Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Arum: Over 30,000 tickets already sold for Pacquiao-Clottey

By Chris Williams: With little more than a month to go for the March 13th clash between World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and challenger Joshua Clottey, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is saying “we’ve sold well over 30,000” tickets to the fight, according to Boxing Talk. That’s a phenomenal number for a bout that figures to be mismatch. Clottey, 32, isn’t well known by casual boxing fans, and he’s not exactly been a world beater during his career, losing to Antonio Margarito, Carlos Baldomir and recently to Miguel Cotto.

The tickets appear to be getting purchased on droves by boxing fans who want to see Pacquiao only, even if he’s not fighting an interesting opponent like Floyd Mayweather or Shane Mosley. There are some estimates that the Pacquiao-Clottey fight could end up selling as many as 65,000 tickets by the time the fight takes place. That would be an incredible number for the fight, which will be taking place at the Dallas Cowboy stadium, in Arlington, Texas.

Historically, fights that have taken place in stadiums and sold in big numbers of have been competitive ones with two famous fighters going at it. In this case, Pacquiao pretty much is taking part in a stay busy fight against a good but far from great fighter in Clottey. While Clottey is ranked number #1 by the WBO, he might be perhaps the 10th or 11th best fighter in the division, if that.

However, if boxing fans are willing to purchase tickets just to see Pacquiao fight, there’s no point in him having to take risks by facing dangerous fighters like Mayweather and Mosley, both of whom would have a good chance of beating him.

Arum promotes Pacquiao and stands behind his fighter in regards to the random blood tests that sunk Manny’s fights against Mayweather. Arum says “We [Pacquiao] have no absolute problem with random testing, as long as it’s urinalysis, and as long as it’s done by a legitimate boxing commission.”

The problem here is that Mayweather wants random blood tests for a fight between him and Pacquiao to take place, not just urine tests. Mayweather feels that the blood tests are the best method for checking for performance enhancing drugs. However, Mayweather needs help with the Nevada Athletic Commission, who only mandates that urine be checked for drugs, if he wants to try and push for random blood testing to be taken before a fight against Pacquiao in the future.

Although Pacquiao and Arum are agreeable to a certain amount of blood testing to be taken before a fight against Mayweather, both want a cutoff point well before the fight. In the case of his failed fight with Mayweather, Pacquiao wanted the blood tests to stop 24 days before the fight. Mayweather didn’t agree with this number, and countered with 14 days before the fight.

As for the blood testing, Arum says “Blood testing is very dangerous.” He fears that a nurse could “miss the veins” when drawing blood,” causing the fighter’s arm to be sore for several days after the blood draw. Arum also thinks that the urine testing is “even more effective than blood testing.”

Unfortunately, Mayweather doesn’t agree with Arum on this point. It comes down to whether Arum and Pacquiao will give in on these issues. If not, then Arum is going to have to look for someone else other than Mayweather after Pacquiao finishes up with the Clottey fight.

Mayweather is fighting Shane Mosley on May 1st, and if Mayweather wins that fight, Mosley won’t be a good option for Pacquiao for obvious reasons. But then again, Pacquiao is fighting Clottey, who was just beaten in his last fight, so you can’t really rule out Pacquiao fighting Mosley even if Shane loses to Mayweather.


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