Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rafael Ramos is the third man of Pacquiao-Clottey Fight

Rafael Ramos
According to some sources and reports veteran Rafael Ramos will be the third man when Manny “PACMAN” Pacquiao defends his belt (welterweight) against Ghanian Joshua Clottey on March 13 in Cowboys Stadium Dallas.

We’ve noticed that Rafael Ramos was the referee of the February 28, 2009 Fight between Juan Manel Marquez and Juan Diaz. Rafael Ramos has never been a referee of the Fight between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey.

Sponsored by Top Rank and in association with Dallas Cowboys, Manny PACQUIAO vs Joshua CLOTTEY – THE EVENT will take place on Saturday, March 13 in Cowboys, Stadium. Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) of General Santos City, Philippines will be defending the WBO(World Boxing Organization) welterweight title against the former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey (35-3, 21KOs) of Accra, Ghana.

Clottey’s training ‘frozen’

WHILE WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao prepares to celebrate a warm and cozy Valentine's Day with wife Jinkee, his opponent, Joshua “Grand Master” Clottey of Ghana has become a casualty of the blizzards and record snowfall hitting the US East Coast.

Clottey is based in New York which was smothered with 10 to 16 inches (25 to 40 centimeters) of snow a couple of days ago. This obviously will make the challenger stay indoors and unable to do roadwork. To add insult to injury, his trainer of choice, Godwin Dzainie Kotey has yet to be granted an American visa and still cannot join the former world champion in training.

Clottey has been living in the Bronx since 2003. In August 2008, Clottey beat Zab Judah by 9th round technical decision for the IBF welterweight title. He relinquished his IBF belt last year for the opportunity to fight Miguel Cotto where he suffered a split decision loss. Clottey does plan to move his training camp to Florida.

Meanwhile, seven time world champion Pacquiao, is currently on target with his training regimen under Freddie Roach and is so relaxed that he is scheduled to have a Valentine's show this weekend.

Promoters and organizers of the March 13 mega-fight in Dallas are worried that Clottey's predicament will lead to less interest and pay-per-view sales will drop as fans expect a one-sided bout in the Filipino's favor.

Sales of Pacquiao vs Clottey will be ranged against the PPV receipts of the Shane Mosley vs Floyd Mayweather fight. If Pacquiao wants to fight the winner, marketability and receipts will be used as a bargaining chip.


Pacquiao vs. Clottey -Texas sadly can't make a decision

Pacquiao vs Clottey
DALLAS, TX - While the World Boxing Organization (WBO) had officially secured the services on Wednesday of Texas referee Laurence Cole to work the MannyPacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey fight on March 13, it appears Cole has been reassigned to the co-main event and main event status now goes to another Texan, Rafael Ramos.

Ramos, of San Antonio, has had a long-time allegiance to the WBO while Cole has primarily worked World Boxing Council (WBC) fights.

The biggest fight in the career of Ramos was the fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz last year in Houston, TX.

The decision apparently was made not by the WBO but by William Kuntz, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Kuntz, a state official, doesn't deal with the media unless to his advantage so we will never know the truth as to why the switch was made. But trust me, politics, not smart professional boxing played the biggest part.

The WBO sent an email to the officials involved including Kuntz's office with the news that Cole would referee the main event and with the rest of the March 13 assignments.

Kuntz's decision came the next day.

Texas hasn't even decided what to do with Antonio Margarito yet and then all of a sudden they make a quick decision the day after the WBO made their decision.

"I'm happy for Rafael, but I'm working the WBC fight on the card," said Cole.

Cole is referring to the WBC World Lightweight Championship between Humberto Soto and David Diaz.


Friday, February 12, 2010

The Top Five Boxers of the Post-Pacquiao Era

Floyd MayweatherAfter dealing Joshua Clottey his first career KO loss, the P4P king Manny Pacquiao will probably have the final fight of his career against either Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Sugar Shane Mosley at the end of the year, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest if not the greatest fighter of all time.
Boxing may never be the same again when Manny hangs his gloves for good, but there are at least five promising boxers who can still keep the fire burning in the sport.
5. Juan Manuel Lopez
This Puerto Rican sensation, who just won his second title in second weight division will win in a unification featherweight bout but only to let go of the titles to pursue another title in the junior lightweight division.
4. Nonito Donaire
Another Filipino great warrior, Nonito Donaire is definitely good for a couple of titles more in as many weight divisions. A possible return match with Vic Darchinyan, and another victory, will propel his P4P ranking. The Filipino Flash will probably have a shot at Juanma Lopez in three to four years and a win against him might put him all the way to the top.
3. Edwin Valero
This ultimate knockout artist can definitely surge in the rankings especially if the Venezuelan become the next Freddie Roach disciple. A raw Manny Pacquiao, this southpaw's skills will definitely improve under the tutelage of Pacman's coach.
His dream fight with Pacquiao may not come into fruition unless Manny unretires, but Valero will become the next important fighter in the planet.
2. Paul Williams
Known as the Punisher, Paul Williams will definitely dominate the middleweight division and will make it as one of the more popular divisions during the post-Pacquiao era. He will win all the belts at 160 and could even win in the supermiddleweight towards the end of his career.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
His superb skills may have been overshadowed by his lack of courage, but once Floyd Mayweather Jr. learns how to shut up and make his walk as his talk, he will definitely have a shot at regaining the top spot in pound-for-pound race.
When Manny Pacquiao walks away from the game, Mayweather will have the opportunity to dominate the sport and be the next poster boy in the sport. But this will only take place after a self-reflection and a change of heart.


Roach: If Clottey lays on ropes, he's dead

MANILA, Philippines -- Prized boxing trainer Freddie Roach has seen a loophole in Joshua Clottey’s defense that Manny Pacquiao could take advantage of when the two fighters slug it out on March 13.

“He's pretty strong and he has a good chin and he's a durable guy,” Roach said of the Ghanaian boxer in an interview with

However, he described Clottey’s defense as very “passive”.

“Sometimes he goes to the ropes. I can't figure it out if he's being lazy and resting or he's trying to punch yourself out. But if he lays on the ropes and he has that passive defense on us, we're gonna kill him,” said Roach.

The trainer said that although Pacquiao did some “rope-a-dope” tactic during his fight with Miguel Cotto last November, he said the Filipino merely tested the Puerto Rican’s punching power.

“He was there for a reason. If he's just being lazy, then there's a problem with it but he has a reason, it's okay. I told him, 'I don't get the idea', but that's being Pacquiao,” said Roach.

The controversial trainer is currently overseeing Pacquiao’s training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California.

He said he’s very impressed with the conditioning of the 7-time world champion, who is making his first title defense against Clottey.

“He looks pretty good... I was very happy with his performances,” said Roach.
Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao will stake his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown against the Ghanaian at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas on March 13.

Roach attributed Pacquiao's superb conditioning partly to his brief down time after the Cotto fight. He said the "rest days" have worked wonders for the Filipino.

Pacquiao took a two-month vacation from boxing following his sensational 12th round technical knockout win over Cotto.

“He plays basketball everyday… it's like his favorite sport. He runs and runs the court and he came in to the New York press conference [for the Clottey fight] at 148 pounds,” said Roach.


Anonymous Clottey plods on

Even in his adopted home of the Bronx in New York, nobody knows who Joshua Clottey is.

The Ghanaian slugger, however, gets the chance to make a name for himself on March 13 when he challenges World Boxing Organization welterweight king Manny Pacquiao at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

“Near Yankee Stadium on Anderson Avenue, a muscle-bound man slams the door to his modest apartment,” writes Daniel Beekman of “On the street, he starts to jog. No one points. No one stares.”

It’s a far cry from what Pacquiao experiences day in and day out over in Los Angeles, where, once, police had to be called in to ensure Pacquiao gets out of the Wild Card Boxing Club premises in one piece in time for a commitment.

“No one knows Joshua Clottey, a Bronx resident since 2003,” says Beekman.

But those who are close to the 32-year-old native of Accra believe Clottey has a puncher’s chance of scoring a huge upset.

“He works so hard,” John’s Gym owner and Clottey cornerman Gjin Gjini. “He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t party. He runs eight or nine miles a day, not on a treadmill, outside in the Bronx. On the street, in his building, no one knows who he is.”

Kwame Asante, who once worked Clottey’s corner, said Pacquiao can be beaten.

“He has a shot. He knows how to fight a southpaw. I know Joshua will win,” said Asante.

Meanwhile, former Hollywood star Jean Claude Van Damme dropped by the Wild Card on Wednesday to see Pacquiao work out, according to noted orthodontist Ed De La Vega, who customizes Pacquiao’s mouthguard.

De La Vega said Pacquiao extended his invitation to Van Damme, known for his kickboxing prowess, to watch his fight with Clottey.


Why did Pacquiao have to pick Clottey as an opponent?

