By Chris Williams: It seems like the bout between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey was put together in a lightning fast motion after the Mayweather-Pacquiao talks reached a brief stalemate. I don’t see how or why Pacquiao’s promotional team didn’t stick around for another week or two and continue to work on negotiating with Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions. Come on, it was only going to be the hugest fight in the history of boxing.
How come they quickly bailed on a fight that would have given Pacquiao a payday of $40 million to fight a guy like Joshua Clottey? I know Clottey fights for the same promotional company as Pacquiao, Top Rank, but what does Pacquiao and boxing fans get out of a fight against Clottey? This isn’t something that will further Pacquiao’s legacy, as far as I can tell, because Clottey doesn’t have a title and was recently beaten by Miguel Cotto in his last fight.
Clottey has one knockout in his last 11 fights and has only fought a small smatter of top tier opponents during his career, losing to two of them, Antonio Margarito and Cotto. Why couldn’t Pacquiao’s team wait one or two more weeks to work on finding something that Mayweather and Pacquiao could agree on for the random blood tests.
It just seems like they bailed on the negotiations way too fast for my tastes and with the huge interest and money on the line for the fight. A lot of boxing fans are pretty angry with both fighters and their teams for not making this fight happen, and I can hardly blame them. And Pacquiao’s replacement opponent only seems to make it worse in my book. They can paint it anyway they like, but Clottey is not an interesting fight for Pacquiao.
You know who’s going to win and there’s no drama other than artificial hype that some people put into it. They should have at least tried to go after Shane Mosley, Andre Berto, Juan Manuel Marquez or Paul Williams as a replacement for Mayweather. I guess it doesn’t matter to some boxing fans, because they’ll watch Pacquiao no matter what, but if they have any idea about boxing, they’re probably not too excited about the prospects of watching Pacquiao fight the recently beaten Clottey. How can you get excited about this fight? And to top it off, you’ll have to pay to see.
I won’t pay a dime to watch this fight. They should have stuck it out for two more weeks and completed the negotiations instead of moving on quickly to a fight that few boxing fans, aside from diehard Pacquiao fans, want to see. And the second option that Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum was offering, Yuri Foreman, was also a crummy idea as well for replacement opponent. Foreman also is a Top Rank fighter, and one that is not well known among boxing fans. With his nonexistent power and his hit and run style of fighting, I can only imagine how awful a fight it would have been between Foreman and Pacquiao. Thank god that fight didn’t happen.
In the best of worlds, Pacquiao and his team should have come back with a counter offer to Mayweather and agreed to have the random blood tests stop at 17 days before the fight. If Pacquiao feels weak for two days after having a tiny amount of blood taken from him, he would still have 15 days to get his strength back before the Mayweather bout.
That should have been enough time to get his power back before the fight, I would think. Even if 17 days isn’t good, they could have worked on a couple days more and make it 19 days or whatever. I just don’t see how they could back away from a huge fight like this so fast and then take a bout against Clottey.