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Thursday, February 18, 2010

With his confidence running high, the boxing public weighs in on Joshua Clottey

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Las Vegas Boxing Examiner | Chris Robinson

Joshua Clottey could probably be forgiven for being a little frustrated at this moment in his career. Despite having a dream showdown with WBO Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao right around the corner, the Accra, Ghana native reportedly hasn’t had the smoothest of training camps for the bout. The problems seem to stem from Clottey’s trainer being denied his visa in order to make the trek to America, making the former champion’s seemingly uphill battle against Pacquiao even more of a task.

Clottey is currently training at Contender’s Gym in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The facility is run by former two-time champion John David Jackson, who has had a chance to see Clottey’s regimen in person. Jackson claims that despite the confusion in Clottey’s corner it is obvious he is priming himself for the March 13th contest to the best of his abilities.

In a recent BoxingScene interview with Ryan Burton, Clottey spoke not like a man distracted but instead like someone fully appreciative of the opportunity he has been given. Clottey has seen his share of hard luck in the past and simply seemed to take the absence of his trainer as best he could. Clottey also opened up on how important the fight is to his country and gave his thoughts on Freddie Roach’s remarks that Pacquiao would score a knockout. All the while Clottey strayed away from any trash talk and his confidence in his abilities seemed to be genuine.

Wanting to get a further feel for what everyone has to say about Clottey’s recent confusion with his corner and his chances against Pacquiao next month I gathered up some choice comments from some select forums and message boards online. In their own words, this is what the public is saying about Joshua Clottey…

(Biolink @…
“But on the real, I was thinking about the fight, and I do see Pacquiao having a tough time initially. If Clottey doesn't get Pac out of there within the 1st 5 though, its pretty much a wrap for him”

(RedBlackAttack @…
“Clottey has the same propensity to find ways to lose fights as Cintron. His heart has also been questioned on more than one occasion. By all accounts, he should have beaten Cotto, but he inexplicably decided to coast in the second half of the fight. He has had opportunities to become a really elite fighter and he has failed each time. That is why I don't put him on the level of Floyd, Pac and Shane. Clottey MIGHT be a Top 5 welterweight... Shane, Floyd, Pac, Cotto are all ahead of him and probably Berto, too. I don't remember a guy that is No. 6 in a division getting these kinds of accolades.”

(BJ* @…
“the sports radio station was giving away fight tix today...they kept saying "whoever this clottey guy is", "pacquaio's next victim i guess"..."enter now for a chance to see Pacquaio against some guy named Clottey" almost makes me want to give Clottey a chance”

(Emeritus @…
“The chips are stacked against him! I hope he can come through and put in a good showing if he were to win, man that would be incredible!”

(Drunken Cutman @…
“I'm fascinated by the style matchup in this fight. but also by their different physical gifts and features. This would be a damn good fight.”

(Left Hook Yuri @…
“Pac will prison rape Clottey. This is a f***** mismatch.200k that Clottey doesn't win 2 rounds”

(DonDadda59 @…
“Good for Joshua, he's been in wars with the likes of Zab Judah, Margarito, Cotto, Corrales, etc. He earned this big pay day and opportunity for Manny's belt. Guy is tough, technically sound, and has a granite chin. He also comes into his fights at around 170, so it's a tall order for WaPakman, this isn't a 'tuneup' in the least, this is a serious championship fight. Nice replacement”

(Xplosive @…
“Clottey wont win.... he'll choke as always.”

(NeckBreaknAiken @…
“Absolutely not. Clottey is gonna whip that boy's ass with or without his trainer.
I just feel bad that he won't be here to witness it in person.”

(BabyBull1289 @…
“If Clottey fights his perfect fight (rounds 1-4 of his fight with Margarito, the middle rounds of his fight with Cotto and the final rounds of his fight with Castillo), I still think he has an uphill battle. How many rounds would have have to win to win a decision? 9? 10? That said, this will be the best defensive fighter Pac has ever fought. Defense may win championships but it doesn’t win boxing matches. Clottey HAS to let his hands go and Manny is a tough guy to pull the trigger against (ask Oscar). I want Josh to win badly but this smells like a 117-111 type win for Manny with Josh just not doing enough.”

(Marciano90s @…
“ill go for pac for sure no doubt.but i got alot of respect for clottey so even if he wins i would be happy cuz clottey is a great fighter.but pbf vs clottey would be a no story”

(Lebron23 @…
“Joshua Clottey is way better than Foreman, Malignalli, and Hatton. It's going to be the toughest fight for Pac because Clottey is a full pledge middleweight during fight night.”

(lb 4 lb @…
“The stupid studio execs on ESPN actually said that Cotto wiped the floor with Clottey. F****** idiots. If they didn't see the fight they shouldn't comment on it and just not mention boxing like usual. What they should have done was discuss Pacquiao which is what they're doing anyway. They're not there to discuss boxing, they're there to talk about Pacquiao because to him and the rest of the world, he's the story, not boxing”

(BoxingHistory @…
“Clottey will not hit the floor or get a 10 count or retire 2 days later. What's going to happen is Clottey is going to win this fight. I for one will not be shocked because I know what kind of fighter Clottey is. Everyone has jumped on the Pacman express but next month Clottey is going to derail that train. Manny will get busted up in this fight. I have no doubt about this.”

(BALLin01 @…
“This should be a good fight. Clottey is a good opponent, wish he would have fought Mayweather instead though. This isn't going to be a walk in the park for Pac. Clottey is another big Welterweight with a good chin. Should be an amazing fight.”

(Lefty @…
“Don't know, got a feeling Manny might get derailed in this fight. It's got upset written all over it.”

(check hook @…
“He seems to be in the right place mentally and enjoying boxing. One thing that has really stuck with me lately is something Tyson says quite often, and that is that it is the fighter who really enjoys what he does, enjoys being in the ring..... is a happy fighter etc etc is the fighter that will perform and always does well, not the "surly" mean fighter. I notice with Pac and Floyd they are always smiling, joking, enjoy boxing, the atmosphere, the crowd, the fans, pressers etc....and always seem to be relaxed and really take pleaseure in what they do and they end up really performing when they get to the ring. Clottey and Shane IMO are sharing this attitude atm and hopefully it will make for 2 very good fights!!!”

“Pacquiao will win. Clottey will start off on the right track, or atleast be competitive, as Cotto was early on, but as Manny picks up the pace and lets his hands go more, Clottey will turn gunshy and go into a defensive shell. While he is a skillful technician, he's still pretty stationary. Pacquiao has faster hands and feet.”

(Eploos @…
“I love this fight, I actually wanted to see this fight for a while now , i wonder if Manny Makes Josh fight him at a catch weight, i mean he made cotto do it and they were pretty even in size, Clottey is huge for the weight, cant wait my bday is on the 13 so this is A OK with me, Margarito has my attention in a way a freak show sort of way, im curious to see if this guy was all hype filled plaster fighter, i know its sick but im sure im not alone, and yeah i would buy this on ppv,”

(Iceta Lives @…
“It's easy to not be afraid of anybody when you know you'll keep getting rewarded for losing like he is against Pacquiao. Watch Clottey just show up for the pay check.”

(meetthefeebles @…
“Clottey has the tools to win. He's a sturdy enough WW with an excellent peek-a-boo defense and solid punching fundamentals. The problem is, of course, that he always finds a way to lose the really big fights and I'd be fairly stunned if he broke with tradition and didn't do something similar here.”

“Sure, Clottey might be hungry and look at this as his last chance but for a guy who was largely unknown when he fought Margarito three years ago, he's had quite a few last chances. And while he has teased, he hasn't been rise against the better opposition. On the contrary, he's come up small at the biggest moments. He had every reason to close the show with a convincing win, monster win over Cotto and took his foot off the gas--has anyone come up with a reason why yet? Not to mention the flopping. For a guy as "tough" as they come, he sure seemed...I don't know. And that's without getting into his behavior against Baldomir and the uneven performance against Margarito. I too thought he would step to the plate against Cotto. I know a pattern when I see one. Clottey has shown that he knows how to lose but doesn't have it takes to win. He's already been slapped silly at the negotiating table. Can you blame some for expecting the same in the ring”

(jameshepenstall @…
“Clottey will be up for this one and can honestly say i think he is the hardest boxer in the world today, ive not seen him rocked by anyone (the Cotto knockdown was off balance and he wasnt hurt). Even Margarito couldnt hurt him. I f Manny KO's Clottey then ill bow to Manny and call him best fighter ever.”

(The Sneaky@…
“Clottey was hitting Judah almost at will with the right straight and right jab and Judah is no slouch in terms of being able to slip punches and counter or get away from them. Pac was eating rights from Morrales and Marquez all night and they are not even as fast or powerful with their right hand as Clottey is and Clottey has a longer reach than both. Clottey's hand speed is very underrated. He has quick hands. Not as quick as Pac but really fast and accurate. He wasn't noticeably outspeeded by Cotto or even by Judah. Don't take my word of it. Watch his fight with Judah. If you can't see that from that fight, then I guess Clottey has no skills at all in your book.”


Rankings: Floyd’s mouth roars

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By Kevin Iole

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. continue to hold the top two spots in the Yahoo! Sports boxing rankings. And it continues to seem as if they’ll never meet each other.