Pacquiao vs ClotteyBy Dave Lahr: Out of all the welterweights in the top 15, why on earth did Manny Pacquiao and his team select Joshua Clottey to fight on March 13th? I can’t understand that pick in a million years. Why didn’t Pacquiao fight Shane Mosley or Andre Berto instead? Come on, those guys would much more interesting than a Clottey fight.

Mosley was practically begging for a fight with Pacquiao to the point where he was willing to agree to one of those god awful catch weights just to fight him. Why didn’t he get selected? All I can say about the choice of Clottey is that it was poor one.

If this wasn’t Pacquiao’s doing, then he should have stood up on his hind legs and said no. Give me Mosley, Berto or better yet, give me Juan Manuel Marquez. I’d even settle for Saul Alvarez. I can’t even get into the Pacquiao-Clottey fight. I just keep picturing Clottey hanging on the ropes and Pacquiao pounding away at him like it’s some glorified sparring match. Yeah, Clottey has a chance to win, but only if he lands a lucky punch in the bread basket of Pacquiao. I think he can stop Pacquiao if he lands a hard shot to the body that Pacquiao is isn’t expecting.


Pacquiao, Clottey, Mosley, Valero and more!

Pacquiao: Buy Meat, Mayo, Get Manny!

Manny Pacquiao is all over the place now days. Billboards, magazines, tv screens, grocery stores....wait a minute, grocery stores??? Yeah, same thing I said. As if picking meat and good vegetables weren't hard enough, now, suddenly, Pacquiao is part of the equation too, giving fans of other local supermarkets reason to change paths. For a limited amount of time, shoppers who purchase more than $50 worth of groceries will go home with an autographed poster of Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey. For those familiar with Albertson's, you probably know that there's a hand full of places you can go to find a cheaper tab on your favorite fridge friends, but as of now, there's only one place you can get that poster! Albertson' we come!

Pacquiao: 60 Minutes, Cool, 36 Minutes, Very Critical

If the grocery store concept with Pacquiao and Albertson's food chains caught you by surprise, get a load of this! Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum plans to continue his promotion for mass appeal for the famed Filipino, Manny Pacquiao. Not only has he showcased his talent in the supermarket, late night television shows, and magazines, but there's yet another familiar place we can expect to see Pacquiao real soon. Just when you thought we'd seen it all, looks like the latest idea to showcase the Pac-ster is a demographic that we all know and love, and following it may come a little easier than trying to locate an Albertson's in your neighborhood. The new place you can find Pacquiao for one night and one night only.......'60 Minutes', which as most know is an American household staple on Sunday nights. According to news sources out of the Philippines, as well as Examiner writer Michael Marley, Pacquiao is destined for a segment on the show in the near future. At this point, it hasn't been determined whether the show will air before or after the pending Clottey fight, but one thing for sure, 36 minutes of hell (in the ring against Clottey) could very well serve as a cooling period for this warm and fuzzy '60 Minute' introduction to the American household. It'll be interesting to see how these plans pan out if things don't quite go the way some of us expect it should on the night of March 13th.

Mosley Marching For Margarito?

Recently, welterweight Shane Mosley came out and openly endorsed the return to the sport of Antonio Margarito, a man who was only moments away from potentially injuring him with padded gloves that contained illegal effects. Mosley has never been known as one to bare grudges or carry hate, but this move in particular leaves a lot of room to speculate. Not too long ago, Mosley was less-than-happy with the fact that Goldenboy Promotions had failed to land him a marquee payday. The raw emotions behind that once abandoned request opened speculation that Mosley was totally open for a change of address that would allow him to rise above his current status straight to the Top (Rank). Only days after that endorsement by Mosley, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had some far more than favorable things to say about Mosley. With a Mayweather fight already inked, it's hard to see Mosley trying to go elsewhere, but lets be this sport....stranger things have happened. Win, lose, or draw, all eyes will be on Mosley and GBP after this Mayweather showdown. Stay tuned.

Edwin Valero: He's No Pacquiao.....(Could He Be Better?)

Ok....We've all heard about the comparisons between Edwin Valero and Manny Pacquiao. Aside from them both being small men who pack a huge punch, I'm inclined to say the comparisons come to a screeching halt. I would never go on record to say that Valero is better than or ready for Pacquiao, but what I will say is that at this stage of his evolution - (27 fights/67 career rounds boxed) - he has shown some very intriguing elements. With a 100% KO ratio, everyone raves about his power first and foremost, but a deeper analysis yields a defensive capability that allows him to slip punches better than most, and in the few times he is hit, his chin seems to be sturdy enough to nullify the odds of the shot actually slowing him down. At this point in his career, Pacquiao had already been KO'd by a few fighters, so we didn't truly know he would become the product we see today. Pavlik and a hand full of other boxers have shown us that an early KO ratio that blows through the charts doesn't always translate into future happiness. With Valero, we don't know where his evolution will take him, but if he is able to land a KO over Bradley, Khan, and/or a few other jr. welters like he has opponents in the past, I think there's only one way to end the comparisons of him and Pacquiao......Let 'em rumble and let the best man win! This showdown may be closer than many think, and Arum is said to be considering a showdown in Pacquiao's very own homeland between the two in early 2011 if both men win. Things that make you go hmmmm!

Pacquiao: Hard On The Outside, Weak On The Inside?

Trainer and favorite boxer John David Jackson recently had a few comments to speak relative to his thoughts on the pending Pacquiao/Clottey showdown. When analyzing the Pac-ster, Jackson wasn't overly critical, but from a trainers perspective, he was very clear in sayin' that Pacquiao - while very strong from the outside - is not at all a good fighter (in his opinion) on the inside. In-fighting probably isn't Pacquiao's greatest strength, but up until now, few seem to have picked up on that miscue. Picking up on it can be a thing of ease for someone with a watchful eye, but the operative question here is "will any of his opponents be strong enough to take advantage of that in the heat of the battle"? Few in the past have been. Clottey is up next to bat. It'll be intriguing to see if his granite-chin and impenetrable defense will lead him to test the waters.

Clottey: Searchin' For Stamina?

Thought we were done with John David Jackson? Not so fast. The low-key, but highly intelligent trainer had another observation to speak on - as it relates to the Pacquiao/Clottey showdown. This time, he set his aim on the other side of the ring. While showing praise to Clottey in many areas, he did manage to open dialogue on a matter that many around the sport have openly discussed. That matter was the perceived stamina problem of Ghana native Joshua Clottey. In watching Clottey up close, I'm not so sure that it's as much stamina as much as it has been a lack of a killer instinct, but against a fighter like Pacquiao, needless to say, he'll need to revamp both elements if he wants a legitimate chance to win. Realizing that this a once-in-a-lifetime affair, I would expect Clottey to bring his A-game, but taking a page of advice from Jackson's book of knowledge certainly won't hurt!

Froch/Kessler: A Good Snake Meets A Great Dane

The Super-Middleweight "Super-6" tournament will soon kick back into high gear, and one of the intriguing matchups on the tab is the pending showdown between Brit Carl Froch and Denmark's favorite son, Mikkel Kessler. Apart, these two men have resume's that speak for themselves. Collectively, the will attempt to take away from those respective resume's when they square off here pretty soon. Neither are favored to win the tournament, but in the case of Kessler, his mettle is as sturdy as they come in the sport. Should be a great one to watch, but as quick as a "snake" can be, I just have this odd feeling that a good snake is no match for a great dane! I like Kessler here. Stay tuned.

Jones/Hopkins: 'Big Head', Little Respect

The promotional leg of the pending Jones/Hopkins rematch has kicked off, and as many would expect with such characters, the buzz lines have run rampant. Despite the various ups and downs in the respective careers of these two men, the ego's are still very much in charge, and from the looks of things, neither man plans to check theirs in at the front door any time soon. Despite the fact that the rematch should have happened years ago, my philosophy is that there's never a bad time for a good fight. That being said, whether many like it or not, the show must move one, and I can't speak for everyone, but this swan song fight is one that I plan to watch from the edge of my seat. No, it isn't two current P4P contenders going head to head, but it is two legends. Despite the fact that these men have ego's, or 'big heads' (as Jones alluded to), doesn't mean that they deserve little respect. Gentlemen, protect yourselves at all times and let the game begin!


Soto vs. Diaz Added to the Pacquiao-Clottey Undercard

Soto to move up in weight while Diaz looks to regain his old strap.

Another bout has been added to the Pacquiao-Clottey undercard in the form of Humberto Soto vs. David Diaz. Soto (50-7-2, 32 KOs) will be making the move up to lightweight as he and David Diaz (35-2-1, 17 KOs) will go head to head for the vacant WBC lightweight title - the very same one that Edwin Valero just defended, though with the champ now on the shelf for the time being, his title is up for grabs.

Diaz is coming off a decision win over Jesus Chavez and previously held that WBC title until it was brutally lifted from him by Manny Pacquiao in 2008.

Soto on the other hand has a six-fight win streak going having just beaten the apparent whipping boy for future title challengers in Jesus Chavez this past December.


