Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey gets a splashy kickoff

Manny Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, announced Tuesday that HBO pay-per-view will televise the March 13 Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey welterweight fight at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

More than 1,500 fans plus the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders greeted Pacquiao and Clottey for their news conference Tuesday inside the stadium.

Both fighters entered the stadium through the players' tunnel and said they felt like football players.

"It was a fun announcement," Cowboys and stadium owner Jerry Jones said. "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 playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings, appreciated having some new excitement.

"I needed this," he said. "Before I came here, I didn't have the usual juice in me. I was dragging."

Tickets, priced between $700 (ringside) and $50, will go on sale Sunday. The plan is to fill 40,000 seats, but Arum said a 60,000-seat plan can be arranged if necessary.

After the proposed Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight fell apart, both fighters made plans for different opponents. Mayweather is close to reaching a deal to fight Shane Mosley on May 1 in Las Vegas.

For Pacquiao-Clottey, Jones said he will lower the stadium's high-definition video screen to 30 feet above the ring on fight night, so fans can better 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 . . . charisma and talent, but then there's the story of how he got here from the Philippines . . . and what he means to his country. 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."

Pugmire reported from Los Angeles


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