Friday, January 29, 2010

Manny Pacquiao Gives His Sparring Partner a Beating

WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao began sparring in the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California on Thursday. Under the guidance of trainer Freddie Roach, Pacquiao sparred with Bryan Brooks in four rounds. Pacquiao dished out a beating to Brooks, who was used by Shane Mosley as a sparring partner in the past.

Roach says Pacquiao did some real damage in the four rounds of sparring. He battered Brooks good. The hall-of-fame trainer doesn't see Brooks coming back as a sparring partner in the future.

“[Pacquiao] did really well. He’s already following the game plan. This was a good sparring partner for Shane Mosley but I don’t think I’m going to bring him back… he got hurt a few times. Manny was too much for him,” Roach said to ABS CBN News. "He did whatever he wanted too. He was playing with him a little bit. He likes to play with his audience a little bit."

Pacquiao will defend his title against Joshua Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas on March 13. Pacquiao doesn't see Clottey as an easy fight.

“Clottey is strong and sturdy. He can take a punch and has a good defense. This is not going to be an easy fight,” said Pacquiao.

Roach once again stated that Pacquiao's speed will be the difference in the fight and the key to victory.

“Don’t stand in front of him. Use lateral movement, in-and-outs and side-to-side pretty much because he’s a big strong guy but again boxing ability is going to win this, not size,” said Roach.


Manny Pacquiao Named Fighter of The Year By WBC

The World Boxing Council has named pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao as "The Boxer of the Year" following his devastating victories over Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton and WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto last year.

The WBC saluted Pacquiao who has set a record of winning seven world titles in seven different weight divisions and as the First Diamond World Champion of the pre-eminent boxing organization and holder of the very first and historic Diamond green and gold belt.

WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman made the announcement based on voting by the World Boxing Council, Mexican journalists and fans through the WBC website. Sulaiman said the awardees would be hnored in a special gala ceremony in February although no date has been set as yet.

Named "World Champion of the Year" is the king of the heavyweights, Vitali Klitschko, of Ukraine, with a total of three defenses which was more than the usual number of title dvefenses by a heavyweight within within such period of time.

Klitschko knocked out Juan Carlos Gomez and Chris Arreola in March and September, respectively, and also defeated Kevin Johnson in a very clear decision.

Undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr won the award for the "Comeback of the Year". Mayweather returned almost two years after he announced his retirement and scored a lopsided unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.

Mayweather has won five championships as well as five green and gold belts in five different WBC divisions, having faced rivals of the highest level of recognition in the world.

Voted the "Revelation of the Year" was Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, of Mexico, with a record of 30 wins, 22 of them by knockout and a draw.

With seven wins in the year “Canelo” has already become an idol of Mexican fans.


Gary and Martin willing to sing in Pacquiao-Clottey match

Superstars Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano are okay with singing in the forthcoming Manny Pacquiao-Clottey match, especially since they will be in the U.S. a day before the much-awaited bout.
"It’s not as if we’ve been invited or that we’ve been offered to do it, but, yes, we’re open to performing the [Philippine] National Anthem if they’ll fly us to Texas,” said Martin at the recent press conference for the announcement of the dates for their “As1” concerts here and abroad.
The Pacquiao-Clottey bout happens on March 13, a day after Martin and Gary stage “AS1” at Reno, Nevada, some three hours away from Texas by plane.
Martin sees no novelty if he and Gary sing “Lupang Hinirang” as a duet since the song has already been performed by the all-Filipino trio La Diva at Pacquiao’s most recent match with Miguel Cotto.
“Personally, though, I really want to sing at Pacquiao’s fight with Mayweather [had it pushed through]. Gary, I think, should’ve sung at Manny’s fight with Cotto because he [Gary] has Puerto Rican blood, too,” Martin reflected.
Isn’t he allergic to singing “Lupang Hinirang” again following the flak he received for his ‘altered’ version of the national anthem at Pacquiao’s match against Ricky Hatton last year?
“No, naman, although I still think the negative reaction to my version was too much. I didn’t mean any harm [with the way I sang it]. I tried singing it from my heart… sang it as a fan of Pacquiao and one who is proud to be Filipino.
“But if you look at the silver lining in what happened, at least my version got people talking about our national anthem again. Some schools even had to give kids refreshers on how to sing the song.”
It is recalled that the National Historical Institute (NHI) criticized Martin’s version of “Lupang Hinirang” for its slow opening and prolonged, high notes in the closing.
Section 37 of the Republic Act No. 8491, also known as the 1998 Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, provides that "the rendition of the National Anthem, whether played or sung, shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe."
His first time to talk about the matter, Gary defended Martin, saying that if the NHI insists that “Lupang Hinirang” be sung “in a particular way,” then they should just “get any singer” and not an “artist.”
According to their press release, Martin and Gary will continue to conquer the world with the second leg of their “AS1” international tour.
“AS1” swept North America by storm with a very successful 9-city tour last year. Fans came in droves to the concert halls in San Diego, San Francisco, Houston, Pasadena, Chicago, Atlantic City, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary. The concert series was called "the most successful tour in the U.S. of any Filipino artist last year," as it sold out in almost all its venues.
More notably, the “AS 1” series abroad was able to raise over US$50,000 for the cause of the flood victims in the Philippines' Ondoy disaster through Sagip-Kapamilya of the ABS-CBN Foundation.
The “AS1” franchise also dominated the recording scene with the release of the commemorative “AS1” CD, now a Platinum hit record.
This year, Martin and Gary perform at Washington DC (Feb. 27), Connecticut (Feb. 28), Tampa Bay, Florida (Mar. 06), Reno, Nevada (Mar. 12), Canada (Mar. 14), Dallas, Texas (Mar. 19), Pasadena, California (Mar. 21), Dubai (Apr. 08), and Qatar (Apr. 09).
“AS1” is produced by Manila Genesis Entertainment and Management for Starmedia Entertainment Inc. The event’s majoy sponsors are The Filipino Channel and ASAP XV. For more details call Starmedia USA at 818-549-9005 and 818-547-1456.


Pacquiao hurts sparring mate

LOS ANGELES, California -- Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao concluded his first day of sparring on Thursday (Friday in Manila) by dominating journeyman boxer Bryan Brooks in four rounds.
“I feel good. I’m very well conditioned. My opponent was big. I did well against him. I’m happy and my coach is happy,” said Pacquiao.
Roach said Pacquiao followed the game plan well during the four-round sparring session. He also said Brooks was hurt a few times while sparring with the pound-for-pound king.
“[Pacquiao] did really well. He’s already following the game plan. This was a good sparring partner for Shane Mosley but I don’t think I’m going to bring him back… he got hurt a few times. Manny was too much for him,” he said.
He added: "Yes, he did whatever he wanted too. He was playing with him a little bit. He likes to play with his audience a little bit … overall, it was a great day."
Pacquiao will be facing Joshua Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas on March 13.
The 7-time world champion is heavily favored to win the bout but Roach is not taking any precautions. He did not allow any media members to film the sparring session or mitt work.
Pacquiao also believes they have their work cut out for them. He said Clottey is a tough, durable opponent. In 39 fights, the boxer from Ghana has never been knocked out.
“Clottey is strong and sturdy. He can take a punch and has a good defense. This is not going to be an easy fight,” said the Filipino.
Roach said that the key to beat Clottey is Pacquiao’s quickness
“Don’t stand in front of him. Use lateral movement, in-and-outs and side-to-side pretty much because he’s a big strong guy but again boxing ability is going to win this, not size,” said Roach.
If Thursday’s sparring session was an indicator of how the fight will be against Clottey, then Clottey has his work cut out for him.


Featured Columnist Manny Pacquiao, an Overrated Cherry-Picker? Think Again...