Roach: “If he [Clottey] lays on the ropes, we’re [Pacquiao] going to kill him”

Freddie RoachBy Jim Dower: Trainer Freddie Roach feels it won’t be much of a problem for Manny Pacquiao to take apart Joshua Clottey in their March 13th fight at the Dallas Cowboy stadium, in Arlington, Texas. Roach says in an interview at Fightfan, If he [Clottey] lays on the ropes, we’re [Pacquiao] going to kill him.” Pacquiao will be making his first defense of his newly won World Boxing Organization welterweight title against number #1 ranked Clottey. Pacquiao wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., but the negotiations for that fight stalled and eventually failed after Mayweather requested that random blood tests be taken up to 14 days before the fight.
The tough-chinned Clottey was then signed on an alternate opponent for Pacquiao. Despite Clottey never having been stopped before during his career, Roach feels pretty good Pacquiao being able to possibly stop him late in the fight. Roach doesn’t think that Clottey is a good fighter defensively, saying “I don’t think he [Clottey] has good defense. He’s too passive. He waits for you to throw combinations, then he throws. He tries to wait you out until you get tired. But Pacquiao doesn’t get tired.”

Clottey’s tendency to cover up on the ropes is one of the main criticisms of him. While some boxing fans are enthusiastic about Clottey’s airtight defense when he’s covering up with his high guard, what they fail to see is that Clottey isn’t active enough offensively to win rounds. He also is vulnerable to get hit in the body, as Miguel Cotto showed in his 12 round decision victory over Clottey last year.

Clottey fought well at times in the Cotto fight, and by the 9th round the fight was still very much up for grabs. However, Clottey then went to the ropes from the 10th until the 12th rounds, covering up and taking shots to the body. Cotto didn’t have much success in getting through Clottey’s guard to land head shots, but he still was able to land quite a bit to the body. And at the same time, with Clottey just covering up and not throwing anything back, he effectively gave the last three rounds to Cotto with his inactivity.

Clottey can’t do this against Pacquiao, because if he’s allowed to throw at will against a fighter that’s mainly just covering up, he’ll throw dozens of shots and likely get a quick stoppage even if Clottey isn’t really hurt. All it takes is for Pacquiao to land 20 or more consecutive shots in the space of a 20 seconds and it’s very possible that the referee will step in and halt the fight to try and protect Clottey from getting drilled to pieces.

Roach goes on about Pacquiao’s power, saying “He’s punching really hard. I wear the body suit, and it doesn’t help that much. He [Pacquiao] kills me. He always had that speed and explosiveness, but the weight just makes it a lot more denser than before.”


Pacquiao-Clottey undercard is missing punch

Between the 27 inches of snow that pummeled Northern Virginia on Saturday and the additional foot that crushed us Wednesday -- not to mention the bitter cold and extreme winds -- there hasn't been much to do but think about boxing even more than I usually do (which is scary).

Nobody around these parts can even leave the house, especially considering that my entire neighborhood was never even plowed out after the Saturday storm.

I grew up in upstate New York, where we were used to terrible winters, but this has been incredible even by those standards. Put it this way: We are Ricky Hatton. The weather is Manny Pacquiao.

So I'm going a little stir-crazy. Everything is closed. The roads are in ruins. The mail has been canceled. My wife has had two snow days (so far). Fortunately, we're stocked with supplies and toilet paper and have not lost power.

Seemed like a good time for this week's random thoughts …

• One of the fights being considered by Top Rank for the March 13 Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey pay-per-view undercard -- now that it looks like the return of Antonio Margarito to face Carson Jones in the co-feature is probably off, because Margarito may not be licensed (good!) -- is Humberto Soto against David Diaz, possibly for a vacant lightweight belt. At the risk of being given the finger again by Top Rank's Bob Arum, the fight is an atrocity. First, I don't think it will be very competitive, considering how badly faded Diaz is. Also, the notion that the WBC possibly would sanction it for a world title is ridiculous, considering that after Pacquiao laid waste to Diaz in June 2008, he has fought just once, a life-and-death majority decision against the totally shot Jesus Chavez six months ago. The entire undercard, as presently constructed, is pathetic, which has become the norm for Arum's major pay-per-views. Here's what you probably will get for your hard-earned money besides the main event: Soto-Diaz, the totally shot Jose Luis Castillo against Alfonso Gomez and John Duddy-Michael Medina. At least there's a silver lining: No Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (suspended) or Yuri Foreman-Daniel Santos.

• I've heard from multiple sources involved in Showtime's Super Six tournament that it's quite likely that the April 17 Group Stage 2 bouts -- Andre Ward defending his super middleweight title against Allan Green in Oakland and Carl Froch defending his title against Mikkel Kessler in Europe -- will be moved to a new date because of some sort of logistical issue involving Kessler-Froch. If that happens, I can't say I'll be disappointed because it means boxing fans will avoid an HBO-Showtime conflict. HBO has its own excellent split-site card planned for that night with middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik due to defend against junior middleweight titlist Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City and super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute defending his belt against Edison Miranda in Montreal. So if Showtime needs to move to another date, it actually will work out better for fans.

• Like most fight fans, I would love to see Pavlik fight Paul Williams, but it's not happening right now. It's not because Pavlik is afraid to fight him, as some folks like to wrongly suggest. It's math. Williams and his team want a 50-50 deal, and that's not happening, nor should it. So I'm fine with Pavlik-Martinez, which is also a first-class fight. Williams, meanwhile, still has no opponent for his May 8 HBO date. His promoter, Dan Goossen, is talking to promoter Lou DiBella about a junior middleweight fight with Kermit Cintron and has talked to Don King about a welterweight fight with Luis Collazo. Williams and his team say he can still make 147 pounds, and a fight with Collazo at the weight would prove that, but what is the point? I like Collazo as much as anyone, but he has virtually no shot against Williams.

• Been hearing that DiBella proposed a card to HBO of Amir Khan-Paulie Malignaggi and Andre Berto's return against Zab Judah for April 10 at Madison Square Garden, which DiBella has on hold. With an eye on fighting at junior welterweight, Judah turned it down, so DiBella would like to instead match Berto with former titlist Carlos Quintana. The Garden loves the card, I am told. I love it too. However, HBO isn't jumping up and down for the show. For some reason, HBO seems to prefer Berto-Malignaggi. The Khan-Malignaggi fight is still possible, especially with Golden Boy having so many problems putting a Khan-Juan Manuel Marquez fight to bed. But if Golden Boy, Khan's promoter, does Khan-Malignaggi it wants the fight on its card in Las Vegas on May 15. But we all know that if that fight happens, it belongs in New York.

• I had to laugh at this quote from Freddie Roach, when discussing the Pacquiao-Clottey fight: "This is going to be the Super Bowl of boxing." Pacquiao's trainer is dead wrong. The fight is more like the conference championship. The Super Bowl of boxing is Pacquiao, if he wins, fighting the winner of the May 1 Shane Mosley-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight.

• There are some out there who are gullible enough (or just dumb enough) to believe the gibberish being bandied about in cyberspace that HBO concocted a plan under which it agreed to televise the Marcos Maidana-Victor Cayo fight as long as the winner didn't press his mandatory with junior welterweight titlist Khan for the rest of the year. Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous in your life? Now, Golden Boy -- with the OK from Khan and interim titlist Maidana -- has a plan under which both men will fight a couple of times to help build the commercial value of their potential fight. That's boxing business as usual. I have no real complaint about that, other than that if they're going to avoid the mandatory fight, the one unwilling to make it immediately ought to be stripped of his piece of the title. But since the reprehensible WBA is not pressing the issue -- shocking, right? -- it is what it is. But to think HBO orchestrated a deal to prevent the fight from happening this year just goes to show you how little some people actually understand the business.

• I want to bid a fond farewell to "Rich Marotta's Neutral Corner," which is leaving the Southern California radio airwaves after more than 11 years. The last edition is Sunday morning, the victim of Marotta's own success. Marotta, a longtime friend and one of the classiest guys in the business, is now the color commentator on the new "Top Rank Live" series. The three cards per month are on Saturday nights, leaving Marotta unable to do the show live on Sunday mornings because of the heavy travel demands. Mailing it in with a taped show, in which he could not discuss the previous night's results, is not Marotta's style, so he has decided to end the show. It was one of the few places on radio in the nation with intelligent boxing discussion and a dependable lineup of interviews with all the sport's top newsmakers. I'm proud to say I was even a guest many times.

• Speaking of "Top Rank Live," the new Fox Sports Net and Fox Sports en Espanol series is off to a great start. I just hope Top Rank keeps it up, because the first few cards have been very good overall, including Vanes Martirosyan-Kassim Ouma, Jorge Arce winning a vacant junior bantamweight title against Angky Angkota and a sensational performance from Brandon Rios in stopping Jorge Teron. We're seeing toss-up action fights on a regular basis, and there are more scheduled. So far, I'm loving it.

