Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Super bowl of boxing—Pacquiao vs Clottey

ARLINGTON, Texas—When Manny Pacquiao looked down at the crowd from Jerry Jones’s personal suite at Cowboys Stadium, it looked strangely reminiscent of a Roman Emperor in the ancient Coliseum.
The comparisons to the Roman Coliseum continued throughout Tuesday’s news conference to formally announce Pacquiao’s March 13 welterweight title bout against Joshua Clottey.
“It was always in my mind that right here on the star we could put a ring,” Jones said. “And the best fighters in the world could come out and fight and their fans support them.”
Deep-voiced ring announcer Michael Buffer likened Cowboys Stadium to the Roman Coliseum and compared the fighters to gladiators of a different era.
During the news conference that resembled a football pregame show, Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum suggested Cowboys Stadium could replace Madison Square Garden or Caesar’s Palace as the “new mecca of boxing.”
Despite the magnitude of Cowboys Stadium and the sideshow filled with pyrotechnics and Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, the proverbial elephant in the room still demanded attention.
This fight serves as a substitute only after the failure of promoters to agree on drug-testing stipulations between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Jones pointed out the fact that had that fight taken place then, it would have happened in Las Vegas and not at Cowboys Stadium.
“I’m proud to have this fight,” Jones said. “Pacquiao is who I wanted. The different dynamics of the other fight played out best for us.”
Pacquiao spoke briefly about Mayweather and said the fight could still happen later this year.
“For me, I wanted to fight him, but he had a lot of reasons,” he said. “That’s why the fight was canceled.”
While boxing fans clamored for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, Pacquiao’s iconic trainer Freddy Roach said Clottey presents a better matchup.
“Action-wise, both guys will come to fight,” Roach said. “Mayweather’s a talented guy, but he puts people to sleep, and he runs and he runs and runs.”
Up-and-coming Dallas fighter Roberto Marroquin (11-0) has an undercard bout, but the rest of the card has not been determined. Arum introduced Marroquin as the official fighter of the Dallas Cowboys.
Boxing’s Super Bowl? Not really
“THIS is going to be the Super Bowl of boxing,” said Roach.
Not really. That would’ve been the hoped-for matchup between Pacquiao and Mayweather, which was scuttled after Mayweather outlined a drug-testing plan Pacquiao wouldn’t accept.
“This gave us an opening. We were very aggressive. We were pretty quick to make a deal,” Jones said.
Arum was smitten by the stadium during negotiations for a possible Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. Arum returned for a Cowboys playoff game, sitting near former President George W. Bush in Jones’s box.
Arum has promoted fights at the Astrodome and at Yankee Stadium. He predicts Cowboys Stadium “will have a big role in boxing for years to come.”
“I have never, ever seen anything like it,” Arum said. “There is nothing in the world like this place. It just blows you away.”
The stadium is hosting the National Basketball Association All-Star Game next month and will host the Super Bowl next year. It’s also in the running as a World Cup site, should football’s showcase come to the United States.
Money talks and Jones believes he can make it financially worthwhile for fighters. His goal is to host up to four or five fights a year, “once we establish that we are the place to fight and have the kind of stature that we want to have.”
For this fight, the Cowboys are planning to sell around 40,000 seats, offering tickets on all but the highest decks.
Jones vowed that fight night will be even splashier than the news conference, where sparklers fired from the tips of the flagpoles, and Michael Buffer gave his signature introduction.
“We’re going to make this one of the most interesting fights to view that there’s ever been,” he said. “It’ll have everything to do with the flexibility of this board right above the ring. We’re going to have some fun with it.”
The fight itself should be pretty good, too.
Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts) is widely considered the best fighter, pound-for-pound, in the world. In November he beat Miguel Cotto, who beat Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs) last summer. However, that fight was a split decision that many felt should’ve gone to Clottey, a Ghanaian who lives in New York.
The boxers praised each other on Tuesday, and also were gushing over the facility and the glitzy news conference.
“I like the introduction,” Pacquiao said. “I’m surprised. I feel like I’m player!”
Soon enough, he looked like one.
Jones presented Pacquiao with a No. 3 jersey featuring his name on the back. Clottey received a No. 13 jersey.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails