Thursday, January 21, 2010

It’s Clottey first, Floyd later for Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao is not giving up hope for a megafight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. sometime in the future. In the meantime, though, his eyes are firmly trained on a more immediate business to take care of – the tough Joshua Clottey, who’s out to take away his WBO welterweight title on Mar. 13 at the Cowboys Stadium.

“I’m still hopeful that the fight (Pacquiao-Mayweather) will push through some other time. It’s gonna be a good fight if it happens," Pacquiao admitted during Wednesday’s press conference for the Clottey fight at the Madison Square Garden in New York (Thursday in Manila).

Pacquiao and Mayweather, two of boxing’s biggest draw, were supposed to duke it out on Mar. 13 in Las Vegas until negotiations bogged down due to disagreement over dope-testing procedures.

Team Pacquiao has named Clottey as the Pacman’s new opponent and with the card billed “The Event" formally up and running, the Filipino ring icon has shifted his attention to the Ghanaian.

“I’m still focused to [on] my training and focused to [on] the [Clottey] fight. Forget about Mayweather—he doesn’t want to fight [me]," said Pacquiao, slamming Mayweather for making “alibi" for pulling out of the superbout. "I think Mayweather is scared to lose, you know? He’s scared to lose."

The camp of Mayweather is reportedly trying to set a showdown with Sugar Shane Mosley following the breakdown of talks with Pacquiao and the withdrawal of Andre Berto from his supposed duel with Mosley.

Mayweather the 32-year-old Clottey may not be but the pride of General Santos is not underestimating the Ghanaian, an ex-IBF 147-lb titlist himself, one bit.

“(I’m most concerned about Clottey’s) size and he’s tough. He can take a punch. He can stand and fight toe-to-toe. I don’t want to underestimate Clottey because he’s a former champion too and he’s a nice guy," he said.

Clottey believes he is, indeed, naturally bigger but unlike Pacquiao’s previous foes like big boys Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, he won’t take for granted the Filipino’s seeming small frame.

“The reason why Pacquiao is most of the time beating the guys is people don’t realize he’s too small and as small as he is, he’s going to dodge your punches or move away from them. It’s like he’s going to fly, you see, because he’s too tiny. So those people are dangerous. Forget about the weight. Forget about how big I am. If he’s in front of me, then he’s too small in front of me; you can’t even see him," he said.

“I think I’ll have a defense that will surprise him a little bit," added Clottey.


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