|Manny Pacquiao (left) and Joshua Clottey posing for the media.
Mayweather out of the question
NEW YORK – Forget Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr.
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is gearing up to fight New York’s “Grand Master” from Ghana, Joshua Clottey.
Dubbed as “The Event,” there is no better place to announce the Pacquiao-Clottey fight than the Madison Square Garden in New York, known for its place in the history of boxing.
Before promoters like Don King and Bob Arum moved boxing to Las Vegas, many of the biggest boxing fights were held here, including the first Joe Frazier vs Muhammad Ali bout.
“I’m not gonna promise I’m gonna win the fight but I will do my best to give an honor to my country and of course to give an honor to the boxing fans and to give a good fight, to make people happy, to make you guys happy,” said Pacquiao during the press conference.
The 32-year-old Clottey may be bigger and stronger than 31-year-old Pacquiao, but he lost to Miguel Cotto in a 12-round split decision. Pacquiao, meantime, beat Cotto in November via technical knockout in Round 12.
Clottey, a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion, said he is not about to underestimate the little Filipino champ.
“If Pacquiao beat me down, this is the first time I lost a fight… I’m fighting with the most exciting fighter and the best fighter out there, I don’t have to think I’m gonna knock down Pacquiao, that’s no good for boxers, thinking that you’re gonna knock your opponent out and will surprise with little punches and by the time you realize, you lose,” the Ghanaian said.
Pacquiao will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Clottey on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Out of the question
|Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Promoter Bob Arum told the press that Clottey is a better opponent for Pacquiao than Mayweather. He even said a Pacquiao-Mayweather clash would hardly be a fight.
“Mayweather-Pacquiao is a one guy running [Mayweather], the other guy trying to hunt him down [Pacquiao], I mean that’s sorta interesting, to a fight where you know Manny will have no trouble knowing where Clottey is, Clottey will stand up and fight,” said the Top Rank Promotions big boss.
Team Pacquiao said even if they are given the best deal and if the right conditions are met, fighting Mayweather is already out of the question.
Arum once and for all set the record straight on why Pacquiao refused the drug testing procedure that was too close to the March 13 fight.
“I know if you want blood testing after the fight, that you subject the fighter to the risk of infection, if you’ve ever been in a dressing room after a fight you know that it’s not sanitized,” he said.
Pacquiao added, “I’m agree to blood testing but not the day of the fight, I tried that before on the day of the fight, the [Erik] Morales one and I lost the fight because my body I feel so weak and I didn’t recover.”
The Pacquiao-Mayweather bout may have gone down the drain but fans in New York still believe that no matter who Pacquiao fights, he will always continue to bring pride and honor to his homeland, the Philippines.
“I called out sick just to show our support to Manny Pacquiao,” said Linda Tumanda Clifton of New Jersey.
Ronnel Padagas from the Bronx, New York expressed his loyalty to the pound-for-pound king: “I’m always for Pacquiao, so whoever he fights, we’re all Filipinos. Best luck for Paquiao.”
Mikhael Tividad, who is also from the Bronx, said: “The Clottey-Pacquiao [fight] is going to be action-packed, so it’s really gonna be worth the pay-per-view, the money that we’re gonna be paying, good for the fans, good for boxing.”