The two men agreed on virtually every aspect of a bout, including a date, a site, a name (Mayweather-Pacquiao in the U.S., Pacquiao-Mayweather internationally) and, most importantly, money.

Mayweather even agreed to a Pacquiao demand of a $10 million per pound penalty for any weight over 147 pounds. But they couldn’t agree on random, Olympic-style drug testing and the bout fell apart.

Mayweather gave a revealing interview with his hometown newspaper, The Grand Rapids Press, in which he suggested that he’ll no longer agree to a 50-50 money split.

Instead of meeting each other, as sports fans were demanding, Mayweather is fighting Shane Mosley on May 1 in Las Vegas, while Pacquiao faces Joshua Clottey on March 13 in Arlington, Texas.

Both fights are on pay-per-view, but the Mayweather-Mosley fight is expected to far outdo it in sales. The Pacquiao-Clottey fight, which is at Cowboys Stadium, will draw perhaps as many as three times as many fans, though the Mayweather-Mosley gate will be larger due to substantially higher ticket prices.

But if Mayweather-Mosley, which has stronger name value between both fighters, does better on pay-per-view than Pacquiao-Clottey, the likelihood of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight ever occurring diminishes greatly. The sides had quickly agreed on terms before, with each man guaranteed $25 million plus a share of the pay-per-view proceeds.

Mayweather, though, will be watching the numbers intently. And if Mayweather and Pacquiao each win, agreeing to financial terms won’t be as easy as it was the first time. “Instead of 20 or 25 (million dollars), he may have to drop to 15, or 17,” Mayweather told Mayo. “And you know me, they may have to throw that extra five or 10 on mine, and we can rock and roll. Take it or leave it.”

And Mayweather also told Mayo that he won’t compromise any longer on the drug testing issue. He agreed to halt testing 14 days out from the fight as they were attempting to reach a deal, but Pacquiao wanted 24 days.

Now, Mayweather says, there will be no cutoff or there will be no fight. “I gave him a chance, up to 14 days out,” Mayweather said. “But my new terms are all the way up to the fight. They can come get us whenever, all the way up to the fight, random drug test. That’s what it is.”

And so it seems that the question of deciding who is best between Pacquiao and Mayweather will be decided by words and polls, and not by punches in the ring. With that, let’s take a look at this month’s rankings:

1. Manny Pacquiao
Points: 279 (27 of 28 first-place votes)
Record: 50-3-2 (38 KOs)
Title: WBO welterweight champion
Last outing:: TKO12 over Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14

Previous ranking:: 1
Up next: vs. Joshua Clottey on March 13 in Arlington, Texas
Analysis:Fans still eager for bout with Mayweather

2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Points: 252 (1 of 28 first-place votes)
Record: 40-0 (25 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing:: W12 over No. 6 Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19
Previous ranking:: 2
Up next: May 1 fight vs. No. 4 Shane Mosley in Las Vegas
Analysis: The game’s best defensive fighter

3. Paul Williams

Points: 186
Record: 38-1 (27 KOs)
Title: WBO junior middleweight champion
Last outing:: W12 over Sergio Martinez on Dec. 5
Previous ranking:: 4
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis:Can be a factor at 147, 154 and 160

4. Shane Mosley

Points: 184
Record: 46-5 (39 KOs)
Title: WBA welterweight champion
Last outing:: TKO9 over Antonio Margarito on Jan. 24, 2009
Previous ranking:: 3
Up next: May 1 vs. No. 2 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas
Analysis: Will fight on 17-month layoff.

5. Bernard Hopkins

Points: 127
Record: 50-5-1 (32 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing:: W12 over Enrique Ornelas on Dec. 2
Previous ranking:: 5
Up next: vs. Roy Jones Jr. on April 3 in Las Vegas
Analysis:Fight with Jones to settle old score.

6. Juan Manuel Marquez

Points: 115
Record: 50-5-1 (37 KOs)
Title: WBA, WBO lightweight champion
Last outing:: L12 to No. 2 Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 19
Previous ranking:: 6
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Inexplicably declined super lightweight title bout with Amir Khan.

7. Chad Dawson

Points: 89
Record: 28-0 (17 KOs)
Title: Interim WBC light heavyweight champion
Last outing:: W12 over Glen Johnson on Nov. 7
Previous ranking:: 8
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Hasn’t faced fighter younger than 39 in more than two years

8. Arthur Abraham

Points: 81
Record: 31-0 (25 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing:: TKO12 Jermain Taylor on Oct. 17
Previous ranking:: 7
Up next: March 6 vs. Andre Dirrell in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Analysis: Co-favorite in Super Six tournament.

9. Wladimir Klitschko
Points: 45
Record: 53-3 (47 KOs)
Title: IBF, WBO heavyweight champion
Last outing:: TKO9 over Ruslan Chagaev on June 20
Previous ranking:: 9
Up next: March 20 vs. Eddie Chambers in Dusseldorf, Germany
Analysis: Extremely gifted big man

10. Juan Manuel Lopez

Points: 26
Record: 28-0 (25 KOs)
Title: WBO featherweight champion
Last outing:: TKO7 over Steven Luevano on Jan. 23
Previous ranking:: 10
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Eyeing showdown with Yuriorkis Gamboa for featherweight supremacy.

Others receiving votes: Ivan Calderon, 30; Timothy Bradley, 24; Miguel Cotto, 18; Vitali Klitschko, 15; Israel Vazquez, 12; Nonito Donaire, 10; Sergio Martinez, 10; Celestino Caballero, 9; Yuriorkis Gamboa, 9; Chris John, 7; Hozumi Hasegawa, 3; Andre Ward, 1.

Voting panel: Raul Alzaga, Primera Hora; Ron Borges, Boston Herald; Steve Cofield, Yahoo! Sports; Dave Cokin, ESPN Radio 1100, Las Vegas; Andrew Eisele,; Scott Fyfe, Sunday Post, Scotland; Thomas Gerbasi,; Lee Groves,; Thomas Hauser, Seconds; Keith Idec, Herald News, New Jersey; Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports; Michael Katz, Gaming Today; Scott Mallon, Asian Boxing News; Rich Marotta, Fox Sports Net; David Mayo, Grand Rapids Press; Franklin McNeil, Newark Star Ledger; Gunnar Meinhardt, Die Welt; Robert Morales, Los Angeles Daily News; Marty Mulcahey,; Kieran Mulvaney, Reuters; Brett Okamoto, Las Vegas Sun; Santos Perez, Miami Herald; Martin Rogers, Yahoo! Sports; Michael Rosenthal, Ring; Tim Smith, New York Daily News; T.K. Stewart,; Paul Upham, Seconds; John Whisler, San Antonio Express News.


Manny, Michael, and Kobe: What Basketball Reveals About Pacquiao

Forgive all the basketball talk but with the trade deadline only hours ago I've had my second favorite sport on the brain (I like the Jamison trade but am distraught over no Amar'e in Cleveland). Courtesy of Elie Seckbach from fanhouse we now have ever more footage of Manny shooting hoops.

Besides the obvious question of whether it's wise to be playing, with marginal athletes, a sport prone to rolled ankles only weeks away from a multi-million dollar event the footage of Manny is still illuminating to me. Perhaps it's because I'm equally accustomed to making outsized claims about an athlete's personality based on their basketball game as I am for their actions in the boxing ring, but seeing Manny play is a revelation.

For some reason when hearing about Pacquiao's love of the sport I had always thought he would play as an unselfish facilitator, someone who would look to get his teammates involved before getting his own shot. Manny always seemed to me a man concerned with other peoples happiness, sometimes to a fault. I imagined him as an expert passer who would get more aggressive as the game progressed.

But to see his actual play style - an aggressive and reckless gunner with profound self-confidence - has fundamentally changed the way I think about him. He's not great, but he plays as though he thinks he is. I had always placed Pacquiao outside of the familiar story of the unnaturally competitive champions - the Jordans, Kobes, and Tigers - but it seems now that is clearly wrong. Of course, it's extrapolating too much to make any grand statements from brief footage of an athlete's second favorite sport, but to me it's right there in the footage.

Manny Pacquiao is a killer. He's a competitor of the highest level and he has the same drive and ego we see in every other elite champion. He does it with a smile on his face, which is what is so disorienting and confusing, but he has no less a desire and cruel hunger for glory and victory than any of his coequals in the other sports.

I talked earlier this week about why I don't think Freddie Roach is right when he suggests that Manny Pacquiao's retirement is imminent, watching this footage only adds to that belief. Manny is a competitor and performer of the highest order. He loves being the center of attention, having the ball in his hand. Whether it's launching broken jumpers or standing at center ring Manny has a self-confidence and will to win that is masked, but not concealed by his amiable personality.

Beneath the smile and the singing, Manny is a killer.


LA boys exploiting Pacquiao

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By Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:05:00 02/19/2010

Dashing and dapper in a three-piece suit, boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, as expected, was a big hit with the predominantly Filipino crowd at the Pavilion of the Hilton Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where the Pinoy Power 3/Latin Fury fight card was held on Valentine weekend.

Media friends who covered the event swore love was in the air as Manny and wife Jinkee greeted their friends, fans and kababayans.

My veteran colleague Ronnnie Nathanielsz, for one, said he was overwhelmed by the romantic aura exuded by the couple that night.

“Jinkee looked really lovely, while Manny was all smiles and obviously happy,” said Ronnie, who covered the Las Vegas fight with Dyan Castillejo for ABS-CBN. “He had a broad grin on his face as he moved around acknowledging the cheers and the handshakes from fellow Filipinos, Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Latino fans.

“Every TV network covering the event that night was scrambling for an interview with the pound-for-pound king. Not only that, everyone tried to get him to join their broadcast panel.”

* * *

Of course, Manny ended up with the tandem of Ronnie and Dyan.

“Manny was clearly in his element as he talked about his fight with Joshua Clottey in Texas next month,” Ronnie related. “He also talked about a program series that he wanted to do. Actually, we had talked about it in the past and the plan was to telecast all his old fights when he was still a kid and feature it on the late Rod Nazario’s “Blow by Blow” weekly TV show.”

“Of course, Manny’s stature, fame and fortune have skyrocketed since.”

* * *

Incidentally, many of the champ’s countrymen find disturbing the report that Manny is dangling a $20,000 prize for the member of Team Pacquiao who will lose the most number of pounds before the fight.

Instead of spending his money on incentives like this, the critics feel that Pacquiao could alleviate the plight of his poor countrymen at home by helping them get started on small livelihood projects.

“These people around Manny get fat eating off him, and now he will reward them for losing weight,” said one critic. “These LA (Los Angeles) boys whom he continues to coddle will be the first to forget him when his days as champion are over.”

* * *

Last week, Solar Sports’ lovely corporate communications manager Trisha Ocampo hosted a small get-together for members of the sports press to usher in the Winter Games, which is being aired here by the network.

Although we were still unaware that some half-Filipinos were among the participants, the press boys jokingly offered a toast to the Philippines’ first Winter Olympics gold medal.

We drank to that, not knowing that it might come true.

The other day, the papers carried the news about a certain John Robert Celski winning the bronze medal in the 1,500-meter short track speed skating event.

Celski is a Filipino-American representing the United States. His mother is a Filipino from Isabela, which makes him half-Filipino. He is very proud of his breed and he shows it by having the Philippine flag tattooed on his chest.

On Feb. 26, John Robert guns for the gold in the 5,000m relay, and we will see him do this on Solar TV.

If he wins, can we claim that the Philippines has finally bagged a Winter Olympics gold?

I don’t think so. In the 1950s, a full-blooded Filipino diver won the gold in her event but credit went to the US, because she was married to an American and was herself an American citizen.

Nonetheless, we will be very happy for Celski if he wins the gold.

* * *

Amanda Evora, the other Fil-Am participant in the Vancouver Winter Games, did not turn out to be as lucky as Celski.

The petite 25-year-old Evora, whose father hails from Calapan, Mindoro, and partner Mark Ladwig finished 10th in figure skating pairs’ short course and the free skate events. Reports have it that Evora and Ladwig were victims of questionable judging.

Celski and Evora are only two of the about 2,500 athletes from 82 countries competing in the 21st Winter Games.


Roach: Opening rounds hard for Pacquiao, Clottey

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MANILA, Philippines – Although boxing coach Freddie Roach is confident that Manny Pacquiao will demolish Joshua Clottey, he sees a very hard fight for both boxers.

The prized trainer said he thinks the March 13 bout between reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champ Pacquiao and challenger Clottey might even turn out just like the Miguel Cotto fight last November.

“Just like the Cotto fight... the first half of the fight will be really, really hard for both guys,” Roach said in an interview with

Roach, who oversees Pacquiao’s training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California, acknowledges Clottey’s durability.

He, however, said the Ghanaian’s defense leaves much to be desired so he expects his Filipino ward to assert himself by the middle rounds.

“We will take over in the middle or late rounds,” said Roach.

Passive defense
Roach said he has patterned some of Pacquiao’s strategies against the Ghanaian’s “amateurish” defense.

“He's passive, he's way too passive,” he said while describing Clottey’s defensive stance. “That works in the amateurs. There's no counter punching in that defense. He waits for you to finish your combinations then he throws.”

Roach said the only way Clottey would be effective against Pacquiao is if the Ghanaian engages the Filipino into a full fight.

This means Clottey would have himself get hit before he can tag Pacquiao with power punches.

“For him to be effective, he has to hit while we're engaging also for him to land that power shot, but he seems like he doesn't do that a lot,” said the boxing coach.

Waiting for Pacquiao to get tired would only bring Clottey more trouble.

“[Because] Pacquiao… doesn't get tired,” said Roach.


Column: Pacman don’t need no ’roids, he’s got dynamite!

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By Mark Lee
Northwest Asian Weekly

he Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight has now been called off. Pacquiao has also filed a defamation lawsuit against Mayweather, his father Floyd Sr., his uncle Roger, and Golden Boy Promotions for allegedly accusing him of using performance-enhancing drugs.

The controversy started after Pacquiao knocked out British boxer Ricky Hatton in the second round last year. Hatton was trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr. Before the Hatton fight, several British papers reported that Floyd Sr. was going to get fired by Hatton’s camp for problems that included showing up late for training.

After Hatton was knocked out, Floyd did not try to support his fighter. Instead, he signed autographs, and during the post-fight conference, he blamed Hatton by claiming that he did not follow his instructions about keeping his hands up. He also stated that Hatton should retire.

At some point, after the Hatton fight, Floyd Sr. also claimed that Pacquiao had to be on steroids given how hard he hit Hatton.

Fast forward a few months and a fight is scheduled with Floyd Sr.’s son. The steroid issue was raised again, and after lengthy negotiations, the fight was eventually called off. The Mayweather camp wanted blood tests by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which conducts tests anytime a fight is signed to the fight date. However, the Pacquiao camp refused to provide these samples. They were only willing to allow blood to be taken from Pacquiao at least 30 days before the fight date, as well as immediately after the conclusion of the bout. Freddie Roach, on the other hand, commented that he would allow a blood sample to be taken from Pacquiao at least one week before the fight.

None of the news reports I have seen ever mentioned any solid evidence of steroid use such as witnesses who claimed they supplied steroids to Pacquiao. Floyd Sr. started the whole controversy by insulting Pacquiao and insisting that he had to be on steroids. He has a pattern of obnoxious behavior. For example, before the Hatton fight, he called Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie “the joke” Roach. Pacquiao should not have had to go out of his way to accommodate Mayweather, and it is understandable that he eventually decided to not bother doing business with someone who is disrespectful.

Pacquiao’s physique does not appear to show signs associated with steroid use such as upper body acne. He did bulk up from fighting at 106 pounds when he was 16 to his current 147-pound fighting weight at age 31.

However, people ofen fill out as they get older. Pacquiao’s strength coach, the usually reserved Alex Ariza, felt compelled to defend his fighter to the press and detailed the boxer’s 7,000-calorie diet, approved supplemental intake, and natural physique.

His power comes from the combination of a number of factors. Basically, power is a product of mass times speed. The faster you punch, the harder you hit. But you also need to coordinate your motions so that you get the maximum weight behind the punch.

Pacquiao has a lot of leg strength, which he uses to drive his upper body in transmitting power into his fists.

He has developed the ability to hit from a variety of angles, and he has excellent footwork, which puts him into a position where he can blast through his opponents guard.

There are many factors that give the “Pacman” his winning edge, and steroid use is highly unlikely.

Pacquiao does not like to get his blood drawn shortly before a fight because of his belief that it weakens him.

Some news reports made it sound like taking blood is just a pin prick. I called up a local lab testing service and was told a minimum sample takes at least 3 milliliters. The sample size can vary depending on how the blood test is conducted. In some cases, the blood sample can fill up the whole collection vial and be as much as 8 milliliters. This is quite a bit more than just a drop.

Pacquiao is now scheduled to fight Joshua Clottey, who is from Ghana. Unlike Mayweather, who is more of a tactical defensive boxer, Clottey has a reputation as an aggressive fighter. He also comes across as polite and leaves out the tiresome trash talk you hear from a lot of fighters. At 5’9”, he has a substantial size advantage over Pacquiao. But as we know, that didn’t stop Pacquiao from annihilating Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto.

The fight is scheduled for March 13, and it should an exciting one! ♦


Exclusive: Ariza believes Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather split permanent

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By Gareth A Davies

Alex Ariza, Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach believes the Mayweather-Pacquiao axis could be irretrievably split. Ariza, for the past two and a half years the head strength and conditioning coach at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym, in Hollywood, told Telegraph Sport that the schism between the two sets of promoters has left a bitter taste in the two camps.

The pair – Roach and Ariza – deal with both promoters. Pacquiao is promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. based in Las Vegas; Khan’s future – since he parted with British promoter Frank Warren earlier in the years – is now being overseen by Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, in Los Angeles.

Ariza told me this week that he has genuine, serious doubts that the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout, which was expected to generate in the region of $200 million, will ever come to fruition.

“I really don’t think so. I don’t think it will be anything to do with Manny and Mayweather in the end. I think it will come down to the relations between Bob Arum and Golden Boy. Bob Arum was seriously fed up of the messing for this fight – and wanted to get it signed,” he said.

“They don’t want to mess around with Mayweather. I think for him it is a case of whether he humbles himself and raises his position walks into Golden Boy’s offices and just signs the papers. There isn’t anything to say about it. If Mayweather wants the fight he is going to have to bite his tongue and go with whatever is stipulated in the contract.”

“Will Mayweather do that ? I think he won’t. Not once he sees what Manny does against Joshua Clottey. That’s going to instil even more fear into Mayweather.”