It is impossible for a human being to be completely devoid of opinion.
Every person who knows anything about today’s boxing world has an opinion of Manny Pacquiao, and everyone seems to be eager to share it.
While the majority of fans agree that Pacquiao has earned his place as one of the greats in boxing history, a growing number of critics have a lot to say to the contrary.
Critics continue to throw jabs, hooks, and haymakers in their attempts to discredit Manny Pacquiao. Most punches are off target--catching nothing but air. Each jab can be countered with real fact.
Here are the most popular statements that have been circulated in attempts to nullify Pacquiao’s achievements:
“He can’t be one of the greatest. He’s been knocked out before.”
Even Joe Louis was KOd by Max Schmeling.
Joe Frazier was TKOd by Ali.
“Marco Antonio Barrera was past his prime.”
He was 29 when Manny TKOd him in their first meeting.
“Juan Manuel Marquez really beat Pacquiao in both fights.”
Wrong. The two battles that were fought between these great warriors resulted in one draw and one split decision win for Pacquiao. Pacquiao actually sent Marquez to the mats four times in two fights.
“Erik Morales was shop-worn and past his prime.”
Morales were 29 and 30 years old when he was respectively TKOd and KOd by Pacquiao.
Pacquiao is 31 with more fights under his belt than Morales, yet he is still considered to be in his prime.
“Oscar De La Hoya was old and weight-drained.”
De La Hoya was only one year older and 8 lbs lighter than when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. and gave him the toughest fight of his career. It was the only fight that Mayweather failed to win by KO, TKO, or unanimous decision.
“Ricky Hatton was overrated.”
Hatton had an outstanding record of 45 wins and one loss at the time he fought Pacquiao. He was undefeated as a light welterweight, and his only loss had been to Mayweather in a welter weight bout. It took Mayweather 10 rounds to finish him. Manny did it in two.
“Cotto was damaged goods.”
After the beating that Cotto suffered at the allegedly loaded hands of Antonio Margarito, Cotto went on to TKO Michael Jennings, who held a record of 34-1.
In his next bout he reigned victorious in a brutal war against Joshua Clottey (35-2) despite suffering a severe cut over his left eye due to an incidental headbutt in round three.
“Pacquiao is on steroids, or some other form of performance enhancing drugs, and that’s why he’s been able to gain so much lean weight while retaining his power.”
This accusation is totally baseless. There is no evidence that Pacquiao has ever used any form of illegal PEDs. In fact, his actual fighting weight has changed very little over the past three years.
Pacquiao-Morales 3: Official weigh-in: 129- Fight night: 144

Pacquiao-Barrera 2: Official weigh-in: 130- Fight night: 144

Pacquiao-Marquez 2: Official weigh-in: 130- Fight night: 145
Pacquiao-Diaz: Official weigh-in: 135- Fight night: 147

Pacquiao- De La Hoya: Official weigh-in: 142- Fight night: 148

Pacquiao-Hatton: Official weigh-in: 138- Fight night: 148

Pacquiao-Cotto: Official weigh-in: 144- Fight night: unknown
“Pacquiao is on A-side meth.”
I have no facts on this because I have no idea what A-side meth actually is—or if it even exists.
I was recently told by a particular critic that there are only a few sources that cover boxing with unbiased credibility. The rest are fan sites and blogs.
The intended point was that the sites who praise Pacquiao are not credible.
I found that interesting.
Upon doing a great deal of research I also found it interesting that all of the unbiased, credible boxing sources that were named by this critic have bestowed honors upon Manny Pacquiao, including:
2006, 2008 and 2009 The Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
2006 and 2008 Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year
2006 and 2008 Fighter of the Year
2008 and 2009 The Ring Magazine No. 1 Pound For Pound (year-end)
Five-Time PSA Sportsman of the Year
2000-09 Philippine Sportswriters Association Athlete of the Decade
2008 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Honorary Award for Sports Excellence
2008 and 2009 Fighter of the Year
2008 Sports Illustrated Boxer of the Year
2008 and 2009 Boxer of the Year
2008 WBC Boxer of the Year
2008 Yahoo Sports Fighter of the Year
2008 and 2009 ESPN Star's Champion of Champions
2009 ESPN Fighter of the Year
2009 ESPN Knockout of the Year
2009 ESPY Awards Best Fighter
2009 TIME 100 Most Influential People (Heroes & Icons Category)
2009 TIME Magazine cover for November issue
2009 Forbes Magazine Celebrity 100 (ranked 57th)
2009 HBO Fighter of the Decade
2009 The Fighter of the Decade
2009 Sports Illustrated Fighter of the Year
2009 The Ring Magazine Knockout of the Year
2009 World's Greatest Ever Featherweight
2009 World's Greatest Ever (ranked second)
To the hysterical and very loud minority who think Pacquiao is an overrated cherry-picker: You have every right to your opinion, but facts are facts.


Pacquiao tops list: Five guys Joshua Clottey can, cannot beat

Obviously, Joshua Clottey is a marketable commodity. But his pre Manny Pacquiao fight remarks must be taken with grains of salt, maybe 12 million grains of salt.

Like President Bam Bam in his feisty State of the Union speech Wednesday night, Clottey is hitting all the right notes.

The Ghanaian is saying that Megamanny is not superman. He says he knows how to handle southpaws. He says he won’t be in the Cowboys Stadium on march 13 merely to collect the biggest purse of his distinguished if hardly remarkable career.

Speculative promises are one thing and hot air is another. Surely, Clottey is entitled to the preflight palaver but, when he says his prayers and tucks himself into bed at night, does he believe what he says?

I don’t think so because he is not The Man who will stop The Manny.

Which brings me to a little list of fighters Clottey won’t beat and fighters he can beat:


1. MANNY PACQUIAO: The Pacman is still climbing up the ladder, a frightening thought for any foe. Is you ready for this, Mr. Mayweather? Give Sugar Shane Mosley a slim chance to derail the Pacman Express and give Mayweather the greater possibility of doing so with his slap and run style. Clottey runs second to Manny every time. Great writer J.D. Salinger just died at 91 which reminds me that, come March 13, the "Catcher in the Rye" will be Clottey, catching nearly all of Pacquiao's punches.

2. FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Obama’s new chant is jobs, jobs, jobs, only one letter different than Money May’s old chant of jabs, jabs, jabs. I doubt Clottey wins a single round with Mayweather rolling those shoulders, dipping those hips and ramming that jab in his kisser.

3. SUGAR SHANE MOSLEY: Nearing 40 but he’d be 40 and fabulous against Clottey. Mosley’s work rate and stretch run would give him a clear cut victory on points.

4. LUIS COLLZAO: Does Lefty Louie from Coney Island carry the swine flu? I wonder the way he gets avoided. He and Clottey will never fight, being in different promotional camps but Collazo is another portsider who Josh would only be joshing with.

5. YURI I’M NO BORE, MAN, FOREMAN: Rabbi to be would take Clottey to shul, er I mean school over 12 rounds and take comfotrtable decision. Only 27, Foreman’s confidence got huge boost with title victory over proven banger Daniel Santos. This could happen as both are Top Rank cattle, er I mean chattel.

JOSHUA CLOTTEY CAN BEAT: 1. RICKY HATTON: This fight carried on Comedy Central, ho, ho and few more hos.

2. ANDRE BERTO: Never happens as Uncle Bob and Uncle Al (Haymon) fighers rarely mix it up. Berto probably nips Clottey but, properly inspired and with a trainer who pushes him from rounds eight through 12, Josh could possible defeat Berto.

3. ANTONIO MARGARITO: Revenge bout for Clottey but unlikely to happen. Who knows what Bandito Margocheato has left after suspension year on shelf? Arum might make this bout after both get beaten by his Megacash Cow from Gen San.

4. YO PAULIE MALIGNAGGI: Think Clottey would prove too physically strong for sorehanded Brookllynite. Unlikely to ever happen but it would be interesting but short of compelling.

5. CORY SPINKS: Joshua could beat Cory but they will never fight and Cory would put on a boxing clinic to nab a points verdict. It would take extra effort for Clottey to defeat the jabbing master out of ‘The Lou.


What happens if Clottey beats Pacquiao?

By Chris Williams: Not much has been discussed about what happens if Joshua Clottey beats World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao on March 13th. Maybe Clottey doesn’t have the greatest of chances to beat Pacquiao, that’s a given. But if Clottey does pull of a shocking win, especially a knockout victory, he’s going to send the Pacquiao express to a crashing stop. Can you imagine the news that would be generated if Clottey ends up beating Pacquiao?

This would make Clottey an immediate star and set up a huge money rematch for later in the year. I could see now less than two more fights between Clottey and Pacquiao if Clottey were able to beat him. It wouldn’t matter if Pacquiao beats Clottey in a rematch, there would be a lot of pressure on Pacquiao to prove that he can beat him twice to dispel that the win wasn’t a fluke.

