for the congressional seat the latter’s elder brother Erwin will be vacating come June 30.

The Pacquiao petition is one of the many ill-advised moves made by Manny’s legal team.

Sarangani was created 18 years ago through a bill sponsored by Roy’s late father James Chiongbian. Except for a three-year vacuum (1998-2001) when Lucile Chiongbian-Solon lost to Juan Domino, the Chiongbians have firmly controlled representation for Sarangani in the Philippine Congress.

Domino, by the way, was disqualified even though he won against Roy’s elder sister for lack of residency.

Roy Chiongbian has been anointed by his family to carry the torch their father left behind. Roy’s mother Priscilla was the first governor of the province and was undefeated for three consecutive terms.

Those should have been strong arguments already against the filing of the disqualification case.

Roy has conceded he was seldom seen in the province for several years. He was the chief executive officer of the vast conglomerate their family owned and thus was assigned to their head offices in Metro Manila.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, is a long time resident of General Santos. He ran and lost in 2007 against outgoing Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio by a wide margin.

Manny transferred his “official residence” in Quezon City not long before that loss.

His close political allies and friends however persuaded him to try his luck in Sarangani, hometown of his wife Jinky Jamora.

Before he left to fight Briton Ricky Hatton early last year, Pacquiao filed his transfer of residency in Kiamba town in Sarangani.

Of course, everybody knew that except for brief periods, and especially when Roy and Manny expressed their desire to run for the lone congressional seat of the province, both were hardly seen in their “adopted” hometowns. (Roy Chiongbian is a registered voter in Kiamba like Manny).

The expected Comelec decision to dismiss Pacquiao’s petition only weakens Manny’s claim that Roy has never been a resident of Kiamba although their family owns a house in Kling village where their plantation is located.

As a consequence, that decision gave Roy a weapon of defense against the expected issue branding him as an “absentee resident.”

Had Pacquiao’s lawyers and political advisers left the situation as it is and was, they still could have put Roy on the defensive sans the petition and Roy would have found himself defending his status as a resident of Sarangani.

Well, water is now under the bridge and Manny will have to slug his way against the combined and formidable machineries of the Chiongbians and re-electionist Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Laurence Cole tabbed as Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey referee

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Boxing Examiner | Michael Marley

I have learned that Laurence Cole, the veteran referee who resides in Texas and runs an insurance business, has been tabbed by WBO President Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel as the referee for the Joshua Clottey-Manny Pacquiao welterweight title bout at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on March 13.

I had recently written that Cole, a more than competent referee, would be an obvious choice for the plum assignment.

It was Valcarcel who chose Cole The Younger and not the ref's father Dickie "Old King" Cole, who runs the Texas boxing board.

Laurence just did the WBC lightweight title bout in Monterey, Mexico, between champion Edwin Valero and Antonio DeMarco Saturday night.

Cole also reffed the 2003 bout in San Antonio between Pacman and Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera.

I was speaking with someone today about the burning issue of whether Antonio Margarito will be licensed to fight on the Cowboys Stadium undercard while his California boxer's license is still technically revoked.

"That reminds me," a Texas fight guy said, "of some controversy when they talked of possibly bringing Mike Tyson to our state to fight Lennox Lewis. They asked Dickie and he snapped, "Why the hell not? We ain't got too many choirboys around here."

Tyson a choirboy, funny thought.


Manny Pacquiao's $20,000 plane ride

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International Sports Examiner | Marv Dumon

When I worked in investment banking, we tried to "sell a company" (i.e., partner the client) to a northern-based private equity firm that owned several industrial manufacturing facilities around the U.S.

Given the client's products, operations, markets, and geographic location, it was a perfect fit. Like Pavlov's dogs, we salivated at the fees. The client was seeing green hundred dollar bills in their sleep.