One thing is certain. Mayweather, purported to have serious tax debts, needs the fight more than Pacquiao, who has, in is mind, the pressing matter of an election to campaign for in The Philippines.

If boxing’s biggest fight for a generation fails to materialise, between the two top pound for pound fighters of this generation – which seems improbable on deep analysis – the sport will have shot itself in the foot. This fight, which had the world talking about in December, must happen.


Pacquiao’s training hits a high chord

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February 18, 2010, 5:43pm

With folk music blaring on the background, Manny Pacquiao, the current king of boxing, spoke the language of confidence Thursday moments after another tough day at the Wild Card Boxing Club, his training headquarters for the March 13 clash with Joshua Clottey in Dallas.

“No problem, I feel very good,” Pacquiao told The Bulletin after having his favorite meal at a Thai food restaurant located a few steps from the gym. "Tell our people that there's nothing to worry as I am training hard."

Pacquiao stressed that having little time for a good vacation after beating Miguel Cotto late last year turned out to be a blessing since he is not having a hard time getting back in shape.

“After only two weeks in the gym, I already felt great and I think it was not only because I am coming off a tough fight but I had to immediately report back to training camp,” said Pacquiao, who asked his interviewer to hold the long distance call while he sings the final notes of a song on karaoke.

As soon as he belted out the last note, Pacquiao was on the line again, assuring the man on the other end that there’s nothing to worry about as far as his preparation is concerned.

Pacquiao’s assurance that everything is right on track was echoed by Alex Ariza, the Filipino fighter’s touted conditioning coach.

“Manny is ready to fight this Saturday,” said Ariza, who marveled at the way the 32-year-old pound-for-pound king handled himself with the punch mitts during Wednesday’s workout.

“He did 15 rounds in the mitts without even a sip of water,” narrated Ariza.

Over at Clottey’s training camp in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, the boxingscene website reported that the Ghana slugger is also right on the money.

Clottey has been working out at the Contender’s Gym the last three weeks under the guidance of a new set of trainers since Godwin Dzanie Kotey, his long-time trainer, has yet to be granted a renewal of his US visa.

Despite the drawback, Clottey said he has no other choice but to move on.

“I already know in my head what I am going to do and how I am going to win,” Clottey said.


KTLA Exclusive: One on One with Manny Pacquiao

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4:03 AM PST, February 18, 2010

HOLLYWOOD -- Tucked away in a Hollywood strip mall, the best boxer in the word is hard at work in a small gym, preparing for his next fight.

But while Manny Pacquiao gets ready for a Texas duel with Josh Clottey, the biggest questions surround who he's not fighting, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

After nearly reaching an agreement, the mega-fight fell apart because of questions about different types of drug testing.

Pacquiao didn't want his blood taken because of personal preferences and beliefs, giving Mayweather a chance to walk away from the fight.

Regardless of the testing, the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and his trainer, still want a shot at Mayweather.

KTLA's Cher Calvin sat down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with Manny Pacquiao.


After Clottey, what’s next for Manny Pacquiao: Mayweather, Margarito, or Retirement?

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Sacramento Fight Sports Examiner | Rick Rockwell

Over the last few days, Pacquiao’s post-Clottey options have expanded. According to Bob Arum we could see a possible fight with Antonio Margarito; According to Freddie Roach, we could see Manny retire; and of course, there’s still the showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. But, what will Manny actually do? Let’s examine Manny's post-Clottey options.

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Out of all the options this one seems to be the least likely. Over the last week, Floyd has come out and said that he will now demand random blood testing all the way up to the fight which everyone knows that Pacquiao is against. In addition to this, Floyd also said the purse won’t be a 50/50 split if his fight with Mosley does better than the Pacquiao v. Clottey fight. This won’t sit well with Top Rank Promotions because Manny will still be the champion and the #1 rated ‘pound for pound’ boxer in the world. There’s no way that he doesn’t deserve at least an equal split.

Antonio Margarto

“We will see what happens with Margarito. But if everything turns out well and Manny wins the fight with Clottey and Margarito wins one or two more fights, then the plan would continue to put them together in November.” Bob Arum, Boxing Scene

Douglas Johnson Sacramento, CA ‘What do you think about the possible match up against Margarito?”

Honestly, I only see this fight happening if Mayweather beats Mosley and they don’t get a deal done. If Mosley wins, then you can pencil in a Mosley vs. Pacquiao fight for November or December. But, like I mentioned before, I don’t think Margarito deserves a shot against Manny. I don’t care that he thinks he can beat Manny. He’s just coming back from suspension due to cheating and he needs more time to prove that he’s worthy of a shot against PacMan.


“If Mayweather doesn’t come and fight us next time, this [Pacquiao-Clottey] could be our last one.” Freddie Roach,

Russ Stanton Folsom, CA “Do you think Manny will really retire after Clottey match?”

I don’t see Manny retiring after this fight. He’s at his peak and can cement himself as one of the greatest fighters of All-time. He’s not just fighting for a victory; he’s also fighting for his legacy, his fans, his country, and God. I don’t see him retiring when he still has so much talent and excitement left to offer.


So, if he doesn’t retire, fight Margarito, or fight Floyd then what’s left? Mosley could still be an option even if he loses to Mayweather, if it goes to a decision then I can see a chance of Shane and Manny fighting, albeit a small chance.

Other fighters that might be an option are Yuri Foreman, Andre Berto, Timothy Bradley, and Amir Khan. Whether these fights happen or not, they still provide some intriguing match-ups that could keep Manny fighting which is better than seeing him retire.

What do you guys think Manny will do after he defeats Clottey


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jerry Jones is Looking to Make Cowboys Stadium Like Madison Square Garden When it Comes to Boxing

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February 17, 2010 – 10:20 am by Chris Fedor

When Jerry Jones decided to build a new state-of-the-art stadium in Arlington for the Cowboys, he was thinking about more than just his Cowboys. He was thinking about the big picture and trying to bring big events to Big D. This past weekend the NBA All-Star game was held in new Cowboys Stadium and it was tremendous success. Over 108,000 people showed up to watch the event on Sunday night, which was the most people to ever watch a professional basketball game. (Editor’s note: All the people watching must have been there as the TV ratings were down 15%!) The success of the All-Star game will no doubt lead to other events being held at Jerry’s palace. After such a successful All-Star game, Jerry Jones will have another chance to showcase his palace on March 13th for the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight.

Jerry Jones joined ESPN Radio in Dallas with Galloway and Company to talk about the success of the NBA All-Star game at the stadium, whether or not he wants to keep Miles Austin in a Cowboys uniform and why he thinks it’s important to hold fight at his new stadium.

On the success of the NBA All-Star game:

“One of the things that I dreamed of and I didn’t know…I got up Sunday and I told someone that I’m as nervous, almost but not quite as a Cowboys game because we didn’t know. Randy (Galloway) we’re just evolving and learning how to operate and learning what we can do with our stadium. We’re so proud that we built it, but I told you I look at this like a tool or a tractor that now the effort, the energy and everything that is involved. To me, that was rewarding out there Sunday because the game, the event, the way that all our fans were involved in it, it did become something special. It’s rewarding when I read the players and I even had a couple of them e-mail me and tell me that they admitted playing at a level that otherwise they wouldn’t have played at just because they were before the greatest crowd in basketball history. Also, just the way the game can be seen by so many people there. I wish I could tell ya that I had known three years ago or five years ago just how this would work out but some of this stuff you have to see. I couldn’t have known some of the spice that’s in the stadium. I couldn’t have known how that digital board would’ve have played with basketball or with the Cowboys. There’s no architect in the world or designer in the world that can tell ya that.”

On how the uncapped year could potentially affect the status of Miles Austin:

“I don’t know. The uncapped year extends when players are free or when they have totally unrestricted ability to go to the market. It took four year players and now they’re six year players before they can totally go to the market. I don’t know what that impact will be but to the extent that we just are not gonna have Miles Austin any place but with the Dallas Cowboys. We need him. We’ve got a now time here. We’ve got players that are where they should be. First year, second year players that are now at a place where they ought to be. We’re not standing pat, we’re not smug, we’re not gonna be sitting here saying ‘well we gotta keep the ship steady and come back at it again.’ We got work to do, we saw that at Minnesota. Most importantly we got some work to do before we get to Minnesota so that we can have the game in Cowboys stadium. Long winded answer I don’t know how it’s impacted that. I do know it’s given us less of a challenge in terms of when he and players like him will be a free agent.”

On him never having a hard time handing out money to players:

“To a fault as you have mentioned and appropriately so. I wish I knew when to hold them and when to fold them. That’s a hard one. It may separate the men from the boys or the winners from the losers but by the same token I can tell ya right now that would be a no. There’s no way to not have Miles Austin as a Dallas Cowboy.”

On the possibility of having boxing in the new stadium:

“I’ve spent two days in Mexico. Mexico City and Monterrey and I was with Bob Arum. They are just such huge boxing fans. The biggest boxing fans in the world today are Mexican sports fans. That aligns beautifully with our fans and what we wanna do with the Dallas Cowboys. He’s revered, Manny Pacquiao is down there and he was voted fighter of the decade. My whole point is there I was, I was still heartbroke about not getting to play in the Championship game, but there I was talking it up because I knew what boxing could mean to our stadium. That’s the whole point. The stadium is glass and still and at the end of the day it just inspires you to put the events in it.”

