Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pacquiao, Clottey vow thrilling slugfest

Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank
DALLAS, Texas: Manny Pacquiao predicted a tough and thrilling fight when he makes his first world welterweight title defense against slugger Joshua Clottey on March 13 at the ultra-modern Cowboys Stadium in the suburban Arlington, about 10 minutes drive from here.
Pacquiao described Clottey as a strong and worthy challenger who loves to fight.
“It’s going to be a good fight. Clottey, he’s a good fighter, a top fighter and he’s bigger than me,” Pacquiao said. “I have to prepare and train hard for this fight because Clottey is a dangerous opponent.”

Clottey, who earlier promised to “shock the world,” by knocking Pacquiao out, was respectful of his opponent, referring to him as “my favorite fighter.”

But he served notice that he would use his size and strength to advantage by forcing Pacquiao, the only world champion in seven different weight classes, into a very physical fight to test Pacquiao’s ability to withstand the pressure from a bigger welterweight.

“This fight is going to be a heck of a fight. I love Manny Pacquiao. He is one of my favorite fighters. He’s a throwback fighter. If you throw at him, he’ll throw back at you. I know what I’m going to face,” Clottey said.

Jerry Jones delighted
Texas oil tycoon Jerry Jones, owner of the $1.2-billion brand-new arena, said he is delighted to have the world’s best boxer for the launch of the place as a boxing venue.

Jones said he planned to have “four to five significant fights a year” at the Cowboys home arena.

“Las Vegas has its aura, and we can do things here to capture our own aura,” said Jones, who mounted quite a show to formally announce Pacquiao-Clottey, complete with sights and acoustics that put the cavernous arena at a class of its own among America’s famous stadiums.

He spoke of the fans being able to see Manny Pacquiao as a 70-foot tall giant on the world’s largest high definition screens inside the world’s largest domed stadium.

HBO Sports executive Mark Taffet said the giant HD screens are so huge, he would rather watch the fight on the big screen than directly in the ring.

Bob Arum, who is promoting the match, said he was “blown away” by the way they were hosted by Jones and suggested that the maverick businessman would make a great fight promoter.

Pacquiao, whose last three pay-per-view bouts averaged one million buys, was mobbed by Texan fight fans composed mostly of Filipinos and Hispanics shouting “Manny! Manny! Manny!”

The press conference was an event in itself, complete with gorgeous Cowboys cheerleaders and attended by local former world champions.

Among the local boxing idol introduced by ring announcer Michael Buffer were former junior welterweight champ Gene Hatcher, featherweight titlist Troy Dorsey and bantamweight standout Paulie Ayala.

Tickets for the title bout dubbed simply “The Event” will range from $50 to $700 at ringside.

The fight will be televised on pay-per-view by HBO at the suggested retail price of $49.95.


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