• I love the idea of a Tim Bradley-Edwin Valero fight as much as anyone, but I seriously doubt it will happen.

• I dig the proposed Tomasz Adamek-Cristobal Arreola April 24 HBO fight, but I can't figure out why Adamek would want to go to California for the fight -- which is where it's being planned -- when the bigger gate would be in Newark, N.J., where Adamek draws huge crowds. If he could draw more than 10,000 to the Prudential Center for a fight with Jason Estrada last week, imagine the gate he could do with Arreola, who is better known than Estrada but not a proven ticket-seller in So Cal.

• Paging Joel Casamayor.

• I'm sure I speak for all boxing fans when I wish the very best for Casey Guerrero, the seriously ill wife of junior lightweight titlist Robert Guerrero, who understandably withdrew from a March 27 HBO fight with Michael Katsidis to be at his wife's bedside.

• Top Rank signed brothers Lamont and Anthony Peterson with great fanfare in 2008. I scratch my head wondering why in the world Top Rank, which knows how to sell tickets and how to build a fighter in his hometown, has not only never come to Washington, D.C. -- their hometown and a city dying for some top-level boxing -- but never even seriously considered it. It's baffling.

• Happy birthday to my good pal, Larry Merchant. The HBO commentator turned 79 on Thursday. He's the greatest boxing television analyst ever. And before that, he was one of America's foremost sports columnists.

• DVD pick of the week: It's not too often that HBO features little guys -- meaning fighters below junior featherweight -- but when it does, we usually see something pretty interesting. Such was the case when I went back to Feb. 15, 2003, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. That's where two of the best bantamweights of the era, Tim Austin and Rafael Marquez, tangled for the title. Austin had defended the title nine times and was considered a top-10 pound-for-pound fighter. Marquez was the top contender, but known better for being the younger brother of Juan Manuel. The fight turned out to be a good scrap, although Austin seemed in control and was ahead on all three scorecards as they went to the eighth round. But that's when Marquez, blessed with great power for a small guy, took it to Austin and knocked him out for the upset. I remember it well, partly because it happened to be the first fight I watched after getting engaged earlier that day.


Not a Sure Thing: Joshua Clottey’s Manny Pacquiao Challenge

Joshua ClotteyJust to be clear, I am not going to begin my article with a lot of reasons on why the Manny Pacquiao – Floyd Mayweather, JR., mega fight never happened.

The ugliness of steroids overall is a horrible yet unfortunate reality about today’s modern athlete. Fingerpointing and lecturing aside, I’ll refrain from further comment that the fight negotiations were just – how can I put this?


I’m just saying that there’s a whole year left. I don’t count out the possibility just yet.

For now, Pacquiao definitely looks like he’s gearing up for the fight against Joshua “Grand Master” Clottey, 35-3, 20 KO’s, set for March 13th at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. But given some thought about Clottey as an opponent, I’ll argue that he may give Pacquiao some competition.

Some competition meaning that the fight is going to end with a unanimous decision in favor of Pacquiao over 12 rounds. However, Clottey is not and should not be taken lightly because there is never a sure thing for a fighter – even for Pacquiao – once he steps into the ring.

I had to look back at some of Clottey’s previous bouts. And, l always feel that looking at a fighter’s losses are more telling and if whether his post loss matches were better or worse. Clottey’s fight record is a veritable list of who’s who in the current welterweight division. And, unlike Pacquiao, he’s always fought at welterweight so he’s established himself at that weight against some heavy hitters and can definitely take some punishment at the hands of his opponents.

From footage I’ve seen, Clottey fights great inside. He has a good jab-hook combination that if properly executed, rocks his opponents. He goes to the body with left uppercuts, followed by barrages of hooks.

Clottey is definitely at his best when he’s in the middle of the ring. He has a tendency to get cornered and as such, doesn’t work too hard to dominate, especially if he’s against the ropes and in the corner. Once he establishes close in-fighting exchanges, he does not back down at all.

Clottey easily loses points when he fails to be aggressive and works tentatively showing moments of strong fighting and winning by points, but then somehow takes times off in a round or two without establishing his will on his opponent. Clottey’s lackluster ring generalship allows his opponents to win rounds he could have easily won if he weren’t so reluctant to exchange.

Now, I just stated that his ring generalship is a little lackluster, but it’s not lacking too much. This is where I just love to theorize about boxing tactics because I definitely think Clottey has an awareness of the referee. Call it “dirty tactics,” but I think Clottey is very aware of the referee in the ring and what he can possibly do to his opponent depending on what the referee may or might not be seeing. Yes, fight fans, others have said it. Clottey is notorious for the timeliness of his clashing of heads. And, it’s usually his opponents that get the worst of these accidental head butts.

Back in 1999 in his fight against Argentina’s Carlos Baldomir, Clottey scored a DQ. He lost two points for his headbutting of Baldomir in the 10th round and repeated a headbutt again in the 11th resulting in the disqualification. Again, timeliness of the head clash, but in this case, he lost big because he was ahead on the judges’ scorecards at the time the fight was stopped.

Back in June 2009, Clottey faced Miguel Angel Cotto. Clottey had suffered a knockdown in the first round. But later, towards the end of round three, Cotto had suffered a cut above his left eye again by an accidental headbutt. Cotto went on to win the fight by split decision over 12 rounds, but the cut didn’t exactly take one or two stitches. According to reports, the cut took 20 total stitches (14 over and 6 below the eye – ouch!)

In this fight, Clottey definitely gave Cotto a hard time despite the knockdown in the first round, but still didn’t really looked like he could beat Cotto.

Clottey is definitely a different type of opponent for Pacquiao. He has solid talent, has shown definite ability to work and exchange on the inside. But as a slow starter, he cannot afford to be tentative. It’s a big moment and venue for the fighter from Ghana. If Clottey can step up his game and the occasion, he has nothing to lose by any means. Given his history of accidental headbutts, Pacquiao’s southpaw stance makes him even more vulnerable to the possibility of a clash of heads.

Pacquiao must show even more technical ability, combined with his speed and power, to take the fight quickly. However, it’s up to Clottey to make this his fight and not make the fight about his opponent Pacquiao. So, was Clottey the safer choice for Pacquiao? Probably, but maybe, just maybe, Clottey will make this fight about giving some competition to Pacquiao.

Will he win?

I say no, but I don’t see him exactly standing there getting beat up either.


Cole named third man in the ring

VETERAN referee Laurence Cole will be the third man on the ring when Manny Pacquiao defends his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown against Joshue Clottey of Ghana on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on March 13.

Cole, who resides in Texas and runs an insurance business, has been tabbed by WBO president Francisco Valcarcel to referee the fight, according to

Cole was also the third man on the ring during the recent WBC lightweight title bout in Monterey, Mexico, between Edwin Valero and Antonio DeMarco.

Cole was also the referee when Pacquiao stopped Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003.

Meanwhile, two Hollywood stars walked into the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles on Wednesday to meet Pacquiao just before he started his afternoon training session.

The two–Belgian martial arts star Claude Van Damme and Danny Trejo–rubbed elbows with the Filipino pound-for-pound king who invited the two movie stars to watch his fight against Clottey.

Trejo, according to, presented Pacquiao a copy of his famous photo from "Desperado" where he shows off many knives under his long jacket.

Also on Wednesday, staff at the Wild Card gym requested fans not to crowd the parking area at the training facility, adding Pacquiao will no longer sign autographs after each training session.

The gym shares parking spaces with a beauty parlor, boutique, a mini-grocery, a Thai restaurant and a couple of other businesses that are being deprived of parking spaces due to the influx of visitors to the gym.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cole tapped to referee in Pacquiao-Clottey bout

Pacquiao vs ClotteyLaurence Cole, who scored a knockdown in favor of Marco Antonio Barrera against Manny Pacquiao years back, has been tapped to referee the March 13 fight between Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, ace boxing scribe Michael Marley reported Thursday.
A resident of Dallas, Cole is also the son of Texas boxing commission chief Dickie Cole and is regarded as one of boxing’s top arbiter, having officiated countless high-profile matches featuring Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales, and Edwin Valero.
But for Filipino fight fans, Cole is very unpopular, having ruled that Pacquiao was legitimately floored by Barrera when they fought at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, in November 2003.
Cole, who is in the insurance business, began his refereeing job in 1990.
The names of the three judges will also be announced soon.
The Pacquiao-Clottey fight will be for the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown. (Tempo Sports)


Van Damme visits Pacquiao in training

MANILA, Philippines -- Seven-time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao got a surprise visit from international action star Jean-Claude Van Damme during his training at the Wild Card Gym in California.

According to, “The Muscles from Brussels” dropped by the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles to pay his respects to the Filipino boxer who is preparing for his March 13 fight against Joshua Clottey.

“Van Damme was escorted to the ringside and introduced to Freddie Roach and Pacquiao by security chief, Rob Peters,” said contributor Ed de la Vega.

Pacquiao invited the Van Damme to Texas to see the former's fight with Clottey.

The Belgian action star became famous for his martial arts movies that include Bloodsport, Universal Soldier, Hard Target, Timecop, and Street Fighter. Before making it in Hollywood, Van Damme spent years training in martial arts.

Pacquiao is no stranger to international movie stars.

He recently met actor star Steven Seagal, who expressed interest in shooting a movie with him.

“We had a great time together. The time just flew by,” said Pacquiao after getting to meet Seagal.

"We discussed the possibility of working together in movies and making joint concert appearances," he added.

Pacquiao has also met Sylvester Stallone, who became famous for portraying fictional boxer Rocky Balboa.

Mark Wahlberg, another action star, has also visited the Filipino boxer at the Wild Card Gym.

Pacquiao is also an actor in the Philippines having starred in several movies such as “Anak ng Kumander” and "Wapakman”. His foray into acting, however, has not been as successful as his boxing career. His last movie, "Wapakman," bombed at the box office.


Pacquiao is in a no win situation against Clottey

Pacquiao-ClotteyBy Franciso Chentango: I don’t know if people realize this or not but Manny Pacquiao is almost in a no win situation regardless of whether he beats challenger Joshua Clottey or not on March 13th. There’s a significant amount of people who will look at Pacquiao’s win – or loss – over Clottey and see it as evidence that Pacquiao is using performance enhancing drugs. Anyone with two eyes can see that Pacquiao is not using any performance enhancing drugs. He’s completely natural, but some people don’t see him like that and are pre-judging this great fighter.

And on the flip side, if Pacquiao losses to Clottey, which is a possibility considering how strong Clottey is, some people will think that Pacquiao was afraid to take the performance enhancing drugs with the heat on him the way it is. And that’s really sad.

The legacy of this whole fiasco that just took place in his failed negotiations with Floyd Mayweather Jr. has concluded with some boxing fans being firmly entrenched with the belief that Pacquiao is taking some kind of performance enhancing drug or another. You can’t reason with these people, because they’re going to believe that Pacquiao juicing no matter how much logic you throw at them.

If you tell them that Pacquiao has never been caught using steroids and/or growth hormone, they come back with ‘it’s only because he knows how to hide it with his designer drugs.’ If you try explain to them that Pacquiao doesn’t look like a person on steroids or growth hormone. They then shoot back and say that Pacquiao’s head has grown noticeably in the past couple of years.

Its ridiculous trying to reason with these people, because they’ve set an anchor with their beliefs about Pacquiao and see him as dirty. I don’t believe that they would have had their minds changed one bit if Pacquiao had taken the random drug tests that Mayweather requested. I bet some of them would still think that Pacquiao was hiding the drugs somehow in his system using some kind of bizarre growth hormone that’s undetectable to modern testing.

And the worst thing of all is whether Pacquiao wins or loses from now many of these same people are going to feel that it’s all because of Pacquiao juicing it. They won’t give Pacquiao credit for his wins because they don’t trust him. It’s pretty pathetic because people are judging Pacquiao, an innocent fighter, and condemning him based on guesswork. They think he’s dirty therefore he is in their minds.


The Wrong Referee for Pacquiao-Clottey!

Pacquiao vs ClotteyIn 2003, I can still remember almost throwing a jab-straight combination at our neighbor's television set. I did not just do it once but twice for two very good reasons.

First, Manny Pacquiao clearly slipped accidentally in the first round against Marco Antonio Barrera but then the referee called it a knockdown. Then later on in round six, Pacquiao clearly knocked Barrera down but again the referee made a mistake and called it a slip.

Although I can console myself with the fact that my countryman Pacquiao won, I can never forget how erratic and possibly biased the referee was.

Who was the referee in that bout anyway?

If my memory serves me right, his name is Laurence Cole— the very same Laurence Cole who will be the third man in the ring in the upcoming Pacquiao-Clottey encounter.

Noteworthy here is that three years after Pacquiao vs Barrera, Cole was again in hot water for his bad decisions. That time it was during the Juan Manuel Marquez vs Jimrex Jaca fight.

What happened was that in the middle of round eight Marquez suffered a nasty cut and had to be checked by the ring physician. While his cut was examined, Cole told Marquez that he is already ahead on the scorecards.

Although Cole did not explicitly say it, it was an implication that Marquez had the option to stop the fight anyway he would still win on points.

Thank the heaven's though that Marquez did not buy Cole's advise and decided to fight on. He eventually knocked Jaca out in the next round. Nevertheless, Cole already committed a mortal boxing sin.

Since when was the referee authorized to tell a boxer that he is ahead on points anyway?

Having witnessed what just transpired, I was enraged. That was definitely the most terrible and unethical action I have witnessed a referee do in a boxing match. Out of anger, I swore at that point I would have loved to throw even the kitchen sink at our television set.

With that being said, I certainly hope the organizers of Pacquiao-Clottey would reconsider their choice for the referee in this highly anticipated match up. There are better referees out there anyway. Just to name a few, there's Tony Weeks, Kenny Bayless or even Joe "firm but fair" Cortez.

As sure as the sun will rise, I am sure that thousands, if not millions, of boxing fans out there echo my sentiments on this matter.


Clottey vs. Pacquiao: Joshua needs to attack Manny’s body

Pacquiao vs ClotteyBy Dave Lahr: I’ve done an exhausting study of World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao’s last 10 fights stretching over the last four years and I’ve discovered that few of Pacquiao’s opponents have even tried to land to his body. The vast majority of them have been pure head hunters. What they don’t understand is that Pacquiao’s weakness isn’t his head, it’s his body. That’s where challenger Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KO’s) needs to direct his attention if he wants to beat Pacquiao on March 13th in their fight at the Dallas Cowboy stadium.

Believe me, if Clottey tries winning the fight by hammering the head of Pacquiao, he’s wasting his time. That’s not the way to beat Pacquiao. Clottey as well be hitting a large pumpkin filled with rocks, because he’s not going to even make a dent if he focuses on hitting Pacquiao upstairs in his brain housing.

What Clottey should do is fake Pacquiao with right hands to the head, and then come downstairs with hooks to the body to take the life out of Pacquiao. Manny doesn’t like getting hit in the midsection. That’s something I’ve noticed. You hit him in the head, and you’re fine. But if you tag him in the belly, Pacquiao reacts as if you pulled the plug out of his energy stores.

He backs off and gets a look on his face that seems to suggest that he’s in pain. Luckily for Pacquiao, the only opponent that worked on Pacquiao’s body in the past 10 or so years was Mexican great Erik Morales. He beat Pacquiao going to the body in 2005. However, Morales was weight drained in his two rematches with Pacquiao, and not in the position to win the fight because of the huge amount of weight he had to take off to get in shape.

Okay, so Clottey needs to forget all about trying to blast Pacquiao’s head. All he’ll do is wind up hurting his hands. Instead, Clottey needs to chase Pacquiao around for five or six rounds throwing nothing but body shots as hard as he can. I wouldn’t even try to have Clottey pace himself. Forget that. Clottey needs to think of the fight as a six round bout instead of a 12 rounder.

He should go all out for six rounds and tear into Pacquiao’s body with both fists. I think if he does this, Pacquiao will wilt quickly and will be in full retreat from the shots. Any offense that Pacquiao might have had will be turned off because of Clottey’s massive body attack. If Clottey fights tooth and nail attacking Pacquiao’s body, I think Clottey has a good chance of stopping Pacquiao with a body shot.

Freddie Roach, the trainer for Pacquiao, isn’t prepared for an opponent that will be going after Pacquiao’s weakness. Roach will clueless what to do other than telling Pacquiao to return fire. That won’t work, because Clottey, if he digs in hard with his left hooks to the bread basket of Pacquiao, will weaken him to the point where he’s as harmless as a kitten.


Bronx champ, Clottey, unknown

Pacquiao vs ClotteyNear Yankee Stadium on Anderson Avenue, a muscle-hound man slams the door to his modest apartment. On the street, he starts to jog. No one gasps. No one points. No one stares.

No one knows Joshua Clottey, a Bronx resident since 2003. Which is remarkable.Because on Saturday, March 13, two billion people around the world will watch Clottey, 32, a top-ranked welterweight, pummel superstar Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.

Some 40,000 people will attend the bout at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, scheduled to air in the United States on HBO. Clottey, born and raised in Ghana, trains at John’s Gym in the Bronx.

“He works so hard,” John’s Gym owner and Clottey cornerman Gjin Gjini said. “He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t party. He guns eight or nine miles a day, not on a treadmill, outside in the Bronx. On the street, in his building, no one knows who he is.”

Tyreek Goodman, who also trains at John’s Gym, agreed.

“He’s a nice dude,” Goodman said. “Real quiet, though.”

Clottey, who stands 5-foot-9 and weighs some 147 pounds, returned to the United States from Ghana on Tuesday, February 2 and returned frustrated. He hoped to obtain trainer Godwin Dzanie Kotey a renewed visa, but the United States embassy in Accra refused. He plans to prepare for the Pacquiao bout in Florida, Gjini said.