On how many people they expect for the fight:

“We set that up. We set it up for 45. It’s gonna be so neat. We’re gonna drop that screen down about another 25 or 30 feet for the fight and it will be real neat. Again its kinda like the other night. I wanna see how this thing goes. We have a real advantage here. There’s such a Mexican interest in fighting and it aligns so good with where we are in North Texas. I could envision and Bob Arum could envision really some classic fights annually in the stadium. There’s gonna be a lot of fighters that our Mexican fans are going to be excited about. I really think we can be a special place to fight. I don’t even wanna mention the word. I knew it, I’ve been there and I watched Elvis Presley in Madison Square Garden when I was younger, but maybe we can be like Madison Square Garden when it comes to boxing.”


Floyd Trying to Talk His Way To Victory Over Pacquiao

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Floyd Mayweather is not especially intelligent but he understands he can’t beat Manny Pacquiao inside the ring, so he must embark on a smear campaign to try to defeat the Filipino outside the ring – in the arena of public opinion.

Floyd knows his fists and his skills are just not formidable enough to get the highly dangerous job done. He knows his mind is inferior and not smart enough to out-think Pacquiao under pressure. And Floyd realizes his will is not strong enough to subdue the ferocious intensity to win a 12-round boxing match against Pacquiao.

But there is a single quality where the dishonorable American pugilist does hold an advantage over Pacquiao: he has a bigger mouth which can tell repeated lies and mistruths without a sense of shame. As we know, if a lie is repeated enough, it will eventually be believed by many.

So that’s all Mayweather can do now – is use his mouth to try to do the job his frail fists and faltering confidence can not accomplish – defeat Pacquiao by spreading lies and falsehoods.

As you may have noticed, Mayweather has been hanging around major sporting events like the Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Game. The fork-tongued double-talker has double intentions – to promote his upcoming fight with Shane Mosley on May 1 and to discredit Manny Pacquiao in every possible way he can think of.

Mayweather wants you to believe Pacquiao is the one who pulled out of the fight in January because he wouldn’t agree to all of Floyd’s – NOT the Nevada State Commission’s – but Floyd’s personal demands for excessive random blood testing. But the little-known truth is, Mayweather advisor Al Haymon’s associate George Peterson told me the decision to cancel the Pacquiao-Floyd was made as far back as early December – obviously, because Team Mayweather concluded a boxing match against Manny Pacquiao was a “no win situation.” Yes, a severely brutal knockout loss at the fists of a smiling Asian man is a no-win situation indeed for an arrogant pretender like Mayweather.

As if ducking Pacquiao once wasn’t enough, after the Super Bowl and NBA All Star Game, now we have learned Mayweather aspires to duck Pacquiao again. Even if Pacquiao were to agree to Floyd’s 14-day random blood testing demands, that might not be enough now, says Floyd. And Floyd also stated that the 50-50 split may not work if Floyd-Mosley does bigger pay-per-view numbers than Pacquiao-Clottey.

Only the dim-witted wouldn’t be able to comprehend this is Floyd’s way to lay the foundation to duck Pacquiao for 2010 and perhaps the rest of his career.

Floyd may think he’s successfully pulled off the greatest duck in boxing history and that he has won the media war of words with the humble, quiet man from General Santos City. But one must understand that the mighty truth shall always destroy the ugly false.

“The lie of the emperor is always believed before the truth of the peasant.” -unknown

“If you bury the truth and bury it under the ground it will but grow and gather itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everthing it its way.” -Emile Zola

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it’s violently opposed. And third, it’s accepted as self-evident.” -Arthur Schopenauer


Shawn Porter speaks on Pacquiao, title opportunity

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Boxing Examiner | Vivek Wallace

Jr. Middleweight contender Shawn Porter (12-0, 10KO's) will find himself on the brink of something he's always dreamed of Friday night as he steps in the ring to face off against Russell Jordan for the divisions NABO strap.

Many know Porter as a very skilled contender on the rise, while others simply know him as the sparring partner whose gritty determination in the ring allowed him to handle the rigors of a daily grind in the same ring as Filipino Manny Pacquiao.

On Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to speak to the talented fighter out of Akron, Ohio, and his thoughts on Pacquiao solidified what many have felt, despite the sudden questions surrounding the fightin' Filipino.

When asked about Pacquiao, Porter had nothing but high praise, stating that what amazed him the most was Pacquiao's "athleticism", saying that the two played basketball for a few hours on the night of the Super Bowl, and it was just "amazing" to see the crisp shot and athletic rebounding ability of Pacqiuao.

As the conversation concluded on Pacquiao's athletic ability and how it helps him in the ring, things shifted to the allegations surrounding the Filipino outside of it.

When prompted, Porter stated that he "was around Pacquiao and sparred him 3x a week and never saw a difference in his punching power, his approach, or anything else". Porter would then conclude his statement in saying that "at no point was there any type of matrix effect" or anything super-natural in his ability, just intense tenacity from an undying passion to win.

Porter also said that the Filipino has recently sported a new T-shirt that reads "100% God, No Steroids", which speaks on Pacquiao's devotion to his spirituality, which he considers to be the catalyst in all the many blessings he has received in the sport, starting with his rare talent.

Spending a great amount of time around Pacquiao has helped Porter to see things from a different perspective, and as he prepares for his own upcoming title showdown, he'll do so knowing that he trained for this moment with a man that many consider to be the best.

Relative to his own title shot, Porter stated that this opportunity will be "the first of many more to come, with God's will", and that each of these experiences have well prepared him for this moment.

Already having a great attitude of a champion and being a humble young man, one can only hope this is true.

The Examiner would like to thank Shawn Porter for the interview. The official article will be posted on Eastside Boxing on Friday (2/19), and the audio in its entirety will be posted on 8CountNews.


Manny Pacquiao's Weight Loss Challenge

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2/17/2010 8:19 AM ET By Elie Seckbach

Elie Seckbach, the Embedded Correspondent, brings his exclusive video reporting to FanHouse. Check back regularly for more videos.

With less than a month to go before Manny Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title against Joshua Clottey on March 13, the seven-division titlist has everyone around him working to get into shape.

How? Pacquiao's weight loss challenge in which members of Team Pacquiao try to lose 15 percent of their weight. If they do so, they get $3,000 dollars. And the person who loses the most gets 20K.

FanHouse caught with some of those who take part in the challenge to not only learn more about it, but also, what Pacquiao does to make them crack.


Pac-Nation plea: Pacquiao on Fight Night Round 5 cover?

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International Sports Examiner | Marv Dumon

Will Manny Pacquiao be on the cover of Fight Night Round 5?

Fight Night Round 5 will be released in 2011, according to EA Sports President Peter Moore. The question is: Will Manny Pacquiao be on the cover of EA Sports' Fight Night Round 5?

EA's executives and game development team, as well as, industry analysts and fans are asking the same question. The cover is usually any video game's most critical marketing decision, which can determine whether a promotional campaign succeeds or flops.

The Philippines's Manny Pacquiao has been accorded "Fighter of the Year" honors three times in the past four years by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). Additionally, he was recently given "Fighter of the Decade" honors by the BWAA.

However, given Electronic Arts' revenue stream, target markets, and economic recession plaguing the United States and global marketplace, we suspect that the Philippine boxer and current pound-for-pound king has an extremely stiff petition for cover placement. Namely, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Critical Acclaim

New games are typically sold at between $50 and $60 price points on platforms such as XBOX, Playstation, Nintendo, and PC. Fight Night Round 4 is currently offered at $39.99, which has an ESRB rating of Teen.

In an interview at E3 2009 (a video game industry expo), Moore stated Electronic Arts' plans:

It gives us a rhythm of a fighting game every year. That’s the plan. If you think of 2010, we’re bringing MMA. In 2011, Fight Night Round 5.

Most Successful Boxing Game Series

The Fight Night series has been a highly successful franchise for Electronic Arts. (The series succeeded the company's previous boxing game series Knockout Kings.)

Fight Night Round 4 was the only boxing-related video game to have topped the video game sales charts across all genres. Upon its release in June 2009, the game was received with high praise from both critics and gamers.

GameRankings scored an 87% approval, and MetaCritic gave a score of 88. Similarly, publisher Game Informer gave a rating of 9. And IGN conveyed a score of 8.8.

Despite a lagging economy that saw video game sales decrease by 20% across all genres in 2009, Round 4 was expected to top one million in unit purchases, according to industry analyst Evan Wilson of Pacific Crest Securities.

Assuming an average price point of $50, the game will have generated over $50 million in sales for Electronic Arts. That figure does not include revenue from companies for ad placements within the game.

Electronic Arts' Woes

Next year is possibly pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao's last year in boxing before retiring. In an interview on 8countnews, the "Pacman" indicated that he may retire after three or four more fights.

Enjoying a peak in popularity, Pacquiao is immensely popular in his native Philippines, and is gaining visibility with the American sports mainstream. The question facing EA's executives is whether this popularity translates well to the video game mainstream, which possesses a less diverse, younger and mostly male demographic.

Business, Not Boxing, Decision

It is a critical decision for Electronic Arts, which depends on the U.S. market for a large percentage of its sales. The Nasdaq-listed company has a market cap of $5.32 billion which is low for an organization with 2009 revenues of $4.2 billion. EA has been in financial trouble since the recession gripped the U.S., with a $454 million net loss for 2008. In 2009, EA's net loss was $1.08 billion.