Deal-making - life and humanity - is not always business school science. It is art. The private equity firm was founded (and owned) by a billionaire family - the partner and I spoke to the principal on telephone conference, and his Managing Directors were steaming. They had offered close to $2 million more for the company, than the second highest bidder. But our client, who lived in a rural town, chose the lower offer and partnered with the local group.

A couple of weeks prior, the private equity guys had flown in to the rural town (to inspect the facility) in a private jet. I stepped inside it. It was fancy. They chartered it for the sole purpose of flying in. Bad first impression on a cowboy. If you're going to spend thousands of dollars for simple travel arrangements, instead of spending a few hundred dollars, what will you end up doing to my company which I've built up my entire life? Good question.

Legion Followers

Given the hordes of obsessive fans that follow pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, associates are loaning the Filipino icon with private jets for travel needs. Former Philippine governor Chavit Singson and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum are among two individuals with the means to provide such assistance, and who have done so recently.

In several of Eminem's songs, the rapper discloses the downside of extreme fame. He lamented the inability to perform basic human functions in a bathroom stall without fans asking for an autograph.
Pacquiao's $20,000 Flight

Travel via a private jet becomes the appropriate method in light of the wave of fans attempting to be around Pacquiao. (Hint: Give the man a break, people.) Not bad for a once-aspiring pugilist who used to jog wearing nothing more than worn out slippers in the dirt-patched trails around General Santos City.

Is flying on planes the benchmark practice for today's marketplace athlete? At the all-star level, absolutely. If Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young misses his team's flight back home, he can pull out an American Express credit card and obtain a personally chartered flight, thereby avoiding the airport (and fans) altogether.

There is a time-saving benefit for Manny Pacquiao, an individual who did not want to be driven 30 minutes to a local gym in Arlington, Texas - instead preferring a temporarily constructed one in his hotel building. Saves time. Time is money. But unlikely money, you can never recoup time. It is lost forever, to the Grim Reaper.

A Chartered Life

The chartered flight - on Bob Arum's dime, who ultimately charges his client millions of dollars in promotion-related fees - lets the WBO welterweight champ have uninterrupted moments of peace and quiet. In a taxing physical and mental contest, silence is golden.

There is the risk management element. Security. After Manny's bouts in the U.S., he typically leaves out of LAX (the Los Angeles airport) by way of a Philippine Airlines flight. The media, often a hounding Philippine press, keeps the camera right in front of the Pacman - bright lights, et al, on a plane. (The same questions repeat themselves, like a broken record. Out comes the same answers.)

Ratings equals advertisements. We eat up (and love) their coverage. We propose the Philippine press, and crazed fans, have not read George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior. The bible for personal interactions.

Dozens are simply trying to catch a glimpse or take photos on their cellphone or digital cameras. Many form a circle and try to touch or tug at their idol. A few are looking to monetize the event by thrusting memorabilia at Pacquiao, such as t-shirts, posters, and gloves for a valuable autograph. And just as in a Beatles concert, some just plainly lose their mind and scream at the top of their lungs, followed by sobbing, at the mere sight of Manny. [ Related Resource: 1 (800) THERAPY ]

[ A 2nd Resource: Facebook News on Manny Pacquiao ]

Top Rank's cost? Harvard alum Arum - who bills Manny Pacquiao seven figures in professional services - can shell out between $1,000 to $2,500 per hour for aircraft usage (flight and ground time), depending if it is a light or mid-size jet. Ultimately, the Pacman foots the bill. It's the principal's checkbook that feeds the advisors. (Hello.) In the United States, it's a business expense. Tax deductible. Uncle Sam doesn't get to horde as much. (Sarcasm)

Chartered flights' expenses can vary significantly. London to Paris, one-way, can be about $6,000. California to Dallas, Texas - three hours. And return flight - three hours. Six hours plus ground time. Assuming $2,000 per hour, say $14,000. Alright, a $20,000 round trip bill would be much (as an estimate). But you add in the two press tours which took place in Dallas and New York. That's a lot of hours. The cost in growing the appetite for luxuries? Inestimable.