You can forget about a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the remainder of 2010 if Clottey beats Pacquiao. Who would want to see that fight if Pacquiao can’t beat a fighter like Clottey? It could still, I guess. After all, Pacquiao is fighting Clottey, who was just beaten by Miguel Cotto (a recent Pacquiao victim) in his last fight. This why, perhaps, some people don’t understand why Clottey was selected to fight Pacquiao in the first place with Joshua coming off of a loss to Cotto.

Pacquiao would probably still remain hugely popular with some fans regardless of how bad Clottey beats him. That’s just the way it is. Pacquiao would probably have to lose a ton of fights before some of his fans lose interest in him. However, I think a loss to Clottey would be a big blow for Pacquiao’s career. This isn’t a fight that is considered to be all that competitive going in, and if Pacquiao is beaten by someone that has failed in some of his biggest fights against Antonio Margarito and Cotto, it would cause some people to re-think how they see Pacquiao.

I could certainly see Pacquiao losing to Clottey. Let’s look at who Pacquiao has beaten recently. In the past year, Pacquiao has beaten Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. Of those three, I would say that Cotto was the best fighter at the time that Pacquiao fought him. However, many boxing fans feel that Cotto hasn’t been the same fighter since he was stopped by Antonio Margarito a year earlier in 2008.

There’s no denying that Cotto took a vicious beating in the Margarito fight, and didn’t look good at all in his subsequent bout against Clottey in 2009. Cotto looked like he was on the verge of quitting at one point in the fight. He didn’t quit, but he looked really shaky for a few moments there late in the fight.

Cotto didn’t look like the same fighter he once was before the Margarito loss. And Pacquiao’s win over De La Hoya came at the end of Oscar’s career when he was losing as often as he was winning in past few years leading up to the Pacquiao fight. De La Hoya had lost three out of his last six fights coming into his December 2008 fight with Pacquiao, and Oscar’s only wins during this time was against little Steve Forbes, Ricardo Mayorga and a questionable win over Felix Sturm.

You might as well have taken away the wins over Forbes and Sturm. Forbes was too small, and the Sturm fight looked to be another loss for De La Hoya. To make matters worse, De La Hoya had to drop a lot of weight to fight Pacquiao at 147, and Oscar looked weight drained for the fight.

I think Oscar would have lost even if the fight had taken place at 154, because he wasn’t the same fighter by this point, but the weight loss certainly didn’t help him much. Ricky Hatton just looked shot. I don’t believe his punch resistance had been lessened by his earlier knockout loss to Mayweather in 2007, like some people think.

But I do think that Hatton wasn’t the same fighter when he met Pacquiao because of his tendency to eat and drink too much between fights. Hatton looked like a blimp before he started training for his fight with Pacquiao and he had to have taken off at least 20 or more pounds of fat to get in fighting shape for his bout against Pacquiao.

I’m being conservative with my estimate. Hatton might well have been as much as 30 pounds overweight before he started training for the Pacquiao fight. The eating and drinking obviously didn’t help Hatton, and neither did him having to adjust to a new trainer during training camp. Hatton looked like he over-trained for the fight and wasn’t there mentally or physically.

But ideally, I would have liked to have seen Pacquiao face someone like Timothy Bradley if Pacquiao was interested in fighting a light welterweight. I don’t think Hatton was the same fighter for a variety of reasons by the time that Pacquiao fought him.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clottey: "I Will Destroy Manny Pacquiao, Shock The World"

Speaking to his supporters at the Media Centre of the Ohene Djan Stadium, Joshua Clottey said - “Pacquiao is human just like I am, and not a superman as many regard him."

Clottey challenges Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title on March 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. He wants to put Ghana in the spotlight by pulling off a major upset.

“I see the fight as a big platform which outcome will not only open more doors for me, but will place the name of Ghana on a higher pedestal,” Clottey told the Ghana Chronicle.

Clottey is not intimidated by Pacquiao's past wins over such fighters as Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. He has a plan to for Pacquiao's difficult southpaw style and plans to bust up the Filipino champion.

“I’m not going into this fight because of the purse, but I have my eyes firmly glued to the title and will definitely destroy him to shock the world. I have antidotes to southpaws, no southpaw has defeated me in my career,” Clottey said.


March 13th, 2010 fight all set for Manny Pacquiao vs Joshua Clottey

Manny Pacquaio vs. joshua Clottey instead of Floyd Mayweather.

The group of Joshua Clottey and Manny Pacquiao’s camp have reportedly agreed in principle to set a PPV fight on March 13, 2010

Previously various reports that the sport’s number one pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao fight the former undefeated American pound for pound fighterFloyd Mayweather Jr on March 13th as planned and hope.

But it has also now announced that Manny Pacquiao will be fighting to former IBF welter weight champion Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KO’s) from Ghana at the new Dallas Cowboys football stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Obviously Manny Pacquiao will not fight the former undefeated American pound for pound fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr on March 13th

There are articles with statements from Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum and his trainer Freddie Roach stating that the fight with Joshua Clottey is a go and all set.


Clottey: “I promise that I will dethrone him” [Pacquiao]

By Sean McDaniel: Former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey is confident that he has what it takes to beat World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao in their fight on March 13th, at the Dallas Cowboy stadium, in Arlington, Texas. In an article at Ghanaweb< Clottey, 32, said “I know its Pacquiao, but I don’t want people thinking that Manny is super, that nobody can beat him. He is a human being like me. He has lost three times and I have also lost three times. We speak, laugh and share jokes together. I promise that I will dethrone him” [Pacquiao]. Clottey doesn’t seem bothered by all the people who are giving him almost zero chance to beat Pacquiao. Clottey has been in against some tough world class opponents during his career, in fights against Miguel Cotto, Zab Judah, Diego Corrales and Antonio Margarito. One problem that Clottey has is that he’s only had mixed results when stepping it. Clottey has lost to Cotto, Margarito and Carlos Baldomir during his career. There’s no shame in losing to good fighters like them, but Clottey doesn’t have a lot of other wins against notable opponents to make up for his losses against some of the best opponents he’s faced. In the fights that Clottey has lost, he’s generally fought very well during patches of the fight. However, in almost every case, Clottey has seemed to run out of gas and have his work rate suffer as the rounds progressed late into the fight. Even in some of the fights that Clottey has won, he’s faded late and turned fights that should have been a lopsided win or knockout into a fight that turned to be much closer than it should have. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, will likely have Pacquiao following a fight plan which involves Pacquiao using quick in and out attacks to avoid getting hit by Clottey. Roach won’t want Pacquiao to stand in front of Clottey and try to slug with him because of Clottey’s bigger size, good hand speed and strong chin. Clottey isn’t the type of fighter that can easily be knocked out. This is why their March 13th fight could turn out to be a very boring fight with Pacquiao winning it by hitting and running. Roach says that Clottey will make for an exciting fight for fans, but it could turn out completely opposite of that with Pacquiao fighting on the move for 12 rounds.


Clottey said Pacquiao is beatable

MANILA, Philippines – Joshua Clottey made a bold statement to his fellow Ghanaians, saying that he will shock the world by defeating 7-time world champion Manny Pacquiao on March 13.

“I am taking this fight not for the money but to win the title. I know it’s Pacquiao but I don’t want people thinking that Manny is super, that nobody can beat him. He is a human being like me. He has lost three times and I have also lost three times. We speak, laugh and share jokes together. I promise that I will dethrone him,” Clottey said in a press conference in Accra, Ghana as quoted by

Clottey, a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion, continued: “He is beatable and as such I will put up my very best fight ever in my career to ensure that I beat him.”

Clottey (35-3, with 20 knockouts) promised to make his country proud by scoring a win against Pacquiao.

“I will ensure that Ghana's flag is raised very high in the USA by accounting for the Filipino,” he said.

The 32-year-old Ghanaian plans to wrest the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title from Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) when they clash at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Easy win for Pacman?

A former trainer of Pacquiao, however, thinks that Clottey has no chance against the Filipino boxing superstar.

