Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey will be HBO pay-per-view fight, and Jerry Jones can't wait to host it

The awful business idea to stage Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. against different opponents on the same night has been officially killed, as Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum announced Tuesday that HBO pay-per-view will televise the March 13 Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey welterweight fight at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
Fabforum"Nobody will be fighting the same night as us," Arum told The Times from Dallas, where thousands, including the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, greeted Pacquiao and Clottey for their introductory news conference inside the stadium.
In the days after Pacquiao and Mayweather failed to come to terms amid a dispute over pre-fight drug-testing procedures, promoters for both fighters said they would stick with their plans for a March 13 bout. On Monday, however, Mayweather began intensifying negotiations to next fight Pomona's Shane Mosley in May, avoiding an awkward choice by HBO for the March date.
Arum was rejoicing Tuesday after what he described as "the best press conference in boxing history," that allowed Pacquiao to enter through the players' tunnel. Both fighters said they felt like football players, with more than 1,500 fans in attendance.
"It was a fun announcement," Cowboys and stadium owner Jerry Jones told The Times. "With the stature of Pacquiao, we're going to be able to put on a unique fight."
Jones, just two days removed from his football team's disappointing NFC playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings,appreciated having some coming excitement. "I needed this today," he said. "Before I came here, I didn't have the usual juice in me. I was dragging."
(UPDATED: 9:19 p.m.) Tickets, priced between $700 (ringside) and $50, will go on sale to the general public Saturday at 8 a.m. Pacific time through Ticketmaster. The plan is to sell 40,000 seats, but Arum said a 60,000-seat plan can be arranged if necessary.
Jones said he will lower the stadium's 160-foot-long, 72-foot-high high-definition video screen to just 30 feet above the ring on fight night, improving the proximity in which fans can view the blow-by-blow action.
"I'm proud of this, I always envisioned boxing in this venue," Jones said. "One of the things that motivates me is the idea that first impressions are important. It's why I wanted Pacquiao here.
"He has the meat on the bones of his persona, charisma and talent, but then there's the story of how he got here from the Philippines, how he evolved, and what he means to his country, the Philippines. An entire country follows him. The fans here appreciate that, and he's a great fighter.
"To get this fight, to have it in this venue, it's going to be a happening."
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Manny Pacquiao, second from left, Jerry Jones and Joshua Clottey. Credit: Top Rank.


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