Saturday, March 13, 2010
Pacquiao to fight Clottey at Cowboys Stadium
DALLAS, Texas, January 10, 2010 (AFP) - Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao will take on Ghana's Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium, the billion-dollar state-of-the-art home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, promoters said Sunday. Promoter Bob Arum and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced the deal a day after Arum attended the Cowboys' NFL playoff victory over Philadelphia at the stadium on Saturday night. Jones had put the facility forward as a venue for the anticipated fight March 13 between Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather. That super-fight fell through last week over a disagreement on the drug testing protocol, and Arum lined up Clottey for Pacquaio's World Boxing Organization welterweight title defense.
"Jerry Jones knows exactly how big and important this event is which is why it was so easy to put this deal together," Arum said. "If Jerry could sell me on Cowboys Stadium and the North Texas market, you know he is going to have no problems selling out Cowboys Stadium on March 13. "We are ready to roll up our sleeves and promote Manny’s debut as World Welterweight Champion. Manny Pacquiao is the lone star of boxing. There isn't a more appropriate place in the world for him to fight." Jones told ESPN.com he was thrilled to host a bout involving a fighter of Pacquaio's stature, regardless of his opponent, and even if the fight with Joshua Clottey won't be the mega money-spinner that Mayweather vs Pacquiao promised to be. "I never got into the NFL or bought the Cowboys for the money," Jones told ESPN.com. "I was lucky enough to already have some. "This is about having a fighter like Manny and an event like this in our venue. When we finished the deal, I was shaking as much as I was when we beat the Eagles. I'm just as excited." The stadium won't be configured for maximum 100,000 seating capacity. They'll start out planning in the 40,000 seat range, but can increase that capacity if needed. "Manny defending his title against Joshua Clottey is not just a great fight, it's a great event, and one we can showcase to the fullest in Cowboys Stadium," Jones said. "We’re going to promote this like it was the Super Bowl." The hard-hitting Clottey, who lives in New York, is coming off a controversial split-decision loss to Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto last June, a fight many thought Clottey won. Cotto was then pounded by Pacquiao in November in a fight stopped in the final round. The Mayweather vs Pacquiao bout, which had been tentatively scheduled for March 13 in Las Vegas fell apart over the issue of pre-fight anti-doping blood tests. Mayweather originally insisted they be conducted right up to the fight, while Pacquiao wanted a 30-day cut off before the bout. They were unable to reach a compromise.