Additionally, international markets with less controls on counterfeit games represent operational and financial challenges for the California-based company. In generating maximum revenue and profits from Fight Night Round 5, EA will first need to find mass appeal from the U.S. market.

Prioritizing American Markets

In this sense, choosing a foreign boxer to grace its cover could be a high risk proposition for the troubled company. Executives have always chosen American boxers in prior versions of the game as a safer selection given EA's North American markets.

Roy Jones, Jr was selected for Fight Night 2004. Bernard Hopkins was chosen for Fight Night Round 2. Mexican-American icon Oscar de la Hoya was presented in two cover versions for Fight Night Round 3. That edition also saw Arturo Gatti with Irish Mickey Ward. Finally, Fight Night Round 4 featured heavyweight greats Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali.


After Arum and Jones comes Lester Bedford in importance for Pacquiao vs. Clottey

Dallas Boxing Examiner | Matt Stolow

DALLAS - Everyone knows the "big two" promoters for the Manny Pacquiao vs Joshua Clottey fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13th -- Hall of Fame boxing promoter, Bob Arum and Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones. But behind the scenes, comes the name of Fort Worth, Texas resident Lester Bedford, who's company (The Bedford Agency) is serving both promoters on the management and marketing sides of the event.

Bedford is no stranger to promoters and television networks, having been a driving force in over 400 boxing events, including more than 100 world title fights. He's also done work in NBA basketball, MMA, soccer, tennis and baseball, but he's found his niche in helping produce successful live gate events for boxing events since 1981. Along the way, he also found time to manage former two-time World Champion, Jesse James Leija, of San Antonio and now represents #1 World Rated Jr. Featherweight, Antonio Escalante, of El Paso.

Included on his resume are events for both Manny Pacquiao fights in Texas -- against Marco Antonio Barrera and Jorge Solis respectively, at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

He was also the man steering the live gate ship for Oscar De La Hoya's two bouts in Texas against David Kamau (San Antonio) and Patrick Charpentier (El Paso). It was Bedford who prodded Arum, the City of El Paso and investors to put De La Hoya in the El Paso Sun Bowl in 1998. His vision paid off when the fight drew 47,000 in the outdoor venue.

The crowning achievement for Bedford was the 1993 classic between Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker at the San Antonio Alamodome which also drew 65,000. So when it comes to big fights, he has been there an done that, which gave him every reason to see Cowboys Stadium as the next big thing in boxing.

Simply put, if its boxing, big, in Texas and happened in the past 25 years, you can bet that Bedford was at the heart of it.

"I can't tell you how many times I drove by the new Cowboys Stadium during the construction phase," said Bedford. "All I could think about was how great it would be for a major boxing event to land there. Then one day, I just took the initiative to call the Cowboys and arrange a meeting to discuss any and all possibilities."

That was over a year ago when Bedford sat down with Jones' son Stephen and Cowboys VP Chad Estis. In that meeting, he discovered Jerry Jones and the Cowboys had genuine interests in not just hosting Super Bowls and NBA All-Star games, but also World Championship Boxing. "I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Jerry and Stephen were huge boxing fans and more importantly, they envisioned hosting major boxing events at the Stadium."

Following that meeting of fate with Jones and Estis, Bedford then took the idea to Arum and Golden Boy Promotions, CEO, Richard Schaefer. "As Boxing's two biggest promoters, I thought it was important to get to them immediately and start to process of them making them aware of the stadium and also, the Cowboys' interests," noted Bedford.

Arum was immediately receptive, according to Bedford and the courtship between he and the Cowboys began with a conference call with the younger Jones and Estis. "Bob was very interested, but I knew he would be. He's a man of great vision and he knows how big of an opportunity it is land a big fight in venue like this. Don't forget, he's the guy who put (Muhammad) Ali in the Houston Astrodome when it opened and later, the Louisiana Super Dome. He understands the historic significance of it all."

As for Schaefer, who represents Oscar De La Hoya's promotion company, he wasn't quite as receptive. "I really prefer not to discuss details, but lets just say I tried on many occasions to get his interest and he wouldn't take a phone call or agree to meet with the Cowboys," Bedford reluctantly elaborated. "But that's their choice. Golden Boy has been very successful and Richard has been a huge reason. He's a smart businessman, so I'm sure somewhere down the road, they'll be interested in Cowboys Stadium. Heck, I'd like to see Oscar come out of retirement and have him fight there. I wouldn't hate him for it."

Schaefer apparently didn't have any interest when negotiations were going on for the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight. If memory serves me correct, it was Schaefer who pulled out of a visit to Cowboys Stadium when he, Arum and HBO President, Ross Greenburg were to meet with Jerry Jones about hosting the fight. Amazingly, Schaefer bailed at the last minute quickly vowed his loyalty to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where the fight was eventually headed before it collapsed.

As Pacquiao/Mayweather was collapsing, Bedford was on the horn with Arum and the Cowboys, trying to shake trees to bring Pacquiao to Cowboys Stadium. "Once I realized there was trouble with that fight, my first thought was to have the Cowboys ready to go with an offer for Pacquiao if and when it fell apart. When it did, Jerry was on the phone with Bob immediately and next thing you know, Bob's at the Cowboys vs Eagles playoff game and the next day, the deal was done."

As fate had it, Pacquiao now finds himself getting ready to fight Clottey in front of 40.000 - 50,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium. And the guy in the middle for Jones and Arum is the man who wouldn't let it die --Bedford. Now, it looks as though his hunch about Cowboys Stadium is coming to fruition.

"In the end, it looks as though this fight at Cowboys Stadium will do exactly what I thought it would. Not only will it be a huge success as a one time event, but also a monster shot in the arm for boxing," he said.

"After all the negative publicity over the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight collapsing, this epic scene, broadcast to millions of people, will be the one thing that can heal the sport and bring everyone back together, including fans. For all of us in boxing, it will be a proud day, much the same as it was for the NBA during and after their All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium. This is something we can stick our chest out and feel good about."

Bedford has been busy doing what he does to help make events successful. He's behind the scenes helping in many areas in regard to the management and marketing of the event.

With his big event experience and understand of the boxing fan, he has to be a valuable sounding board for both Top Rank and Jones' Cowboys. And as everyone knows, he's tireless worker and perfectionist when it comes to making an event a success. And, he's feeling fortunate these days.

"It's an absolute honor for me to be working with the Cowboys and Top Rank on such a historic event," concluded Bedford. "Bob Arum is a Hall of Famer in Boxing and Jerry Jones will end up in the NFL Hall of Fame, and rightfully so. They simply get - IT. They understand people and what moves them. They are visionaries that are willing to take risks. And both have great staffs to work with. They know how to delegate responsibility to those they trust to make their visions work. That's what great businessmen do. "

"But most importantly for all of us on this particular promotion -- we have a great fighter to promote in Manny Pacquiao. He's relevant in this business and people will pay to see him fight, especially against a respected fighter like Clottey. No matter how good a job myself, Top Rank or the Cowboys do, or how great the stadium is, what I have learned over the years is -- the fighters have to have the juice to inspire fans to buy tickets. And Manny Pacquiao is one of those rare fighters that has the juice. Put a fighter like Pacquiao in the greatest stadium in the world and you have a big, big winner, for all, including for boxing."


Manny Pacquiao lives to honor his country, the fans, and God. Mayweather only lives for himself

Pacquiao vs Clottey ,Pacquiao vs Clottey News, Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming, Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates
Sacramento Fight Sports Examiner | Rick Rockwell

Staying true to form, Manny recently commented in an interview about his desire to please not only his fellow countrymen but also boxing fans everywhere. This is a far cry from Manny’s most outspoken critic Floyd Mayweather Jr who talks about only pleasing himself. Let’s examine what each fighter recently said about the boxing fans and how important the fans are to them.

Manny Pacquiao

“I’m concerned about what I can give in terms of my performance to the people who love boxing. My concern isn’t only with myself, but with the people who buy tickets looking for a good fight. I don’t want to disappoint people with a boring fight. I feel you need to entertain the people who watch your fights. I will give my best to honor my country and boxing fans everywhere.”Without God I’m not here and that’s important to me." Manny Pacquiao,

How can you not get behind a fighter who consistently talks about pleasing not only his country but the fans as well? This is the type of fighter that you try and teach young kids to be like. Manny represents qualities like humbled, respectful, dedicated, and meek. Manny doesn’t just talk about wanting to “get paid”. He talks about wanting to honor his country and the fans that pay to watch him. What more can you ask from a fighter?

Floyd Mayweather Jr

“I live for Floyd Mayweather. I don’t live for the fans. “I love the fans but I live for myself. Self preservation is first. I must be happy first before I can make anybody else happy.” FMJ,

These comments are so wrong, that it would take an entire article just to break it down. Fortunately, I did write an entire article about these comments “Floyd Mayweather Jr I live for Floyd Mayweather, I don’t live for the fans”. However, I can sum up these comments with just one word “SELFISH”.


* Floyd talks about pleasing himself first where Manny says his concern isn’t only with himself.

* Floyd talks about self-preservation but Manny talks about honoring the fans, his country and God.

* Floyd talks about how he needs to be happy first before he can make anyone else happy. Manny says that he wants to entertain and not disappoint the fans without any conditions on himself being happy first.