“I think this is a kind of an easy fight for Manny. Clottey is bigger and is physically stronger but Manny’s got everything else. He’s got the speed, he’s got the skills plus Clottey is a blocker. It's almost like if Manny goes out there and throws punches in bunches, he doesn’t have to hit him hard,” American Rick Stehely told Ronnie Nathanielsz of

According to Nathanielsz, Stehely handled Pacquiao when he defeated Thai Chatchai Sasakul to win his first world title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight belt, in 1998.

He even predicted that Pacquiao “should win a very easy twelve-round decision or possibly stop Clottey late like he did with (Miguel) Cotto.”

The Filipino boxing sensation defeated Cotto by a technical knockout in the 12th round last November at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Prior to his TKO defeat, Cotto won over Clottey via split decision at the Madison Square Garden in New York last June.

Ghana behind Clottey

Clottey, meanwhile, thanked the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) members for organizing the press conference.

“I am encouraged by what I am seeing and hearing today and for the first time I am thinking about the nation which will make things harder for Manny Pacquiao. The nation didn’t support us much in the past but if now they are ready to get behind us, that is the best motivation I can get. And I promise to win the title for Ghana.”

Boxing Hall of Famer Azumah Nelson also showed his support for his fellow Ghanaian.

“My fear is that Manny Pacquiao is a southpaw because they are hard to fight but Joshua has given us an assurance that he knows how to fight southpaws so I am relieved,” he said.

“I will advise Joshua to train hard but I know him and I know that he will not rest. We will be there to support him physically and mentally,” added Nelson, who is the GBA technical director.

National Sports Council of Ghana CEO Worlanyo Agrah, meantime, assured that Ghana's spirit will be with Clottey.

“The nation is with you in spirit and we pray to God to guide you unto victory. The NSC will also take over the visa issue so that Alloway can travel with Joshua,” said Agrah.

Nathanielsz wrote that the visa problem of Clottey’s assistant and trainer has been fixed already. The Ghanaian is expected to go to the United States on Friday to train in Florida.
Pacquiao already began his training camp in Los Angeles, California. He is set to start sparring on Thursday at Roach's Wildcard Gym.


Podcast Exclusive 8CN interview: Manny Pacquiao Exclusive 8CN interview: Manny Pacquiao Josh Clottey and The Solid Opposition

First noted are the reactions. With the mega bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao decimated by trivialities, both fighters have turned away from each other to exert their dominance elsewhere. It took almost no time for Bob Arum to step in and ostensibly brush over the disappointment by placing Welterweight contender Joshua Clottey in Mayweather’s stead. While Arum has undoubtedly overstated the attractiveness of the substitute bout, it is compelling enough to draw interest.

Pacquiao should not be chastised for cutting the stalemate with Mayweather short. After all, the dissolution of the super bout didn’t see him off to graze leisurely in a field of lighter weights. Instead, he chose a solid challenger. And this challenger has a formidable hunger to succeed at the highest level. He won’t likely take this opportunity for granted.

Joshua Clottey presents a different kind of opposition than what Pacquiao has faced. It is crucial not to consider him as merely the vanquished of the vanquished. True, the chain exists: Clottey lost to Miguel Cotto who lost to Pacquiao. But Clottey’s loss was controversial, and to many eyes he had actually won the fight. Obviously, the controversy in this case helps to legitimize the contest with Pacquiao. It is the ultimate adage in boxing that styles make fights. The two styles that will meet in Texas on March 13th could potentially make for an interesting contrast.

Classifying the style of Clottey is somewhat challenging. He is mindful of defense, utilizing a high guard; but his style isn’t exactly defense driven. He can punch powerfully and effectively in combination; but his style isn’t exactly offense driven either. What he does exhibit is his own individual arsenal of skills. It’s an arsenal that can be effective, but is mostly so when Clottey remains focused, and when he does not allow himself to be rattled by his opponent’s tactics. When he retains composure, he has proven the quality of his style, and it has recommended him to contender status.

Traditionally, the biggest stages have not brought the greatest rewards for Clottey. At times, it has seemed to be the result of sheer misfortune. He lost a title shot to Antonio Margarito in a frustrating 12 round decision in Atlantic City in 2006. Reportedly he had broken his hand during the bout, an injury that would obviously have impeded his punch output. It left him to be stalked down by Margarito. It is worth mention, though, that Clottey fought Margarito at a time when others were not so eager to get into the ring with him. This was prior to the notorious hand wraps incident, back when the power of Margarito’s punches was assumed to be granted by nature alone. Whether modified at the time or not, Margarito was not able to dispose of the opponent who was lessened by a busted hand.

Clottey was coming off of a five fight winning streak when he met Miguel Cotto in the ring in New York last June. In this outing, his technique was tedious to watch. The performance was in large part due to his perceptible loss of focus. He spent the evening stifled behind his high guard. He held his arms in front of his face in a manner so unrelenting, it seemed like he must have been obstructing his own vision. Good defense is traditionally a strong attribute, but that’s only true when the defensive actions are fluid and interchangeable. Literally walling up the body as a means of protecting it limits the capability to initiate attacks. It interferes with the response to the timing and rhythm of the opponent. It interrupts effective exchange. “Hit and don’t be hit” may be the mantra on unbloodied lips, but a defense that forces an overly conservative punch output will generate a poor figure on scorecards.

In the fight against Cotto, Clottey’s offense was essentially pared down to sporadic bursts of activity. He spent much precious time enshrined behind the safety of his arms, and he seemed to become the victim of his own pent up energy. He would punch aggressively in combination, often lunging forward as he did so. At times, he became awkward and was thrown off balance. Still, these bursts were met with some success, because Cotto was moving forward in a relatively straight line. But Clottey’s unyielding preoccupation with protecting himself cut these successful onslaughts short, and he ceded points to Cotto. Clottey was disappointed with the result, and he wasn’t alone.

For Clottey, what will happen in Texas on March 13th probably comes as an uncommonly pleasant surprise. Part of Clottey’s determination to beat Cotto was doubtlessly fueled by a potential match up with Pacquiao. When he lost that fight, he most likely saw the opportunity evaporating in front of his eyes. Circumstances shifted across the boxing landscape, and now Clottey sees his chance coming around again.

What will the bout actually look like? In the best case scenario, Clottey will retain composure and will not allow a repeat performance of the one against Cotto. There are certain things he simply must not do if he wants a chance at a decisive victory over Pacquiao. He needs to be prepared for Pacquiao’s spectacular and peculiar choreography. Not simply for the obvious reason that any fighter prepares for his opponent’s style, but because he needs to be mentally prepared for it. Pacquiao will address him with a rate of speed unfamiliar to him. The punches will not only come at rapid pace, but also with power and at unforeseeable angles. This is Pacquiao’s magic, and it is very difficult to dispel. Most of Pacquiao’s opponents of late have looked like they’re shadowboxing some menacing spirit. They cannot target the cause, but are nonetheless left to react to bruises on their faces and dents in their sides. Pacquiao’s “invisible man” type of style will be the ultimate test of Clottey’s constitution. If he can retain his composure during this fight, he has kicked the bad habit.

Clottey will have to do away with the reliance on his unrelenting guard. This guard is inflexible, and Pacquiao will quickly find a way around it. He will dig beneath the elbows and attack the body. He is sharp enough to throw jabs and straight hands right between the gloves. If Clottey doesn’t use his guard wisely and sparingly, he will give away points in every round. He has to fight Pacquiao. And it’s not difficult to draw him into a fight. He enjoys active combat. Clottey should use his size and strength as a combined advantage and come forward. The chances of hurting Pacquiao increase with the level of activity. He certainly cannot be harmed by a man encased in a shell.

In the end, even if Clottey does not emerge victorious, he can still increase his reputation by putting on a proud display commensurate with his abilities. That alone would set him apart from the pack. If it is Pacquiao who does as is widely expected, and wins the fight, he will have yet another gleaming jewel to add to his crown. But when the excitement subsides, the issue of greeting the stalemate with Mayweather will inevitably arise. And again will come the exposure to petty wars waged outside of the battle grounds, where the possibility for a decisive clash is dissolved day by day in wasted energies.


Exclusive 8CN interview: Manny Pacquiao

The pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao returns home to 8CountNews and shares his thoughts on his big upcoming fight against Joshua Clottey. Pacquiao pulls no punches in this exclusive interview, he goes right after Floyd Mayweather and questions why he would purposely discredit his good name. Pacquiao also breaks down his fight against Clottey, and touches on his political career as well. Check out what else the pound for pound king had to say ONLY on 8CountNews!


