Sunday, January 17, 2010

Matthew Aguilar: Clottey will bring it vs. Pacquiao on March 13 at Cowboys Stadium

The boxing world may be bummed that the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight has been scrapped, having been replaced by Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey on March 13 at Cowboys Stadium.

But, drama and importance aside, "The Event" -- the nickname given the scheduled 12-round WBO welterweight title fight -- promises to be a better action fight than Pacquiao-Mayweather ever could.

Clottey, (35-3, 21 knockouts), is no joke. He's pushed every big name he's ever fought, including Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto, both of whom scraped by the Ghanian slugger via close decision. Certainly, there are many who feel Clottey was robbed last June 13, when he and Cotto duked it out in one of the better slugfests of 2009.

Clottey and his fans screamed "hometown decision" after Cotto won a split nod in the Puerto Rican's adopted home of New York City. Cotto sure looked the worse for the wear, sporting a bruised and bloody face at the end of the war.

Clottey also took it to Zab Judah in August of 2008, winning by technical decision after 9 rounds.

The Filipino superstar will be a solid favorite. But he tends to have problems with aggressive, solid-chinned sluggers. Just look at how he struggled with Erik Morales (Pac-Man's last loss, in March 2005) and twice with Juan Manuel Marquez (a draw in May 2004 and a win in March 2008).

Clottey, while one-dimensional, could be trouble.

El Paso show

Antonio Escalante vs. Miguel "Mickey" Roman, slated for Feb. 26 at the Don Haskins Center, promises to be one of the best El Paso fights in quite some time.

And that's saying something.

Among the fights that have taken place in the Sun City: Salvador Sanchez-Juan LaPorte, Jorge Paez-Stevie Cruz, Erik Morales-Daniel Zaragoza and Fernando Vargas-Wilfredo Rivera.

Plus, there's a nice little city rivalry built in, as current El Pasoan Escalante takes on Roman, of Juárez.

Everybody knows Escalante, ranked No. 1 by the WBA and No. 3 by the WBO at super bantamweight and who has grown up after an upset loss to veteran Mauricio Pastrana in 2007. But Roman has his own rabid following in Juárez. Like Escalante, he is tough and skilled.

The fight, announced last week by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, will be a head liner on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights."

Escalante, vying to become El Paso's first world champion, could get a title shot in 2010.

Hopkins vs. Jones 2

Meanwhile, De La Hoya and CEO Richard Schaefer also announced last week that they will move forward with a Bernard Hopkins-Roy Jones Jr. rematch April 17.

Nevermind that the fight is about a decade-and-a-half too late. Nevermind that Jones got knocked out in one round by Danny Green in his last fight. And nevermind that, even if Jones had beaten Green, Hopkins-Jones 2 still is only mildly interesting.

The pair's first fight -- which Jones won on May 22, 1993, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. -- was dreadful. Jones used his then-unbelievable physical attributes to box and stay away from the young, cautious Hopkins. There was hardly a meaningful exchange in the whole fight.

The main event -- Riddick Bowe KO 2 Jesse Ferguson -- looked like Hagler-Hearns compared to Jones and Hopkins.

Hopkins would be a big favorite now. Jones is completely shot.

That Golden Boy is putting this mess on pay-per-view is absurd.

Matthew Aguilar may be reached at


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