Saturday, March 13, 2010
Roach sees exciting Pacman-Clottey bout
MANILA, Philippines - Freddie Roach is just as thrilled as everybody who’s looking forward to Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Josh Clottey on March 13 at the Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “I wanted Manny in an action fight and that’s what we got with Clottey,” Roach, the hottest boxing trainer out there today, told the Las Vegas Sun yesterday from Los Angeles. Clottey, a 33-year-old, 5-foot-8 welterweight from Ghana, must have felt like he won the lottery when he was chosen from among a short list as Pacquiao’s next opponent. Paulie Malignaggi, Yuri Foreman and Juan Manuel Marquez were in the radar after negotiations for the superfight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. went up in a ball of fire. Any fight would have been a good fight for the fans as long as Pacquiao is up on the ring, but in the end, they ended up with Clottey, a stablemate of Pacquiao’s at Top Rank. It was a decision that thrilled Roach. “I wanted an action fight, I don’t want Manny in a boring fight. With Paulie it would be a blowout. Let’s face it, he’s not in the same class as Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. Yuri Foreman is a good fighter, he’s clever, but he’s boring.” Roach said the Mayweather fight didn’t happen because the undefeated American “has all the excuses in the world” and just doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao and risk losing that “zero” in his ring record. Arum and his stepson, Top Rank president Todd duBeof, flew to Dallas the other day and shared the VIP box with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former President George Bush and his wife, Laura. Arum is in town to seal the deal that should bring Pacquiao to the $1.2 billion stadium, which could house as many as 100,000 fans when all seats are taken, for the first time in his career. It’s almost a done deal, everybody’s saying, and soon both fighters will sign the contract, and appear in a press conference on Jan. 18 in Dallas and the following day in New York. Pacquiao will have to defend his WBO welterweight crown against Clottey, who seven months ago came close to defeating Miguel Cotto, who was eventually knocked out by Pacquiao last November. Pacquiao’s adviser, Mike Koncz, said Pacquiao will fly to Los Angeles on Jan. 17 to start training. Arum is just as thrilled as well as Jones and the ex-President. “I think that he’s [Bush] going to come to the fight. He said that he ‘loves Pacquiao.’ He ‘loves Pacquiao.’ I was talking to him for like a long time, me and Todd. He was sitting with us in Jerry Jones’ box,” Arum told fanhouse.com. He said they would set up the stadium for 50,000 fans. “This place is absolutely awesome, I mean you should see it. The crowd is unbelievable. This is going to be incredible. This stadium, I’m telling you, with this fight, we’re going to pack this place,” said Arum as he enjoyed a Cowboys-Eagles game. “I’m definitely going to sign for it tomorrow and finalize the deal tomorrow. And on Jan. 18, all of the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders are going to be there. This is going to be absolutely huge,” Arum told fanhouse.com.