8CN - Manny thank you for joining us tonight.

MP - Hello how are you doing?

8CN - Doing good, OK let's talk about Joshua Clottey. What does Clottey bring into the ring that gets your attention?

MP - Joshua Clottey is a good fighter and a strong fighter, he can punch. I truly believe that we can bring a good fight, and create a lot of boxing in the ring.

8CN - Are you concerned by how strong Clottey's chin is? He is tough to hurt.

MP - Yes, that's what I am saying, Clottey is tough. He can punch, and he is very strong.

8CN - He is going to be bigger and you are going to be faster. Do you think that he will suffer the same fate as your other opponents? Do you think you will be too fast for him?

MP - My advantage is my speed, but I have to use that properly. I have to use my speed in the fight correctly.

8CN - I was talking to Evander Holyfield, and he said that he noticed that when you punch you use your legs. He said that you use your legs to get leverage on your punches. Do you agree with him?

MP - Yes, you know the power of my punches is from my legs. Evander Holyfield is my idol, I always watch his fights.

8CN - Evander supports you, he said that Mayweather should not have accused you of taking steroids. That must be important for you to hear someone like Evander say that.

MP - Yes, and I don't understand Floyd. Maybe he just doesn't want to fight me. Maybe he needs more time to make a decision to fight me.

8CN - Do you think that was part of Floyd's plan? Do you think he was looking for an out the whole time?

MP - That's right, I believe that.

8CN - Training camp for Clottey is a little bit shorter this time. Do you have any concerns with the camp being shorter?

MP - No, training is good. Right now I have pretty good movement. I am throwing good combinations, and I will be ready for the fight on March 13th.

8CN - I want to get back on the Floyd Mayweather situation. How disappointed are you for the fans and all of boxing that this fight will not happen?

MP - Well I am disappointed actually, I feel bad because if he doesn't want to fight, why get into a big alibi by ruining my name?

8CN - Your reputation could have taken a real hit because of that....

MP - Cutting in - I don't know what his story is. I don't know why he would accuse me like that.

8CN - Put it into your words how important it is for you to maintain your integrity and reputation to all of the boxing fans.

MP - The boxing fans and the Filipino boxing fans believe that Floyd is just making an alibi to cancel the fight, he's not ready to fight.

8CN - Do you think you will ultimately fight Floyd one day?

MP - I think he is scared to lose. I think he knows that if he fights me, he has a good chance to lose.

8CN - I think a lot of fans think that Manny

MP - (Laughs)

8CN - How many more fights do you think you have left in your career?

MP - It's hard to say right now but 3 to 4 more fights.

8CN - If you do win your seat in the election, will you still be involved in boxing?

MP - Maybe I will keep on fighting.

8CN - So you might still fight even if you win the election?

MP - Yes.

8CN - OK, Manny I know you're busy so do you have any closing thoughts for the fans out there?

MP - OK Brad thank you, and to all of the fans I say thank you very much. I hope everyone watches my fight on March 13th in Dallas. Thank you Brad.


Margarito, Mexico: Pacquiao-Clottey push crosses border

Phase 2 of the Joshua Clottey-Manny Pacquaio Cowboys Stadium promotion is about to launch.

With somewhere in the area of 26,000 tickets committed, Boxing Bob Arum and Football Jerry Jones are putting their marketing and publicity teams together to beat the drums on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border.

The Texas boxing commission is giving returning from suspension Antonio Margocheato, oh I am sorry I misspelled his last name again, a free pass back into boxing.

“The Tijuana Tornado” may return to the ring like a gale force wind but don’t expect any Mark McGwire style apology or any sort of true confession as to what happened Jan. 24, 2009, in LA when the fighter was nabbed with illegally loaded handwraps before he went out and took a spanking from Sugar Shane Mosley.

(Arum confirmed my mini, mini, mini “scoop” of Sunday that former world champ Robert Garcia has become head trainer for Tone Loc.)

Clearly, Arum has told the Mexican star to stick the script, meaning stand by his sworn testimony before the California commission.


Why was the Pacquiao-Clottey fight put together so fast?

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.


Clottey: Pacquiao is "Beatable" Clottey: Pacquiao is "Beatable"

When discussing Manny Pacquiao
, several words appear frequently in conversation. One of the certainly less-common words that appears is "beatable."

That's exactly what Joshua Clottey thinks he is.

"[Pacquiao] is beatable," said Clottey (35-3, 21 KO), speaking to the press in his homeland of Ghana via Modern Ghana this week, "and as such I will put up my very best fight ever in my career to ensure I beat him."

Clottey also acknowledged fellow Ghanan boxer Azumah Nelson's offer to be ringside for the fight in Dallas, Texas, and also reminded the press that he has never lost to a southpaw yet, and didn't intend for Pacquiao to be the first one.

Said Clottey, "I will ensure that Ghana's flag is raised very high in the USA by accounting for the Filipino."


Margarito deserves a shot against Pacquiao

By Esteban Garduno: After serving his year suspension from the California Athletic Commission, it’s high time that former IBF welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (37-6, 27 KO’s) be allowed to fight against. Presently, Margarito has applied to have his license renewed by the Texas Athletic Commission rather than the California Commission. It makes sense, because Margarito is planning to fight on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey fight on March 13th at the Dallas Cowboy stadium.

But it’s also the smart thing to do, because the California Athletic Commission might not give Margarito his boxing license back this year, even though he’s done his year suspension. Last year in January, Margarito’s hand wraps were found to have an illegal substance inside. Margarito said that he wasn’t aware that there was anything inside.

Margarito lost his license anyway for a year by the California Commission. But the year is over, it’s time that Margarito be allowed to fight again. And if Margarito beats his March 13th opponent, Carson Jones, I’m hoping that Margarito can be set up with a fight against World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Pacquiao.

I think this would be a great fight. And for those boxing fans who think that Margarito should be banned for life for the hand wrap incident, all I can say is what about all the fighters that are caught using steroids and growth hormones? Why aren’t they banned for life? If you don’t think that a chemical that helps you put on muscle and hit harder than you normally don’t help you, then I think people are being naive.

Performance enhancing drugs allow a fighter to hit someone harder than their body would naturally allow them to. Granted, the steroids and growth hormones probably don’t help for fights that go into the later rounds were conditioning becomes a factor, but I suspect that they do help in the first half of the fights.

And I also think it helps some unethical fighters put on bulk to move up in weight so they can make more money. I don’t think it’s easy to put on 15 to 20 pounds of pure muscle in three to six months. I don’t know that you really can. For fighters to move up in weight like that, a lot of the weight that they put isn’t muscle when they’re moving up in weight so quickly.

So my thoughts are if fighters found dirty with steroids or growth hormones in their bodies aren’t being banned for life, then why should Margarito be? To me, they both seem to come out to being the same thing. How can a fighter who uses steroids and/or growth hormone be allowed to continue boxing while a fighter who pads his gloves can’t? Both of them would seem to me to be dangerous.

This is why I think Margarito deserves a second chance against Jones initially and then Pacquiao later on in 2010. He’s done his time and given that there’s no laws saying that he should be banned for life from boxing, then I think he should be able to fight again. Boxers need to be able to have a second chance if they screw up. But if fans and the commissions do want to make it impossible for fighters like Margarito to fight again, then I think they need to apply the same standards for fighters using growth hormones and steroids.


And Clottey wept

The US Embassy in Accra's decision to deny Joshua Clottey, former IBF Welterweight champion's trainer, Nii Kotey Dzanie, has really saddened them.

In a well attended press conference in Accra yesterday, the emotionally-stricken Clottey broke down in tears, mid-way during the program, following his trainer's travelling documentation hitches.

The boxer revealed that a trainer plays a key role in the outcome of boxing bouts; an assertion WBC official, Atta Eddi Pappoe attested to.

Refreshingly, Mr. Worlanyo K. Agra, upon hearing the boxer's plight promised to use his good offices to intervene.

After some few contacts outside the press conference, Mr. Agra walked in to give the assurance that his contacts via telephone proved profitable and that the signs are clear on the wall that Nii Kotey will fly out with the boxer for the big bout in March.