The Ghanaian phenom, nicknamed “Grand Master,” is a former welterweight world champ and boasts a 35-3 career record with 21 knockouts. Clottey surrendered his belt to Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto in June 2009 on a controversial split decision.

Clottey joined John’s Gym in 2006, on Westchester Avenue near the Hub. Gjini, 33, an Albanian who immigrated to the Bronx in 1997, had acquired the legendary, but dilapidated spot, formerly known as Jerome Gym, in 2004. Clottey jogs from his apartment in Highbridge to the gym, his former trainer, Kwame Asante, said.

‘I knew in my heart that the gym would turn out a world champ,” Gjini said. “When [Clottey] first came to the gym, I could see that he was in shape, that he was serious.”

Promoters hoped to pit southpaw Pacquiao, who pulverized Cotto in November 2009, against the unbeaten braggart Floyd Mayweather Jr. but when the two squabbled and Mayweather Jr. insisted on steroid tests, they settled on Clottey.

“He has a shot,” said Asante, who hangs at John’s Gym. “He knows how to fight a southpaw. I know Joshua will win.”

Although Clottey is bigger and stronger than Pacquiao, experts expect the likable Filipino to win. Gjini is unsure.

“A good big man beats a good small man,” Gjini said. “Pacquiao is a great small man. Joshua might not win the fight, but he’ll win fans. Pacquiao won’t push him around.”

Gjini and veteran cutman Lenny DeJesus plan to join Clottey in Dallas. The gym owner is excited.

“It will be a good fight, an international,” he said. “When you have a Filipino and an African...two continents collide.”

Gjini encouraged Bronx residents to back Clottey and to tune in.

“Listen, he’s a good guy,” Gjini said. “He doesn’t drink, doesn’t party. Everyone in New York should get behind him. Everyone in the Bronx should feel proud.”


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pacquiao in top shape

Pacquiao vs ClotteyTOP Rank promoter Bob Arum said Fighter of the Decade and pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao is so fit he can fight tomorrow, noting that trainer Freddie Roach’s job is to slow him down.
“Pacquiao is getting rave reviews on his performance in the gym and everybody is saying they can’t believe how great he’s looking,” Arum told Standard Today.
The promoter said everything is going well in terms of the Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey World Boxing Organization title defense of the Filipino at the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium on March 13 as well as the Pinoy Power III/Latin Fury 13 fight card on Sunday.
Arum said all the fighters on the card, which showcases five promising Filipinos against Latino counterparts, are in good shape.
“All the fighters are confident and they are all coming to win,” said Arum of the card which has stirred a lot of interest both among the Filipino fans and their Hispanic counterparts.
The fights will be telecast in the Philippines by ABS-CBN over Channel 2 at 10:30 a.m. with a replay over Studio 23 at 8:30 p.m. It will also be telecast globally to Filipinos abroad on The Filipino Channel. Ronnie Nathanielsz

Pacquiao 'stupid, crazy' for refusing $40-M: Mayweather Sr.

MANILA, Philippines – The father of American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. criticized 7-division world champion Manny Pacquiao for dropping the Mayweather bout over a disagreement about Olympic-style drug testing.

In an interview, Floyd Mayweather, Sr. questioned Pacquiao's argument that he would be weakened by the blood test if it was done so close to the fight. He said Pacquiao should have considered the amount of money being offered to the two boxers before refusing the fight.

“Who wouldn’t fight for that kind of money, unless they’re dumb, stupid and crazy. I think it was $40 million, something like that. They will both get that kind of money,” Floyd Mayweather, Sr. told Bev Llorente of ABS-CBN North America News Bureau.

He added: “They’re gonna fight. They’re not gonna take much blood out of you, talking that he gonna get weak before the fight. You’re gonna get weak after he tapped that ass so that’s what he is scared about."

The controversial trainer said that the world does not care about the upcoming bout between Pacquiao and Ghanaian Joshua Clottey, which is scheduled on March 13-- the same date of the bungled Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

He added, however, that he is not closing the door on a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout in the future.

Floyd Jr. earlier blamed Pacquiao for their fight’s collapse which was caused by their disagreement on the drug testing procedure.

The undefeated American told as quoted by “The question that people want to know is why didn’t Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather fight? It wasn’t my fault! I’m not duckin’ and dodgin’ nobody. 40 have came and 40 have came up short.”

Pacquiao already filed a defamation complaint against the Mayweathers and other members of their camp for alleging that he was taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Pacquiao is set to fight Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 13.

Floyd Jr., on the other hand, is scheduled to fight on May 1 against “Sugar” Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he and Pacquiao were supposed to face off. – With a report from Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau


Peaking Pacquiao might make Clottey look like it's his first rodeo

Manny PacquiaoThere was a time in his career, back when he got knocked out twice, that some boxing guys regarded Manny Pacquiao as a claimer, a also ran horse.

This was when he wasn't even regarded as, to use Floyd Mayweather's insuting description, an "ordinary" fighter.

You get banged out by Rustico Torrecampo and and Medgoen Lukchaopormasak--two guys whose names read like the charts at your eye doctor's office--and people say mean things.

But Pacman has turned out to be, sticking with the racehorse analogy, a thoroughbred along the lines of the great Seabiscuit.

But never let it be forgotten that the jockey, Boston Freddie Roach, rides his charge like he's Eddie Arcaro, Laffit Pincay or the legendary Willie Shoemaker.

The other day I heard a smat boxing guy say how the importance of trainers is overrated. That begs the question, though, of why there are so few Roach types around in gyms these days.

AP Photo

I applaud Roach for pulling the reins on Megamanny and cutting back his sparring. Roach is spot on in saying Manny does not need 150 rounds of sparring because it's overkill. As Roach noted, Pacman came to this camp in fine fettle because he bounced from the November Cotto bout to this match.

Sparring, not trainers, really is the most overrated and overdone thing in boxing and it's worse when you let a getting older (like Manny at age 31 and after 55 pro bouts) boxer leave his fight in the gymnasium.

Less is more when it comes to sparring and this strategic limitation by Coach Roach will pay dividends come March 13 against Joshua Clottey.

As for Clottey, is he doing any sparring? Or is he still trying to figure out who is going to train him.

The Clottey camp is beginning to look like "F Troop" while Team Pacquiao rolls along, never missing a beat.

Clottey's got heart but some Big Apple trainers, like Delen "Blimp" Parsley and veteran Lennox Blackmoore, told me Monday night at Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn they can't see him derailing the Megamanny Express.

"Clottey will get to a certain point and then he will quit," Parsley said.

"I think Clottey will be competitive but not for too long," ex-fighter Blackmoore said.

Not exactly a rousing vote of confidence from his adopted home city, is it?

Maybe a look at Clottey in camp, now that he is in South Florida, will change my mind but I'm beginning to smell a Texas mismatch. Maybe I'm being too harsh but I wonder if the enormity of the event--the 30,000 fans and all that--might emotionally overwhelm "B side" Clottey.

A peaking Pacquiao might make Clottey look like it's his first rodeo if you know what I mean.


Fewer sparring rounds this time for still-fit Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines—In each of his last few fights, Manny Pacquiao logged at least 150 rounds of sparring.

Now, master trainer Freddie Roach wants to limit the Filipino superstar to 110 rounds in his preparation for Ghanaian Joshua Clottey on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

Noting that Pacquiao is nearing peak form early, Roach told GMA 7 News’ Chino Trinidad on Tuesday that 100 to 110 rounds will be sufficient to prepare Pacquiao for the defense of his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown against the bigger Clottey.

Pacquiao has logged 32 sparring rounds with still a month left in training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. He has dominated bigger and taller fighters like Bryan Brooks, Golden Gloves champion Joseph Benavidez, Mike Dallas and Ray Beltran.

“We don’t need 150 rounds for this (Clottey) fight, maybe about a hundred, maybe 110, somewhere in that neighborhood,” Roach said.

Pacquiao, the trainer said, is still sharp from his 12-round demolition of Miguel Cotto last November.

Roach is trying to bring in Ghanaian welterweight Abdullai Amidu (18-0 with 17 knockouts), who last fought in 2005, to provide some quality sparring for the pound-for-pound king.

“Manny is doing great in sparring and we are studying his game plan,” Roach said. “He’s not ready to fight yet but we have about four and a half weeks till fight night and he will be ready then.”

After watching Clottey’s fights, Roach believes that the Ghanaian is fated to become Pacquiao’s fifth straight knockout victim after David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Cotto.

Though Roach acknowledges Clottey’s strength and granite chin, the four-time Trainer of the Year and Hall of Famer believes the Ghanaian makes too many fundamental mistakes which Pacquiao could exploit on fight night.


Roach eases up on Pacquiao sparring

Clottey vs PacquiaoMANILA, Philippines - Freddie Roach is not taking Joshua Clottey lightly but has ordered Manny Pacquiao to slow down when it comes to sparring.

