“Hard fight yan,” said one of Pacquiao’s advisers, Wakee Salud, yesterday as he looked forward to the March 13 fight at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Salud said Clottey should have his match against Cotto last June at the Madison Square Garden but fell short in the eyes of the judges who awarded the Puerto Rican a split decision.
Cotto got to face Pacquiao last November and yielded his WBO welterweight crown to the 31-year-old Filipino pound-for-pound champion who has yet to start training for the fight.
“Many people thought Clottey won against Cotto, and for that I can say that he will be a tougher fight for Manny,” said Salud, who expects Pacquiao to rake in no less than $12 million for this one.
Pacquiao knocked Cotto down a couple of times in the early rounds but failed to complete a knockout. He took some solid blows from Cotto only because he allowed himself to get hit, and test the power of his bigger opponent.
Still, it looked like a tough fight and the day after, it could be seen in Pacquiao’s face, not to mention that he nearly suffered a busted eardrum.
Salud said Pacquiao could end up taking the same punishment from Clottey.
“Clottey is the hungrier fighter than Cotto that’s why he’s out there to prove himself. He has everything to win,” said Salud of the 32-year-old native of Ghana who, for the first time in his career, will earn more than $1 million.
“Kailangan mag-ingat si Manny nang husto (Manny has to take care of himself). And maybe he can prove me wrong,” added Salud.
The other day, Clottey spoke to fanhouse.com and said he plans to make the most out of this golden opportunity.
“I want Manny Pacquiao to know that he picked a guy who will give him all that he wants. I’m going to fight until the last bell,” he said.
“When I was traveling to America for the first time, this is what I said to myself at the Ghana airport. I said, ‘You know, I want to travel to America today, and I want to be among those top guys.’ Deep down, I know that I’m one of the top fighters in the world. And I told my daughter that I’m going to be a champion in 2010.”