At the time of going to press, the GBA Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Amin Lamptey, orchestrator of the press conference, confirmed that the US Embassy had promised to issue the visa to the trainer.


Joshua Clottey Is Cleaning The Corner That Floyd Mayweather Jr. Crapped In

Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey were standing underneath the world's largest high-definition video display in the world's largest domed stadium.

All eyes were focused squarely on them and they knew it. So they smiled each other.

It was a refreshing display of humanity between two fighters who were announcing their upcoming boxing match scheduled to take place at the opulent new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 13.

A date that was originally reserved for Floyd Mayweather Jr. to face Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

But most people know how those hostile fight negotiations ended up.

Rather than agreeing to fight the Filipino icon who has won championships in a record seven different weight classes—Mayweather decided that the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stage boxing's biggest event would instead be an excellent time for him to pull down his pants and take a crap.

So he did.

He crapped all over Pacquiao, the sport of boxing, the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the numerous fans who have faithfully supported his career since he first won the National Gold Gloves in 1993, and everyone else in between.

And he seemed to enjoy it.

And now there is crap everywhere .

That's why it's so refreshing that a smiling Joshua Clottey is going to be Pacquiao's next opponent.

The fighter, also known as "The Hitter," is everything that Mayweather is not; he's dignified, respectful, aggressive, courageous, and willing to actually square up and fight.

He's the perfect selection to stand in the corner opposite of Pacquiao on March 13 and attempt to clean up the mess that has been left on boxing's landscape by Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Born in the Republic of Ghana and now fighting out of the Bronx in New York City, Clottey is 35-3 with 20 knockouts. All three of his defeats are also somewhat controversial:

In 1999, Clottey was disqualified against Carlos Baldomir in the 11th round for head-butting after the referee had warned him to stop leading with his head. At the time he was winning comfortably on all three of the judge's scorecards.

In 2006, Clottey lost unanimously to Antonio Margarito. But Margarito was later found with illegal plaster in his hand wraps before fighting against another opponent, casting a shadow of doubt over all of his previous victories.

And in 2009, Clottey lost via split-decision in a close, hard-fought battle with Miguel Cotto. Many people watching the fight live thought it should have been scored a draw or a split-decision victory in Clottey's favor.

All in all, it's not that difficult to recognize how formidable of an opponent Clottey is for the naturally smaller Pacquiao. He's a legitimate welterweight that's never fought below 140 and he has never been knocked out.

If Pacquiao plans on extending his record to 51-3-2, it's quite apparent that he has his work cut out for him. On the bright side though, I don't think he's going to have to worry about any more crap storms precariously rolling in over the horizon.

Clottey seems ready and willing to put a stop to that immediately.

So from here on out, I'm expecting forecasters from the boxing world to call for mostly sunny skies with occasional smile storms mixed in, something the sport could certainly use more of at this point in time.

And I'm sure Pacquiao and Clottey will be more than happy to oblige.

They've already gotten off to a wonderful start.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pacquiao-Clottey can break US gate record

Manny Pacquiao (left) and Joshua Clottey pose during the press conference of their March 13 bout dubbed as “The Event.” AFP photo

The Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey March 13 fight has the golden chance of breaking the record for the biggest attendance in a covered arena in the United States as it has sold more than 20,000 tickets in just four days.
“The public response is just unbelievable,” said Top Rank Promotions spokesman Lee Samuels from Las Vegas. “We are happy to report that since ticket sales started last Saturday [January 23] more than 20,000 tickets have been snapped up by boxing fans.”

Most of the tickets already sold were the expensive ones, Samuels said—those in the $100, $200, $300 up to the most expensive $700 ringside seats.

“We still have thousands of tickets for $50 and up, which are available for families who simply want to have a night of boxing excitement and fun,” Samuels said.

He said the presence of substantial numbers of ethnic Filipinos in Dallas and nearby areas plus the huge Hispanic population who love boxing would boost interest in the fight dubbed as “The Event.”

According to veteran American boxing scribe Michael Marley, the current record is 63,315 paid attendance generated by the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks rematch at the Louisiana Superdome in 1978.

On September 10, 1993, 58,891 people paid to watch the Julio Cesar Chavez-Pernell Whitaker super fight at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Quoting Top Rank Chief Executive Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, Marley said more than 24,000 tickets have been sold by Ticketmaster since Saturday.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the new and huge football arena with retractable roof will be configured for 40,000 to 50,000 seats, but that can easily be expanded up to 90,000 seats, depending on demand.

Samuels said they were pleasantly surprised by the early ticket sales results for Pacquiao-Clottey, which he described as a competitive match-up between two of the best welterweights in the world who both come to fight.

If the media interest in the fight is any indication, Samuels said, about 1,000 media men from around the world are expected to cover the fight, the first boxing event in the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“Manny Pacquiao is the best fighter in the world. He has speed, superb footwork and explosive power in both hands,” Samuels said. “Josh Clottey is certainly a worthy, dangerous challenger—bigger, stronger and tough—who has never been stopped.”
What makes Clottey dangerous are not only his toughness and size advantage but also his being “hungry for a world title” and the fact that he has a game plan against the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

“I expect Clottey to be aggressive throughout the fight because he feels that’s his only chance against Manny,” Samuels said, adding that a big, tough and aggressive fighter like him, who has pop in his punches, could pose a real challenge for Pacquiao.


Joshua Clottey: Pacquiao Is Beatable

Ghana's Joshua Clottey is confident of defeating the current world best pound-for-pound boxer Manny Pacman Pacquiao on March 13 in Dallas, Texas.

The two would vie for Pacman's World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Welterweight crown in the USA in a fight boxing pundits have described as the biggest ever for the Ghanaian.

Addressing the press yesterday in Accra, Clottey, who has lost only thrice in his career, promised to raise the Ghana flag very high on the D-day.

“I will ensure that Ghana's flag is raise very high in the USA by accounting for the Filipino.

“He is beatable and as such I will put up my very best fight ever in my career to ensure that I beat him,” said Clottey who arrived in Accra over the weekend.

On whether Pacquiao's status as a southpaw would pose challenges to him, Clottey said he had never lost to a southpaw and as such he would never succumb to him.

He acknowledged Azumah Nelson's offer to be at the ring side on the D-day to show solidarity, adding that the boxing professor has urged him to go all out and stun the whole world by winning the fight.

Already, 25,000 tickets have been sold for the crunch fight between Clottey (35-3, 21KOs) and Manny Pacquiao. According to reports, boxing fans across the United States are hoping to witness the biggest fight in Dallas, Texas, hence a scramble for tickets to watch one of the biggest fights of the century.


Pacquiao expects close fight vs Clottey

MANILA, Philippines – It will be tough and it will be close.
World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao said he expects his March 13 date with challenger Joshua Clottey to turn out just like the Ghanaian boxer’s match against Miguel Cotto.
“Sa tingin ko pa nga, close ang labang iyon at puwede ring si Ginoong Clottey ang nanalo,” Pacquiao said, referring to the June 2009 fight between Clottey and Cotto.
Cotto got a split-decision win, but many fans felt it could have been gone either way.
“Ganyan din ang dapat kong asahan sa laban namin sa Marso 13,” he added.
Pacquiao said the size and ability of Clottey, who has won 35 fights against 3 losses, makes the Ghanaian fighter a very dangerous foe.
Pacquiao has 50 wins against 3 losses.
Clottey stands 5-feet-8 and is a full welterweight, while Pacquiao, the only boxer to win 7 world titles, is 5-feet-6.5 and last fought at a 145-pound catch weight.
“Naniniwala akong isa siyang mapanganib na kalaban,” said Pacquiao, who has started training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California.
Still in good condition
Pacquiao’s physical conditioning expert, Alex Ariza, meanwhile, said Pacquiao is still in good shape two months after his 12th round TKO victory over Cotto last November.
“He is looking sharp already,” Ariza said in a report by
Trainer Freddie Roach agreed that the Filipino boxer is in “pretty good shape” at 148 lbs.
“We’re gonna start sparring one day earlier than normal and get the rounds in,” Roach said. “We'll have the game plan down by next week.”
Not giving up on Pacman-Floyd
Meanwhile, boxing promoter Oscar de la Hoya said that despite the bitter feud with the Pacquiao camp, he hasn't given up on trying to convince Pacquiao to fight his client Floyd Mayweather.
"That fight has to happen," De la Hoya said Tuesday of the proposed bout, which fell apart earlier this month over a drug-testing procedure dispute. "It's too big not to happen. We just have to cross one hurdle."
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday to promote a non-title junior welterweight fight, de la Hoya said Mayweather and Pacquiao will fight sooner than people think.
Pacquiao, boxing's pound-for-pound king, was already scheduled to square off against Mayweather on March 13, but they couldn't agree on a 10-day gap in the timing of the pre-fight drug tests.
"The public will hopefully make him change his mind," de la Hoya said. "Why would you not want to earn 40 million dollars? Why would you not want to show the public that all this speculation is nonsense? Be the one to stand up and say it."
De la Hoya also said Mayweather and Shane Mosley are in talks for a possible bout on May 1 which will likely be in Las Vegas. With a report from Agence France-Presse


I Can Handle Pacquiao

Former IBF Welterweight champion Joshua Clottey has stated categorically that he will strip WBO Welterweight champion, Mammy Pacquiao, of his title come March 13 in the USA.

