NEW YORK -- Sure, most boxing fans really, really wanted to see pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao fight Floyd Mayweather on March 13. While that fight isn't happening now because of their inability to agree on how to handle drug testing for the bout, the public seems to have accepted with open arms Pacquiao's replacement fight.
He's going to meet former welterweight titleholder Joshua Clottey on HBO PPV on March 13 in the first boxing event to be held at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, outside of Dallas.
In just the first three hours of public tickets sales (preceded by three days of limited pre-sales) on Saturday, more than 20,000 of the approximately 40,000 available were gobbled up. They ranged in price from $50 to $700.
"Ross Greenburg and I are very gratified that the public has responded like they have, and we are happy for our partner (Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told me on Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden Theater.
Arum and Greenburg, the president of HBO Sports, were sitting together shortly before the telecast of Top Rank's doubleheader, featuring featherweight title bouts pitting Steven Luevano and Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa and Rogers Mtagwa.
Arum said if the demand for the fight continues the capacity of the stadium, which is 100,000 or so for Cowboys games, can easily be increased.
"It's going to be quite a night," Arum said. "And Jerry isn't just a one-event guy. If he sees this as a success you can be sure he'll do more boxing in that great stadium."
Also Saturday night, junior middleweight titlist Yuri Foreman and former welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto were in the house. Arum, who promotes both, was talking with both sides trying to finalize a June 12 fight between them, which he is planning for in the Madison Square Garden main arena.