* Manny’s comments make you feel like he does live for the fans; Floyd flat out says he doesn’t.

Jacob Henderson Sacramento, CA “Does Floyd ever say anything nice about anyone else?”
If he’s talking about himself in the 3rd person then all he does is say nice things about someone else. He’s also says very nice things about the promoters who pay him.

Ed Snyder Sacramento, CA “How does Floyd still have any fans with all the things he says?”
I don’t know. It amazes me that people can tolerate his “gum bumping”. In the last week alone he still publicly blasts Manny Pacquiao, says he doesn’t live for the fans, and that he’s on par with Martin Luther King Jr and Malcom X. In my opinion, this guy is suffering from the side effects of long term usage of Xylocaine.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another day in Pacquiaoville

Pacquiao vs Clottey News, Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming, Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates

By Gabriel Montoya
(Photo © Chris Farina/ Top Rank)

The Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, CA is houses two full rings and seemingly countless fighters, pro, amateur and regular Joe’s and Jane’s looking to catch a glimpse of the fight game up close, learn a thing or two about themselves and the art of fighting, and maybe, maybe just maybe, catch a glimpse of the man known as arguably the best fighter in the world: Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.

Some come just to watch the action in general. The Wild Card at full strength at the height of the day can be a hustling bustling cacophony of grunts, booming punches, heavy bag bass and the rat-a-tat-tat of triple speed bags getting worked over. From England to New York, Australia to Italy, they come to witness the thick gym smell and the heat of the action; tourists, hopeful young fighters, writers, celebrity hunters, old time fighters, and fans of all ages all hoping to get a gander at the newest line of violent machine.

It’s a phenomenon that has grown with Pacquiao’s popularity. But as packed as the gym is on a day to day basis, for four hours or so every day, the hubbub dies down as the room is cleared for Pacquiao’s daily closed training session. Only those with appointments or business being there need apply for a door pass. Lucky for me, I had an appointment as I stood at the entrance of the gym waiting for “Pacman” to arrive for his daily training session in preparation for his March 13 fight with Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium in a welterweight title fight dubbed “The Event.”

Inside, the gym had been cleared save for some media, a small film crew, Freddie’s brother Pepper and young trainer Shane Langford. In the back ring, junior middleweight prospect Shawn Porter, two weeks out from an ESPN fight, worked the mitts with his trainer. In the corner of the room, near the speed bags and Manny’s corner of the ring, the small army known as Team Pacquiao gathered. Head trainer Roach stood and chatted idly with strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, his assistant Marie who moved about the gym taking carry of seemingly everything, and today’s celebrity guests and fight fans, Mark Wahlberg and Jeremy Piven. Wahlberg, fresh off shooting his next feature, a Mickey Ward biopic entitled “The Fighter,” brought his son along who was absolutely transfixed by the proceedings. Also waiting as her fighter, Mike Dallas, Jr prepared, was manager Jackie Kallen who worked her phone cheerfully making idle fight chat with the few others who walked back and forth around the room.

Manny pulled up in a Mercedes sports coupe of some kind with his brother Bobby, got out and let his brother park. Wearing a simple t-shirt and shorts combo, Manny could have been any other guy as he talked with a couple fans in the parking lot and quietly made his way up the stairs.

“Champ,” said Pepper Roach as he handed Manny a pen so he could autograph several posters laid out for charity. He readily did so and made his way to greet Freddie then disappeared into the dressing room.

Waiting for him to come out were four fighters of varying degrees of hunger. Soon to turn pro junior welterweight Irishman Jamie Kavanagh, a stand out amateur kid who looks like he should fight like Ricky Hatton but bounces and turns with the best of them readied in the corner. He’d go first.

Behind me as I set up at the massage table that runs along the side of the ring in the main room, light welter prospect Mike Dallas, Jr finished wrapping his hands and warmed up. He would give Manny his best work of the day behind a long, multiple jab and a constant right hand to the body. For Dallas, the opportunity to fight the best in the world is a once in a lifetime experience and a chance to find out more about himself as fighter.

“He’s making me step my game up,” said Dallas, who fights not unlike a young Vernon Forrest in both his gait and style. “Every day I am getting better and better. My game is stepping up more and more. He gives me key pointers after each session so I am learning every day. He’s really tricky. Fast guy. Speed and power. He makes me use my mind. Use my brain instead of just throwing a lot punches. He’s way stronger than anyone I have ever fought.”

Above all, Pacquiao has acclimated the southpaw inexperienced Dallas to the ways of fighting lefties.

“That’s another thing he is giving me,” said Dallas with a smile. “I hadn’t had too much experience with southpaws. I’m learning a lot. Now it’s not even confusing to spar a southpaw. I’m used to it now.”

Also on the day’s bill was Ray Beltran, a Mexican rugged veteran who has worked Pacquiao camps dating back to Manny’s featherweight days.

“I think he’s the same Manny as he has been,” said Beltran. “Looking good, moving fast, powerful, you know? I think this camp he is stronger. His speed is there. The power is there and the energy is there. He’s a special guy. I really have not seen champions who have energy like that.”

If there is an expert on how Manny Pacquiao has changed as a fighter over the last few years as he has moved up in weight, it might be Beltran; after all, he’s gained his knowledge the hard way.

“When [Pacquiao] was a featherweight, before he used to go all crazy,” explained Beltran. “Now he’s more of a complete fighter; uses more technique. Smarter. More patient. Before, he used both hands but more crazy. Aggressive. This time, he is still aggressive but smart. He picks his spots. He knows how to set up the punch now.”

When asked if Manny hits like a welterweight Beltran doesn’t hesitate.

“Oh yeah, man. Like a natural welterweight,” he answered with a rueful smile. I’m coming up in weight, too. But I feel him strong. I used to be a featherweight, too. Now I walk around at 147, 150. But I mean, I am coming up in weight and I still feel him. His power. Some guys go up and they don’t bring their power. He’s coming up with power, too.”

Abdulai Amidu, a long and tall welterweight from Ghana who worked with Pacquiao in his last camp, rounded out the group. It’s clear from his session with Manny that he has learned how to settle down a bit and work behind a careful jab. In the past, Amidu would swarm and waste punches. Not on this day.

Each man will give Manny two rounds of solid work. It is now about 4 weeks from the fight and to hear Roach tell it, Pacquiao is a sharp as ever. Pacquiao’s most recent fight was in November of last year; a twelve round drubbing of Puerto Rican welterweight Miguel Cotto that ended in a technical knockout. Though he appeared to win with relative ease, Pacquiao absorbed heavy damage, breaking an eardrum in the process. While Roach wanted a longer rest, the quick turnaround has served at least to keep Pacquiao closer to game shape as he entered camp.

Said Roach. “He’s active, he’s healthy. He was 147 the first day he came in. We’re having just a little bit of trouble keeping the weight on him. We have to feed him four or five times a day and give him five protein shakes a day. He tends to lose the weight rapidly if we don’t feed him.”

The only risk now is not letting Pacquiao burn himself out.

“We’re way ahead of schedule,” Roach explained with confidence. “I want to cut back on sparring a little bit because we didn’t have as much of a layoff between fights. Usually we have about 150 rounds of sparring. For this fight we’re going to have about 100 because the down time was much shorter and I really don’t want to burn him out.”

None of the fighters assembled is a Joshua Clottey clone. But that isn’t what Roach is after. What he wants out of each fighter is there best. Sharp, aggressive fighters will hone Pacquiao and prepare him for whatever may come in the fight. It’s not always about mastering a style but ready for the moment however it may come.

Roach looks for patterns in an opponent both in how they throw punches and how they react in different situations throughout a fight. Once he breaks that down, he sets about showing Pacquiao what to look for.

“[Pacquiao’s] got the game plan down and he’s looking really, really good in sparring and the mitts,” said Roach. “I go through scenarios and watch tapes of Clottey and I emulate him and show Manny what he does in certain situations. Then Manny knows what to counter. He is just really, really sharp right now. Sharpest he’s been at this point in camp maybe ever.”

With each fight, Pacquiao’s star has risen. Once a fight fan’s best kept secret, Pacquiao is now an international superstar. And with each fight, the pressures that go along with carrying his country on his back have increased.

“True and that’s why I am cutting back on the rounds with him, trying to give him an extra day off here and there. It hasn’t worked yet,” said Roach with a laugh, “but I’ll get to him. He’s starting to understand that there is a burnout process. For the first time in my life the other day, he didn’t ask me for one more round on the double end bag. I said ‘One more.’ He said, ‘we did an extra round of sparring today. Let’s cut it at two.’ First time he has asked me that in his life. So I said ‘You’re finally getting to understand.’ He knows and he knows probably better than anyone.”

To see Pacquiao train is to get tired watching someone work out. The man is tireless. Once he leaves that dressing room and gets warmed up, his tempo builds and builds until he finishes out with a brutal stomach session that actually flattens the abs of everyone watching. It’s that tough. Roach understands his fighter’s need to push the limits of his abilities yet tempers it when he can. Watching them barter over how many rounds Pacquiao will be allowed to do is one of the more entertaining aspects of covering this camp.