In his audacious words at a press conference at the Media Centre of the Ohene Djan Stadium, he revealed that; “Pacquiao is human just like I am, and not a superman as many regard him.

“I see the fight as a big platform which outcome will not only open more doors for me, but will place the name of Ghana on a higher pedestal,” added Clottey.

To Clottey, he is approaching the fight for the first time with the nation at heart, and not the purse, saying “I’m not going into this fight because of the purse, but I have my eyes firmly glued to the title and will definitely destroy him to shock the world.”
Supporting his claim, he gave the assurance that he has not lost to any southpaw in his career, and Pacquiao will not be the first to pose a threat to him noting, “I have antidotes to southpaws, no southpaw has defeated me in my career.”

The technical director of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) Professor Azumah Nelson noted that Clottey has allayed his fear about the Philippine boxer, when he said he gave the assurance that he can handle southpaws. And with that assurance, the boxing Professor now worries for the WBO champion, taking into account Clottey’s courage and strength. He advised Clottey to step up his training as he strives to return home with the WBO title.

He assured Clottey of his support in the March 13 bout pointing out that “I wish him well and will be there in persons to support him.” Mr Worlanyo Agra, the Chief Executive of the National Sport Council (NSC) assured the boxer of the nation’s unflinching support in the forthcoming bout.


Ghana all out for Clottey

The whole of Ghana is throwing its full support behind Joshua Clottey with the African nation’s premier puncher – Hall of Famer Azumah Nelson – leading the way.
Nelson said Clottey will have his hands full against Manny Pacquiao on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas and the two-division world champion has expressed caution over his compatriot’s chances in the biggest fight of his life.
“My fear is that Manny Pacquiao is a southpaw because they are hard to fight but Joshua has given us an assurance that he knows how to fight southpaws so I am relieved,” Nelson said in a story that came out in eastside
Knowing that Pacquiao is a truly formidable foe, Nelson, who held world titles at featherweight (126 lbs) and super-feather (130 lbs), said he will “advice Joshua to train hard but I know him and I know that he will not rest.”
The 51-year-old Nelson, who turned pro in 1979 but had his last fight in 2008 after a ten-year hiatus, now holds the position of technical director in the Ghana Boxing Authority.
Meanwhile, Godwin Dzanie Kotey, who had previously worked Clottey’s corner, is expected to arrive in New York anytime this week from Ghanaian capital of Accra in time for Clottey’s departure for his training camp in Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
The last two weeks, Clottey, a 3-1 underdog against Pacquiao, been working out at John’s Gym in the Bronx, New York.


Manny Pacquiao – Joshua Clottey: A Great Showdown and Steroid Speculation

The Manny Pacquiao allegations still linger over boxing and the public is divided somewhere around the middle. It will not affect the upcoming pay per view showdown with Joshua Clottey. The show will go on and it will be very successful. Clottey is a great opponent…far better than Paulie Malignaggi or Yuri Foreman, two other considered challengers.

Clottey has a much better chance to upset the “Pacman” then Ricky Hatton or Miguel Cotto did. His tight defense and consistency is something that Pacquiao will have to figure out. What Team Pacquiao is counting on, I’m sure, is the susceptibility of Clottey to straight punches. That straight left hand coming down the pike would do some serious damage to Clottey, or so they hope. Cotto was able to drop Clottey with a jab. Manny punches very hard and is very quick and his straight left is more powerful than any jab. Clottey will have to be extra defensive and use a very disciplined style, which he seems to do naturally anyway.

The steroid allegation has made many other boxers’ misdeeds resurface, proving that this is not an isolated incident and there should possibly be stricter guidelines.

Jameel McCline, the 4-Time Heavyweight Title Challenger, received more than 12,000 worth of steroids (Stanozolol, nandrolone, testosterone, and tamoxifen) in 2005 and 2006. He never tested positive for any substance, which means that he knew how to play the game and avoid positive testing while using.

James Toney, former Middleweight, Super Middleweight, and Cruiserweight Champion won the WBA Heavyweight Title in 2005 with a decision over then champion, John Ruiz, but would test positive for stanozolol and the decision would be turned into a no contest. Toney insisted that he was given the steroid by a doctor and didn’t knowingly cheat. He would test positive again in 2007 for boldenone and stanozolol.

Shane Mosley, multiple division champion, admitted using steroids prior to 2003, although he stated that he did so without knowledge. Many in the Mosley camp during this time beg to differ. Mosley stated to a grand jury in 2003 that he injected himself with EPO prior to his second bout with Oscar De La Hoya.

Former WBO Heavyweight Champion, Tommy Morrison, admitted using steroids to get an edge on his competition.

Recently, another former WBO Heavyweight Champion, Shannon Briggs tested positive for an illegal substance, although he claims that is was his asthma medication. No further details have emerged.

In 2002, former IBF Light Middleweight Champion, Fernando Vargas, tested positive for stanozolol after a bout with Oscar De La Hoya.

In a competitive sport where millions of dollars can be made, there will be steroid abuse and there will be controversies with loaded gloves and crooked judges. It is unfortunate that boxing has this dark cloud and especially as it hangs over the most popular and best fighter in the game, Manny Pacquiao. At this time, we have to believe Manny to be innocent until proven guilty but some would argue that he has not acted like an innocent man. Time should tell us the truth. For now, we can look ahead to the Pacquiao-Clottey showdown and hope for a great fight.

Allan Green in the Super Six

The Showtime super middleweight tournament lost a fighter in Jermain Taylor. He was scheduled to take on Andre Ward for the WBA Super Middleweight Title and for more points in the tournament, but bowed out after a knockout loss to Arthur Abraham in his first appearance. Allan Green has been eager to get into the tournament and felt that he belonged more so than many of the accepted competitors. He has only lost once in 2007 to Edison Miranda, and when you figure in his medical condition, you can forgive it. He has been flawless since.

Now slated is Allan Green, 29-1, 20 KO’s, as he challenges for the WBA Crown against Andre Ward, 21-0, 13 KO’s, on April 17th. Ward was lightly regarded prior to his title winning performance against tournament favorite, Mikkel Kessler. Now he is a big favorite to not only defeat Green but to go all the way.

Make no mistake, Ward looked great in his fight with Kessler. He used cagy tactics and timing to befuddle and subdue the strong champion en route to a technical decision. Ward fights like a veteran and knows many tricks and although he stands in front of his opponent, he proves hard to hit. Green will have to solve that and is quick enough to find him.

Jermain Taylor is a great fighter but he most likely would not have been mentally in the fight with Ward and would have lost a wide decision. Green is not only mentally in this fight, it’s an opportunity he’s been awaiting his entire career. He has a huge punch and great timing. If his timing is great enough to catch Ward, we will have a new champion and even more excitement in this tournament. This is a great turn for the event.


Pacquiao-Clottey Tickets Selling Well

Any concerns about the drawing power of Pacquiao-Clottey in Dallas should be swiped away as Top Rank has told that over 20,000 tickets
have already been sold in the three days since they went on sale.

The Dallas Cowboys Stadium is set to hold 40,000 fans for the fight meaning over half of the available tickets have now been sold, though we wouldn't be surprised if a new section was opened up to accomodate the demand. Despite the the general feeling that this fight should've been in Las Vegas, where Manny has all but made it a second home, the ticket sales have already surpassed what a typical fight at the MGM Grand would generally bring in terms of attendance which holds a capacity of 17,157.

