Monday, January 18, 2010


Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao arrived in Los Angeles to a hero’s welcome as he prepares to kick off the two city promotional tour for his WBO welterweight title defense against tough and talented Joshua Clottey on March 13 at the Dallas Cowboys stadium.

Pacquiao and Clottey will hold a news conference on Tuesday in Dallas to officially announce the fight titled “The Event” after which they will take a flight to New York for a second media conference at the Madison Square Garden Theater the following day.

The charismatic Filipino who has established a record of seven world titles in seven weight division faces a tough test when he defends his title against Clottey at the state-of-the art $1.3 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium owned by Jerry Jones.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told us that Pacquiao told him he “slept very well on the plane and he’s very relaxed.”

He said after they “get all the stuff out of the way, Manny will start training first thing on Thursday morning because this fight is not going to be easy.” Arum said trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning expert Alex Ariza said “they are going to work him (Pacquiao) hard and h e’ll be fine.”

Arum said earlier he expects Clottey to give Pacquiao a hard fight although he was convinced that Pacquiao’s speed “will be too much for Clottey.”

Traveling on the same flight with Pacquiao was Philippine bantamweight champion Eden Sonsona, a protégé of the late Rod Nazario, manager, mentor and father-figure of Pacquiao who granted Nazario’s last request and gave Sonsona a fight on the “Fire Power” undercard.

Pacquao was impressed by Sonsona’s performance after the southpaw from Pacquiao’s hometown of General Santos City scored a smashing 2nd round TKO over Eilon Kedem and then returned home to win the Philippine title with a spectacular one-punch, first round knockout of Monico Laurente last December.

Arum told us that he remembers Sonsona’s fight at the MGM Grand very well and said “we have a spot open for a Filipino fighter who Manny will designate.”

Rommel Nazario who has taken over as manager of Sonsona said there were three options proposed to him by Pacquiao and his adviser Michael Koncz which included a fight on the Pacquiao-Clottey card, a possible title shot at WBO champion Fernando Montiel in case Ciso “Kid Terrible” Morales has trouble making the weight and a possible fight in Mexico which Nazario is reluctant to take at this point in Sonsona’s career.

Nazario said that Sonsona would train at the Wildcard Gym under Pacquiao’s Filipino trainer Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez.

Top photo: Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao,General Santos,Philippines arrives in Los Angeles Sunday night for his upcoming World Welterweight championship against Joshua Clottey, Ghana on Saturday, March 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas,Texas and televised live on Pay-Per-View and billed as "The Event". Pacquiao will travel Monday morning to Dallas for a press conference to announce the fight. --- Photo Credit: Chris Farina - Top Rank.


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