He said the Filipino pound-for-pound champion, who will stake his WBO welterweight crown against Clottey on March 13 in Texas, won’t need as many as 150 rounds of sparring this time.

In his previous fights, if not in all of his big fights, he logged more or less 150 rounds of sparring over eight weeks. This time, the four-time Trainer of the Year said they’re going for less.

“We don’t need that many rounds,” said Roach in an interview with GMA-7 at his Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles where Pacquiao has been training for more than two weeks now.

They still have less than five weeks before the fight, and Pacquiao has logged 32 rounds of sparring so far. Roach is impressed with Pacquiao’s condition that he wants him to slow down.

“We’re sharp from the last fight (against Miguel Cotto last November),” said the chief trainer, who was surprised that Pacquiao reported to the gym a couple of weeks ago at 147 lb, just on the dot.

There will be no catchweight for the Clottey fight, and if Pacquiao weighs in at exactly 147 lb, Roach doesn’t want him to go over 150 by the time he climbs the ring at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington,

“We don’t need 150 rounds (of sparring) for this fight – maybe about a hundred, maybe 110, somewhere in that neighborhood,” said Roach. It will be the first time Pacquiao will go that low in sparring.

Still, Roach would surely expect the same result on fight night.

“We will knock him out,” he said of Clottey, who’s never been knocked out in his career spiked with 35 wins and three controversial losses. He’s now in Florida training for the biggest fight of his life.

Pacquiao spars on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and over the last few days has been so impressive that he has practically toyed with everybody thrown at him, from Brian Brooks to Jose Benavidez, Ray Beltran and Mike Dallas.

Benavidez is the 2009 Golden Gloves light-welterweight champion. He’s only 17 and stands 5-foot-11, but when ranged against Pacquiao, for only two rounds, it looked like he needs a little more time before he could spar with the Pinoy champ again.


Roach slows down Pacquiao training

MANILA, Philippines – Coach Freddie Roach is slowing down World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao's training since he may peak too early for his March 13 fight against Ghana's Joshua Clottey.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told that with still over a month to go before the fight, Roach had to "slow him [Pacquiao] up" to avoid peaking early for the bout.

Arum said he is impressed with the conditioning of Pacquiao.

He said Pacquiao is "getting rave reviews on his performance in the gym, and everybody is saying they can’t believe how great he’s looking.”

Arum said it seems that Pacquiao “can [even] fight tomorrow”.

Alex Ariza, Pacquiao's conditioning coach, echoed Arum, saying the 7-division boxing champion seems to get better and better in each sparring session.

“He looked the best that I’ve probably seen him. His footwork, speed, power was unreal,” Ariza said in a report by Inside

Sparring mate hits below belt

During his recent sparring session, Pacquiao nearly knocked down his sparring mate Mike Dallas. This was after Dallas, a 23-year-old light welterweight with an 11-0-1 record, reportedly hit him below the belt by accident.

Ariza said coach Freddie Roach was obviously happy with Pacquiao’s performance. The boxing trainer said things are going on as planned.

Ariza said Roach had “a big smile on his face." "He was happy, and when he and Manny are happy, I am happy,” he added

He said Roach will also bring in another sparring partner to challenge Pacquiao’s abilities.

The new sparring mate is Abdullai Amidu, a welterweight from Ghana who is undefeated in 18 fights, with 17 wins coming by way of knockouts.

The Filipino champ has been dominating sessions with his sparring partners as he prepares to defend his crown against Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas on March 13.

He earlier beat up journeyman boxer Bryan Brooks in four rounds.

Roach said Pacquiao followed the game plan well during the four-round sparring session. He also said Brooks was hurt a few times.

“[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.


Pacquiao finally attracts attention of mainstream American media

MAINSTREAM American media has finally taken notice of Manny Pacquiao, with two top-rated United States programs set to feature the Filipino pound-for-pound champion in its coming shows, according to
The website said this indicates American media has finally acknowledged how phenomenal Pacquiao has become and is expected to further boost his coming title defense against Joshue Clottey of Ghana on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
In a report posted on, Examiner.Com quoted Top Rank promoter Bob Arum as saying "60 Minutes," produced by CBS and America’s top news investigative show that has been on the air for over 40 years, will "start shooting material next Sunday at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym."
The CBS show reaches a vast audience that might not follow sports or boxing, in particular, and said the show will bring Pacquiao’s athleticism, success, humanitarian accomplishments, and his faith to millions of Americans.
Another show set to feature Pacquiao is "Good Morning America" which is produced by ABC. The show is the No. 1 morning talk and news show in America and targets the adult population.
Meanwhile, former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., who is unbeaten in 40 fights, showed up in the Super Bowl game between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts last Sunday in Miami and spewed out a mouthful about Pacquiao. reported that while Pacquiao has refrained from talking thrash about Mayweather, the brash American, in his typical fashion, told the NFL media: "I’m dishin’ out a whoopins but I ain’t takin’ ‘em. How can you (Pacquiao) be indestructible when you have three losses. He’s been knocked out three times."


Manny Pacquiao-Edwin Valero - Please Make This Fight Happen!

by James Slater - Immediately after he'd stopped a brave Antonio DeMarco in the 10th-round on Saturday night, improving his perfect record to 27-0(27), WBC lightweight king Edwin Valero again called out fellow southpaw and reigning pound-for-pound star Manny Pacquiao. Saying a fight between he and the Filipino legend is a fight "the whole world wants to see," the lethal-punching Venezuelan made it clear he'd be willing to move up in weight to make the super-fight happen.

Indeed, the word is, "El Inca" will make the move up to 140-pounds in his very next fight (tantalising whispers suggest Valero could possibly fight WBO light-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in the summer!). Believing he can carry his power - punching power that has seen him win every single one of his pro bouts inside the distance - up with him to 140 and maybe even beyond, Valero is hungry for a mega-match with "Pac-Man." He is not the only one!

As big a fight as Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather would have been (and maybe still will be), a fight between Pacquiao and Valero is something else altogether.. Not as big a mainstream fight, a showdown between the two southpaws who carry dynamite in their gloves would be a hardcore fight fans' dream. But what are the chances of it happening, and of Valero being capable of wreaking havoc as a 140-pounder?

First of all, Pacquiao must get past the tough and durable Joshua Clottey in March. No easy fight for Manny, the March 13th clash could even conceivably ruin any talk of a fight with Valero. Secondly, Valero must win his debut at 140-pounds (if this debut IS against the man known as "Desert Storm," there is no guarantee he will do so). But assuming both men do win their next fight, could we see Valero get his wish later this year or early next?

Pacquiao, if he cannot get the winner of Shane Mosley-Floyd Mayweather to agree to fight him this year, would have no name more appealing to the fans than Valero. Though he's a huge enough name to be able to fight just about anybody and have his fans tuning in, Mayweather and Mosley aside, a fight with Valero makes the most sense and has more intrigue to it than any other for Pac-Man. Who wouldn't want to see this fight?

And Valero, at a listed 5'6," is tall enough to be able to move up to 140-pounds. Only a fraction shorter in height than Pacquiao, Valero actually has a slightly longer reach than Manny. And if Valero were able to carry his frightening power up with him, well, his chances of beating even as great a fighter as Pacquiao would have to be looked at as at least pretty good.

The sight the fight would be held at could possibly prove somewhat problematic. It's well known how Valero is unable to fight anywhere in America other than Texas, and a fight the magnitude of Valero-Pacquiao would be best suited to Las Vegas or New York. But the again, Pacquiao-Clottey is taking place in Dallas, Texas, so why not Pacquiao-Valero? Or how about the fight happening in The Philippines? The bout would not make as much money if it happened there, but Manny has fought at home before. Imagine what an occasion it would be for Manny's adoring countrymen to see their hero fight such a big fight in Manila!

Wherever it were staged, and at whichever weight (Manny may not wish to drop back down to 140), this fight would have no trouble at all getting the fans to tune in. Two fast, powerful and talented fighters going at it head-on; what's not to like? Would Pacquiao be able to cope with Valeros' wicked punches and relentless aggression? Would the less-polished Valero be able to deal with Pacquiao's punching power along with his finer overall skills? Could the clash of southpaws possibly go the distance?

These questions and far more besides will hopefully be answered in the coming months. Let's hope the promoters involved recognise how big a deal the making of this fight is to boxing fans!


Arum sends private plane for Pacquiao

Time was when Manny Pacquiao was happy to be on board a commercial flight en route to his destination of choice.