The fight is set for March 13 and will be televised on HBO PPV while tickets are still available via Ticketmaster and range from $50-$700.


Don’t be surprised if Pacquiao takes a beating from Clottey

By Esteban Garduno: As soon as I found out that Manny Pacquiao and his team chose to fight Joshua Clottey rather than stay and negotiate a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., I saw it as a fatal mistake by Pacquiao’s team. Mayweather has no power to speak of and only sparingly throws punches nowadays for some reason. Clottey is a whole different breed of fighter altogether. Clottey has superb hand speed, good power and isn’t afraid to take the fight to his opponent.

Clottey won’t wear down or back off against Pacquiao like Miguel Cotto did in his recent fight with Pacquiao. Clottey will just keep coming and coming and firing away at Pacquiao and making him miserable for as long as it lasts. Right about now, people are blowing smoke up Pacquiao’s backside, telling him how great he is, and saying how he’s going to destroy Clottey.

Pacquiao, being human, obviously is aware that people think he’s going to run over Clottey and I see this as having an effect on his mental preparation for the fight. Pacquiao is going to go into this fight thinking he’s got this guy right where he wants him, and is going to take a dish of punishment that he won’t soon forget.

Pacquiao may have pumped up to welterweight by eating and working out, but his frame is still basically that of a smaller fighter. I only weight 140, but if I was to put on 80 pounds of muscle, I still wouldn’t have a heavyweight frame to compete against one of those big guys round after round. We’re bone structure.

Pacquiao hasn’t had to suffer the effects of having a strong welterweight pound away at him for 12 rounds as of yet, because Manny destroyed Oscar De La Hoya, who starved himself down from light middleweight to take the fight with Pacquiao. And Ricky Hatton was a light welterweight, and a short one at that.

Cotto, for his part, also was a small welterweight at only 5’7”. Cotto fought timidly after being dropped twice early in the fight and basically went into survival mode after the 4th round. It wasn’t like Cotto stayed in there and traded with Pacquiao for the full 12 rounds, because Miguel looked like he was thinking survival.

Clottey won’t be like that. He’s going to go be stalking Pacquiao all around the ring like a deer hunter going after a wounded buck. Pacquiao, with his sense of invincibility gained from his wins over De La Hoya, Hatton and Cotto, will make a calculated error of trying to meet fire with fire and soon find himself in a hopeless situation where Clottey is giving him a beating.

Rather than changing up to the situation and correcting his course, Pacquiao will continue to try and trade with the bigger and stronger Clottey despite the punishment he starts to take in the fight. Clottey will probably be carrying around at least 175 pounds on his frame by the time the fight starts, and will be like a huge ball of fire chasing after the little in comparison Pacquiao, whipping him with punches over and over again, and causing looks of pain on the face of Pacquiao.

Instead of backing off and regrouping, Pacquiao will wade into Clottey like the Titanic trying to stream through a huge iceberg. Clottey will wound Pacquiao with a huge shot to the head by the 7th or 8th round, and then batter him at will until the referee steps in to save Pacquiao from taking any further punishment. Roach will come into the ring, and carry Pacquiao back to the corner in his arms like a mother hen.


Roach now thinks Pacquiao will knock Clottey out

By Dave Lahr: I knew trainer Freddie Roach would eventually work himself around to the point where he would predict a knockout win for his fighter WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao over Joshua Clottey on March 13th. In an article at GMA News, Roach had this to say about the Pacquiao-Clottey fight: “I’m not saying we can’t knock him [Pacquiao] out. I think we will somewhere along the way. But we’re gonna be ready for 12 hard rounds.” There it is. Roach now thinks that Pacquiao will knock Clottey out.

Like I said, I knew that Roach would reverse course and predict a knockout after reading recently where he said he thought Pacquiao would beat Clottey by a 12 round decision. This is classic Roach for you. Now all we need is Roach to start trimming off the rounds to the point where he has Pacquiao stopping Clottey between the 1st and 3rd rounds. I mean it’s hard to come up with new sound bites, so by trimming off rounds every so often for his predictions, Roach is coming up with new stuff to say to the media.

I don’t believe for a second that Pacquiao will get anywhere close to stopping Clottey. That won’t happen. That’s my prediction. Clottey’s chin is too tough and Pacquiao probably won’t be interested in standing in front of Clottey long enough to make it happen. I think Clottey can be stopped, but for that to happen, Pacquiao would have to camp in front of him for five to six rounds and throw a steady diet of hard shots to get him out of there.

The problem with that is Pacquiao would take a nasty beating himself in the process by the larger Clottey and probably end up looking like someone that crawled off the Civil war battlefield. Clottey isn’t a huge puncher, but if you let him put his hands on you for five to six rounds, his shots have a way of adding up.

But Pacquiao won’t be standing in front of this guy, you can bet on that. Roach will be going apoplectic in the corner screaming his longs out if Pacquiao tries to trade with Clottey for any length of time. He doesn’t need to. Clottey has limited movement, and tends to just stand in one place for long periods of time just covering up with both gloves glued to his face.

Pacquiao won’t have problems against an opponent like this. This kind of primitive fighting approach may work against 2nd tier opposition, but Pacquiao won’t have problems against Clottey unless he makes problems himself by trying to go to war with him.

About the training for the Clottey fight, Roach says “Manny’s a very intelligent fighter. Now he understands how to study fights. Before, he didn’t care. He just did what he did. But now, he sees it. And when you see it, you can execute it.” I think Pacquiao would do fine against Clottey regardless of whether he studies for him or not.

What’s there to think about when a fighter posts himself with his back against the ropes and covers up while his opponent shells away at him? I think Pacquiao could figure Clottey out just fine even without tape on him. Come off of it, Roach. This isn’t like going up against a slick fighter like Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Shane Mosley. Clottey will be there to be hit all night long for Pacquiao, and Manny could see that plain as day without studying Clottey.


Pacquiao-Clottey: Over 24,000 tickets already sold

By Chris Williams: According to the latest boxing news, over 24,000 tickets have already been sold after only three days for the March 13th mega fight between World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and challenger Joshua Clottey at the Dallas Cowboy stadium, in Arlington, Texas.

At this rate, the stadium could wind up being filled with as many as 60,000 screaming fans for the March 13th bout.

This is an outstanding number considering that the fight really isn’t much to get excited about because of Clottey’s lackluster resume filled with few top tier opponents. Clottey is coming off a loss to Miguel Cotto, who as most people know was just stopped in the 12th round by Pacquiao in November.

That alone would seem to be a turn off for knowledgeable boxing fans. However, a great deal of the tickets sales are obviously coming from fans of Pacquiao who careless about his opponent. The name of the victim isn’t import just as long as Pacquiao is in there fighting.

Tickets usually go fast in the first few days of being put on sale. However, if this trend were to continue at the rate that they’re being purchased, there’s a chance that the entire 100,000 seat arena could sell out for the fight. That would truly phenomenal for a fight that only has one star involved and one that really amounts to being a mismatch.

Clottey doesn’t have the credentials going into this fight to suggest that he will do anything other than lose to Pacquiao on March 13th. This is why it’s pretty exciting to see the way the tickets are being scooped up. If the tickets are being bought like this for a fight between an over-matched little known opponent like Clottey, what will the numbers be like when/if Pacquiao ever fights Floyd Mayweather? That fight will clearly sell out the entire 100,000 seat stadium in Dallas, if the Pacquiao-Clottey fight doesn’t.

Former International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Antonio Margarito could end up fighting on the undercard against Carson Jones, if Margarito gets his boxing license back by the Texas Athletic Commission. Once it’s known for sure whether Margarito is going be fighting on the undercard, you can expect a huge amount of tickets to start getting bought up by boxing fans in both Texas and Mexico, where Margarito has a huge amount of fans.

Margarito lost his boxing license last year after a foreign plaster-like substance was found in his hand wraps before his bout with Shane Mosley in January 2009. However, Margarito still has a ton of fans that have stood behind him through this ordeal and will no doubt gladly purchase tickets to see him fight on March 13th at the Dallas Cowboy stadium.

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