When you teach a behavior, you form a habit. An excessively expensive one. (Arum, what are you doing? We see you.) The question is, from which lenses are these expenses being viewed from? The "cowboy in a rural town"? Or the "private equity big shots"? Or simply the obsessive lenses, too crazed and who are after an autograph - despite being in a bathroom setting. One thing is certain. Manny Pacquiao is running for office in May. There's plenty of poor voters.

No longer a banker, and converted to a lowly writer who must now fight Top Rank for all-access press credentials, I make my trek from Houston to Cowboys Stadium the week of March 13. iPod in tow, with old school Michael Jackson songs blaring on my eardrums, my travel costs round trip will be approximately $70 in gas from a fuel efficient Honda Accord. Plus hotel. Windows down - driving fast - pursuing what you love, life is still good.



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How Clottey’s training struggles might impact Pacquiao’s future fights

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Written by: Scott Heritage on 10th February 2010

Bob Arum has said that Manny Pacquiao is ready to fight already, several weeks out from his March 13th date with Joshua Clottey.

Freddie Roach countered this by saying that he was still a few weeks away in terms of complete preparations, but that he is in good shape already.

At the same time though there are several reports which suggest that Clottey’s training isn’t going so well, mainly because his trainer was denied entrance to the United States.

Visa’s can be denied for all manner of reasons, although are usually a result of either incorrect paperwork or some kind of criminal record or incident when last in the States.

Clottey’s trainers problems aren’t being made public, and in fact the reasons for a Visa being denied are not always even shared fully with the person applying for one, but at this stage it doesn’t look like he will be there for the majority of Clottey’s training.

You might think that this is great news for Pacquiao, and that he should have an even bigger advantage against Clottey than many are already giving him.

In actual fact though this is probably bad news for all concerned because if enough people think that the fight will be one sided, then the pay per view figures could be affected.

As fun as it might be watching a one sided beating due to skill, it isn’t that much fun when one guy is clearly not in shape.

Clottey, who has a tendency for spells of inactivity within fights anyway, needs to be on top of his game against someone like Pacquiao who won’t stop coming so long as he’s conscious.

Normally this wouldn’t be that much of a problem, and a few hundred thousand people buying or not buying is simply an inconvenience and a few million less dollars in the pockets of each fighter.

This time out though Pacquiao will be looking to draw every buyer he can so that future negotiations with Floyd Mayweather are kept on an even footing.

The last time out the drug testing issue was what stopped the fight being made, and the purse split was agreed fairly quickly at 50/50 for each fighter.

As first reported by my Examiner cohort Michael Marley though, this agreement will be blown out of the water unless both Pacquiao and Mayweather do similar numbers in pay per view sales against Clottey and Shane Mosley in the coming months.

IF either fighter sells substantially more than the other, then they will claim to be the bigger star, and no doubt demand a bigger share of the purse than 50%.

As it stands, Mosley is a much bigger star than Clottey to begin with, and Pacquiao isn’t known for hyping fights up with lots of trash talk and attention grabbing. Perhaps not the most genuine means of selling a fight, but it works either way.

That looked to have been equaled out by way of the Cowboys stadium and all the extra media attention that the fight was given because of the venue, although this now might not be enough.

If the casual fans are deciding which pay per view to buy and have a choice between Pacquiao beating a guy who didn’t even train properly and Mayweather finally fighting a top welterweight who has a decent chance of beating him, then a lot of them will buy Floyd rather than Manny.

There are fans of either who will want to watch their guy and fans who will just watch both, but if Mayweather can convince enough of the people that his fight will be more competitive, then he might well win the ratings war.

Top Rank needs to send some of their fleet of lawyers to get Clottey’s trainer into the country quickly, or at least get Joshua’s head on straight and make sure he’s training to give it his all.

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