With all the trappings of fame and fortune, it ‘s no longer easy to please somebody like him.
Staying in high-end hotels has become a must, while traveling in first-class no longer excites him.
So, in an effort to spoil his prized puncher even more, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is sending a private plane to pick up the Filipino star for the three-hour flight to Dallas, Texas, on March 8 before the March 13 clash with Joshua Clottey.
“Manny’s going to Dallas first thing in the morning of Monday, March 8th,” Arum reported Tuesday from Las Vegas.
Except for flights arriving in the US from the Philippines, Pacquiao has been riding private planes to fulfill countless appointments as though he owns one.
In making the rounds of boxing hotbeds during promotional tours, Pacquiao has been shunning flying commercial in favor of the utmost luxury of traveling on private plane.
Not only that, Arum has also asked the management of Gaylord Texan Resort and Hotel in Grapevine, Texas, to build a makeshift gym at the basement so Pacquiao could train there in the final days leading to the fight.
“A private gym will be set up so Manny doesn’t go out of the hotel to train,” said Arum.
Team Pacquiao had to go to that extent because the nearest gym to the hotel is located 25 miles away, said the boxer’s Canadian adviser Mike Koncz.
Arum said Pacquiao and Clottey will hold separate open workouts to the media on March 9, while the press conference will be staged at the Cowboys Stadium on March 10.


Manny Pacquiao to Be Profiled on '60 Minutes'

Seven-division titlist, Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, will be featured in an upcoming segment of 60 minutes, Top Rank publicist, Lee Samuels, told FanHouse on Sunday.

Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts), who already has graced the cover of the Asian edition of Time Magazine, earned his current WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title with November's 12th-round knockout of Miguel Cotto, and will defend it on March 13 at The Dallas Cowboys' Stadium in Arlington, Tex., against Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs).

"Their crews will be with him throughout the days leading up to the fight, and they will be at the fight and have full access during the fight and after the fight," said Samuels. "They're hopes were that they are planning to release the segment sometime before his next fight, so they're talking about it airing in September."

Pacquiao was recently named Fighter Of The Year for the third time, Fighter Of The Decade for the first time, and his trainer, Freddie Roach (Pictured above, at left, with Pacquiao), Trainer Of The Year for an unprecedented fourth time -- all both by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, told Michael Marley of The Boxing Examiner on Sunday that CBS is expected to begin shooting on Valentines Day at Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.

"It just shows that interest in Manny has transcended sports, gone beyond that," Arum told Marley, who first reported the news. "Good Morning America on the ABC network is also going to do something on Manny. It is really phenomenal how the interest is widening on Pacman."

Beyond boxing, there is certainly plenty to talk about concerning Pacquiao, who is perhaps the most prominent cross-over boxing star since Muhammad Ali, and even shares his nickname, "The Greatest," while also being dubbed, "Pac-Man."

Pacquiao already has been featured in ESPN Magazine's 'Body Issue,'has displayed his modest singing and comedic skills as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, been featured in main stream newspapers such as The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, and been selected among Time Magazine's Top 25 People Who Mattered in 2009 --listed alphabetically directly behind the United States' first African American president, Barack Obama.

A hero to his native Filipinos, Pacquiao delivered food to his countrymen in devastated Manila only a few days prior to landing in America over the final weeks of training for Cotto -- this after the area had been ravaged by two typhoons.

Born into poverty as Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Pacquiao is considered a man of strong, Christian faith. Pacquiao's first name in The Bible means "God is with us."

There is plenty about Pacquiao (pictured with strength trainer Alex Ariza, at right) that is coincidental if not symbolic, such as the facts that his birthday is eight days prior to Christmas, and he arrived in America from the Philippines on Jan. 17 in order to attend press tours for his bout with Clottey -- a date that happened to be Ali's 68th birthday as well as the day prior to the annual observation of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

Pacquiao, who shot a super hero movie, WaPak Man, that was released on Christmas, will run for congress in the Philippines. The championn will begin campaining on March 26, with the elections slated for May 10

Meanwhile, Pacquiao has remained a hit financially as well as literally in the ring, where he is riding a winning streak of 11-0 with eight knockouts since losing a unanimous decision to Erik Morales in March of 2005.

That winning streak includes having stopped Morales in the 10th, and, third round, respectively; decisions over Mexican greats, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez; and knockouts in his past four bouts over David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and, Miguel Cotto, in succession, over nine, eight, two, and, 12 rounds.

Pacquiao-Cotto generated 1.25 million HBO pay per view buys, which represented the highest performing boxing pay-per-view event in 2009, and which was "the biggest event of the year for pay per view from the standpoint of revenue generated," said Arum.

Pacquiao-Clottey appears to be doing well also, with about 30,000 of the 45,000 tickets for the event already having been sold.


Pacquiao is nowhere near Mayweather’s level of fame

Manny Pacquiao and his fans need to realize who boxing’s real cash cow is and that man is Floyd “Money” Mayweather.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is up there with Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya when it comes to box office draws.

Pacquiao is a Philippine draw but Mayweather Jr. is a cross over star. Pacquiao lacks the charisma, personality and appeal needed to make him a star in America, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has all of these attributes and the boxing skills to top it off.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has no equal right now in terms of drawing power the man is in popular demand and numbers don’t lie, Mayweather has the Pay Per View buys to prove it.

This past Superbowl weekend Floyd Mayweather Jr. was all over the place promoting his upcoming HBO PPV against Sugar Shane Mosley, Floyd was giving interviews and receiving love from many celebrities, athletes and fans.

If Manny Pacquiao attended Superbowl weekend in Miami to promote his March 13 fight with Joshua Clottey, I doubt he would receive the same type of love Mayweather Jr. did. Don’t forget even though Manny is exciting in the ring his interviews are some of the worst ever, cringe worthy, he hardly talks and seems awkward, while Floyd Jr. is well spoken and charming in interviews.

Don’t be fooled with the smoke and mirrors, the only people who hype up Pacquiao and make him look like a star is the Philippine media and the Filipino people living in Los Angeles, California.

Sure Pacquiao has a group of adoring Filipino fans who wait outside of Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing gym in Hollywood just to get a picture and have Manny autograph some memorabilia so they can sell it on Ebay.

Half of those fans are probably only there to get the free signature to sell later on for money and don’t even follow boxing.

Pacquiao vs. Clottey is going to be in the 100,000 seat Dallas Cowboys football stadium and yet they only sold 30,000 tickets for the fight. Bob Arum as usual is exaggerating and overselling the Pacman’s popularity and demand.

You better believe many of those unsold tickets will be comped and given out so the stadium looks like a sell out.

If the Floyd Mayweather vs. Sugar Shane Mosley fight was to take place in Dallas at the same stadium they would sell at least 50,000 tickets in the first week alone.

You got a fight no one wants to see with Pacquiao-Clottey and on the other hand you got a fight that has been brewing for several years in Mayweather-Mosley.

When will these people realize that stats don’t lie, I can’t wait to compare the Pay Per View buys for the Joshua Clottey vs. Manny Pacquiao fight and the Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley fight.

Another thing to take into consideration is the fighters purses, Pacquiao will be earning around $10 million dollars for the Clottey fight while Floyd Mayweather will earning $20 million or more for the Mosley fight.

If Manny Pacquiao was such a draw wouldn’t he be earning as much as Mayweather Jr.?

All roads lead to Floyd Mayweather Jr the true Pay Per View attraction.


Why Not Manny Pacquiao Vs Edwin Valero?

Pacquiao vs ClotteyWhen Floyd Mayweather put pen to paper to fight "Sugar" Shane Mosley late last month, boxing fans temporarily breathed a sigh of relief. The sigh was temporary, because we still yearn for a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown. Prior to that, Pacquiao quickly signed to fight Joshua Clottey.

But that's the wrong opponent for the Pac Man if you ask me. As a matter of fact, the perfect opponent for Pacquiao is eerily similar to him in terms of power, reach, speed, stance and stature. And it may not be who you think.

Enter Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KOs)

Like the Pac Man, Valero has a high knockout percentage, has a "69-inch reach (actually two inches longer than Pacquiao's), has extremely fast hands, is a southpaw, and stands close to 5'7." In many ways, he's Pacquiao's Venezuelan boxing twin. Therein lie the similarities.

However, the gulf that separates the two from meeting in the ring (i.e. in the United States) is as wide as the one surrounding Mexico. And that's not just a geographical play on words. In fact, Valero is not even cleared to fight north of the border.

Valero has been denied a U.S. visa because of a drunk-driving charge in Texas. He also had a severe motorcycle accident in February 2001 that left him with a fractured skull and required surgery to remove a blood clot. He was later indefinitely banned from fighting in the United States after failing a physical in New York.

If you think making the Mayweather fight was difficult, how hard do you think it would be to make a Pacquiao fight against a fighter who is banned from fighting in the U.S., has hardly been seen on television by casual and die-hard fans alike, and is more dangerous than a power line falling into a lake? However, if Antonio Marga-cheato is re-licensed soon, I guess anything is possible.

Ironically, Edwin Valero's nickname is Dinamita (which translates to dynamite in English), just like Manny Pacquiao's arch-rival Juan Manuel Marquez. Before he calls it quits, Pacquiao has to fight a Dinamita again, preferably the one we haven't seen him against (Valero). Pacquiao versus Valero would be the perfect antidote for a super fight gone awry.

Related Posts with Thumbnails