Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ESPN Poll: 76% of respondents won’t be watching Pacquiao-Clottey – News

By Sean McDaniel: If the ESPN poll is any guide in which the respondents were asked if they would watch the Pacquiao-Clottey bout shown at the Dallas Cowboy stadium, there could be a general disinterest in the upcoming March 13th bout between WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey at the Dallas Cowboy stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Of 37,000 respondents that have taken part in the poll, 76% of them have voted that they won’t be watching the Pacquiao-Clottey fight. Of course, this is a boxing site that hardcore fans go to more than casual ones.

However, it’s not a good sign when you have that many people showing little interest in wanting to see the replacement fight for the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout. Boxing fans were hoping to see the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight on March 13th, but the fight fell apart after Pacquiao and Mayweather couldn’t agree on the blood testing for the fight.

Top Rank, who will be promoting the Pacquiao-Clottey fight, still hasn’t started their promotion of the fight yet. There isn’t much time to promote the fight, but with a strong surge, it’s possible they could drum up interest in the fight with the casual fans if they can make Clottey look good somehow.

They could have to focus on showing bits and parts of his career, and stay away from his disappointing losses to Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. The problem here is that Clottey isn’t well known among boxing fans, aside from the hardcore fans. He’s not a real flashy fighter either, so it’s going to take some selling to get people to want to fork over big money to watch this on pay-per-view.

As of now, there’s no word which cable network will be showing the fight. HBO would be a big help in selling the Pacquiao-Clottey fight if they can put together one of their 24/7 series for the fight. It’s a little different in this case from their usual 24/7 series, which typically has two big stars facing each other. In this case, it would be one big star – Pacquiao – against an opponent that boxing fans would have scant knowledge of.

That could be good or bad. If HBO or Top Rank can make Clottey look like a monster, instead of a defensive fighter who recently was beaten by Miguel Cotto, it could drumming up interest among fans. It would be a huge disappointment if the Pacquiao-Clottey fight fails to make 900,000 pay-per view buys.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Pacquiao, but even I have a hard time stomaching this fight. Clottey wasn’t the kind of opponent that I was expecting as a replacement for Mayweather, and depending on how much the fight goes for on pay-per-view, I might not watch it. If it’s $49.95 or more, I’ll save my money on other things. I’d like to see it, but just because I want to see Pacquiao fight.

I don’t see the fight as a competitive match, which is why I’m not all that excited about it. I’m sure that Top Rank and/or HBO will do a good job of convincing the casual fans that this will be a competitive fight. However, since I know boxing well, and see this as a mismatch, the PPV price will have to be reasonable for me to want to throw down my money on this.


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