Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pacquiao-Clottey headed to Texas

Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s earlier date with the Pacman. “I don’t think there’s any hope (for the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight), the deadline for HBO is past,” Roach told the Las Vegas Sun in a report also published on its online edition Sunday. “Manny is going to fight Clottey on March 13 and we’re just going to move on.” Move on to Arlington, that is. Arlington is a Texas city 32 kilometers west of Dallas. It boasts the Cowboys Stadium, which is home to American football’s Dallas Cowboys. Top Rank chief Bob Arum said the Pacquiao vs Clottey fight could be headed to the 80,000-seater stadium and one of those expected to purchase tickets for the bout is former US President George W. Bush. “He (Bush) said that he loves Pacquiao,” Arum told Arum spoke with the former president when he sat in a luxury box with Dallas Cowboys and Cowboys Stadium owner Jerry Jones during negotiations for hosting Pacquiao’s next bout. “This will be the biggest statement for the sport of boxing, ever,” Arum told the boxing site, adding that there will be a press conference to announce the fight on Jan. 18 at the Cowboys Stadium, followed by another on Jan. 19 in New York. “I’m definitely going to sign for it tomorrow and finalize the deal tomorrow.” The developments certainly point to the final nail in the coffin of the Pacquiao-Mayweather super bout, although Schaefer believes there is a slim hope that the so-called “Fight of the Century” could still be salvaged. “Let’s split it down the middle and do this fight,” Schaefer told The Ring. Negotiations for the fight collapsed when both camps could not agree on drug-testing protocols—a measure that cropped up following accusations from the Mayweather camp that Pacquiao used steroids en route to becoming the first boxer in history to win world titles in seven different weight classes. The Mayweather camp wanted Olympic-type random testing until the eve of the fight while Pacquiao wanted testing to end 30 days before the fight. A 14-day proposal was made during mediation, but no compromise was reached. “I cannot find a reasonable person who doesn’t think that’s a fair compromise,” The Ring quoted Schaefer as saying. “If Pacquiao walks away from what I and most people consider a fair compromise, then so be it.” Roach said he was previously optimistic that the fight would push through.

Floyd pulling away
“I definitely thought this fight would happen when Manny beat Miguel (Cotto, in November),” Roach said. “But as we got close to the fight, we could see Floyd pulling away. “Bottom line is he just doesn’t want to fight.” Mayweather has been called a “psychological coward” by Arum after negotiations broke down. Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts) has also been criticized after the fight’s fallout and critics said his refusal to undergo random checks casts a shadow of doubt on the credibility of his victories. But his choice of Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs) as his next opponent boosted his stock. The stylish and dangerous Bronx, New York-based welterweight nearly pulled off an upset against Cotto last year before dropping a narrow decision to the Puerto Rican star. Mayweather’s undistinguished short list of possible replacement includes flamboyant Paulie Malignaggi and unheralded Englishman Matthew Hatton, whose brother Ricky was knocked out by both Mayweather (10th round) and Pacquiao (2nd round).


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