“We negotiate,” Roach laughed. “It’s a little give and take. Sometimes I let him go. Sometimes I hold him back. I only hold him back when it’s necessary, when I feel he’s a little sluggish or burned out. It’s a fine line but I know him pretty well and I know exactly where he’s at. Yesterday he was just on fire. We did 15 rounds on the mitts with no rest period in between; an hour, two hours straight. I was tired.”

In Clottey, Pacquiao has before him as tough a fighter as he faced but not necessarily the most dangerous. AT his best, Clottey works behind a single jab and a shell defense looking to get in a right hand or land a brutal uppercut with either hand. Not that tall at 5’8” but as strong as any welterweight out there, Clottey will be a tough out for anyone. Especially considering that while he has lost he has never been stopped and rarely if ever dominated. But Roach is confident Pacquiao can be the man to change that.

“We have some very good sparring partners,” said Roach. “We’re working really well. I am very confident. The more I watch Clottey’s fights the more confident I get Manny can be the first person to stop him. We’re not going to look for the knockout. We’re prepared to go twelve hard rounds. I don’t necessarily think we’re going to knock him out. I think with the accumulation of punches we are going to land on him I think we are will stop him. Obviously he has never been down. He has a great chin. So we’re going to break him down. We’re going to work the body. With guys with good chins you look for your success in other places. We hit the body and I really think we are just going to overwhelm him because Manny’s speed is going to be superior in the fight.”

That’s a tall order considering that not only is Clottey the strongest fighter Pacquiao has faced, he also possesses arguably the best defense as well. But Roach, known as much for his game plans as anything, has an answer for that, too.

“The thing is, when he is in that shell, it’s a very breakable shell,” Roach explained “because he can’t protect his head and his body both. There’s going to be an opening somewhere. I’m working on teaching Manny how to crack that shell and how to open it up. He’s doing really well with that. It’s a great adjustment for him. Manny Pacquiao is getting better every time out.

“We’re going to come into the fight at 147,” he continued. “We’ll go into the ring about 149, 150 max. Clottey will be about 165 by fight time. So yeah, it will be the biggest and strongest fighter we have faced. Clottey is very conservative. He’s not really busy and then he goes into a shell. I think he goes into the shell to make you wear yourself out on him. And we’re not going to do that because Manny doesn’t wear out. I got the energizer guy there. That is not going to work against Manny, lying on the ropes and trying to draw us in, that same uppercut that he throws all the time. That’s the biggest punch he throws right there. That’s the punch I am worried about: the right and the left uppercut.”

It’s a special fighter who can gather attention the way Pacquiao does. Regardless of what you think of his technique or whether you’re fan of his in particular, Pacquiao brings a level of excitement and intensity to both his training and his fighting that comes along ever so rarely. Getting into see Manny spar is a rare occurrence for most and there was an almost giddy excitement in the room as the gathered all took their spots around the ring and prepare for a sneak peak at one half of “The Event.”

Manny emerged from the dressing room wearing his usual white with red flame trunks with matching shoes and a t-shirt. Pacquiao is a creature of habit. He stays in the same hotel suites for his fights. He eats at the same little restaurant after workouts. I swear I have seen the trunks he had on this day five camps in a row. So it’s strange when Pacquiao steps into gold gear as opposed to his usual green to spar. Gold cup. Gold Gloves. Gold headgear. I’m not sure where they’re going with this but it kind of looked like the Toys r Us Manny Pacquiao boxing set. Just saying.

Kavanagh got things started with Manny by meeting him center ring and working his right jab. This was first time seeing him and I have to say I was impressed. Not just by the head to body to head combinations he got off regularly but in the poise with which he executed. He didn’t seemed fazed by Pacquiao’s presence at all. Manny for his part waited and countered, sliding to the side and generally seeing what the kid had. Kavanagh was impressive as he danced side to side with Manny, bouncing on his toes and working his jab. But Manny let him know who was boss throughout, landing his left with aplomb. Late in the first, Kavanagh leapt in with a shot and Manny met him with a straight left that stopped him in his tracks. Down the stretch the traded blows and Manny seems to get the better of it but Kavanagh was not far behind.

Pacquiao zeroed in right from the top of the second round, landing hard lefts and hunting the kid down. But Kavanagh regained his composure, got Pacquiao along the ropes and delivered a brutal uppercut. Then the kid went downstairs to Manny’s ribs but that seemed to only excite Pacman.

“Body, body, body,” Pacquiao commanded as he held his guard up, exposing his midsection to be hit. Kavanagh, a bit winded now, obliged and Pacquiao returned fire with a flurry up and down. Kavanagh answered with a couple jab right hands. It was nice work by both.

The next two sessions, with Beltran and Amidu respectively, weren’t as telling or exciting as the fourth against Dallas, Jr. Beltran knows Manny well but that goes both ways. Beltran played the pressure game while Amidu boxed from long range and tried to keep Manny at bay. Both succeeded to varying degrees but none like Dallas.

Working behind a multiple jab that helped him drop in right hands behind it, Dallas took control early. Pacquiao was really warned now after six rounds of work and three different styles. I got the sense that in Dallas he has a bigger challenge than he expected and it looked like it brought out the best in Manny.

In most camps I have covered of Pacquiao’s, it’s hard to tell where he is at in camp from his sparring. He always has great energy but there are times when he can be bored or he works on a specific move only. It can be hard to tell what you are seeing unless you watch a steady string of sessions and piece it together.

Dallas seemed to bring out something in Manny I hadn’t seen in some time. The long jabs of Dallas bothered him. The prospect was throwing them so often and working his right to the head and body in intervals that kept Manny was kept off balance. Where he had been smiling and enjoying the combat before, Manny was now actively solving a puzzle.

By the second, as Dallas tired from his output and the sheer focus it takes to keep a top level fighter at bay, Pacquiao took seemed to find his answer. Left hands behind to get through as the jab died down and opened the kitchen door. Manny walked right in and helped himself to some nice body work and worked in an uppercut through a shell defense Dallas through up at one point. It was solid, exciting work by both men as they came down the stretch with Dallas’ jab returning and Pacquiao coming back with a right left combo.

When it was over, the room erupted in applause for all the fighters and Manny went over to finish his usual routines. Roach watched from close by, gauging his charge and talking over the day’s work with the rest of the team. Having confirmed with my own eyes what Roach had said before the session began, (yes, Manny is indeed sharp as hell right now), I headed out with a last look back at Pacquiao, lost in thought and the task at hand, working a double end back with an easy rhythm as a throng of cameras blasted away and a crowd gathered quietly outside. He could have been alone on an island the way he went about his work.

Just another day in Mannyville.


Joshua Clottey's solemn vow: I'll destroy Pacquiao for Ghana

Boxing Examiner | Michael Marley

As if preparing for the aggressive onslaught of Manny Pacquiao is not enough of a mental and physical burden, challenger Joshua Clottey has been battling bureaucrats in his native country who have made it difficult for him to get proper travel papers for his chief trainer.

But New Jersey barrister Patrick English informed and Boxingconfidential Tuesday that the the snafu is being cleared up in Accra, the capital city of Ghana and that lead trainer Godwin Dzanie Kotey has an appointment soon with the United States Embassy in that West African metrpolis to smooth his travel path so that he can join Clottey at training camp in Hollywood, Florida, and accompany the team to Dallas for the March 13 PPV main event at the sparkling, new Cowboys stadium.

"Joshua's lead trainer is coming," English said, "but not on a very timely basis. I do know that he's got permission from the government of Ghana and that he will go to the Anmerican embassy to obtain his proper visa to come here."

English is the lawyer for Clottey manager Vinny Scolpino.

It is not exactly breaking news but, on his recent trip back home when Clottey grew frustrated with local bureaucrats and their maze of red tape, Clottey was given a mental boost by his homeland's most famous athlete, the great Hall Of Fame member and conssumate businessman and gentleman Azumah "Zoom Zoom" Nelson.

that his homeland, Ghana, will rejoice come March 13 as he destroys Pinoy Idol Pacman (Top Rank/Chris Farina Photo)

Here's the recent report from GhanaWeb.Com:

"But like the true warrior that he is, Joshua Clottey, 35-3 (20K0s), remains unruffled and has vowed to give off his best, even with the odds heavily stuck against him. No matter the problems surrounding his preparations, expect Clottey to be ready when he steps into the ring against Pacquiao for the WBO Welterweight title.

“The only thing I can tell you is everything is fine with me and I’m ready to fight if the government can’t help because it’s my life on the line,” Joshua stated.

“My fear is that Manny Pacquiao is a southpaw because they are hard to fight but Joshua has given us an assurance that he knows how to fight southpaws so I am relieved. I will advise Joshua to train hard but I know him and I know that he will not rest. We will be there to support him physically and mentally,” stated Hall of Famer Azumah Nelson at the press conference organized by the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) in Accra this morning to show support for Joshua Clottey.

Azumah, now Technical Director of GBA, was surrounded by the bigwigs of Ghanaian boxing as well as top government officials on the high table at the press conference as the nation formally threw support behind the boxer. Clottey who like many of the country’s top boxers have endlessly criticized the GBA for a lack of support, confessed that he goes into the fight against Pacquiao feeling like he is fighting for Ghana for the very first time.

“I am encouraged by what I am seeing and hearing today and for the first time I am thinking about the nation which will make things harder for Manny Pacquiao. The nation didn’t support us much in the past but if now they are ready to get behind us, that is the best motivation I can get. And I promise to win the title for Ghana,” Clottey told the press conference at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra."

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