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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Manny Pacquiao Beats Joshua Clottey in Dominant Decision

ementing his status as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world with another one-sided victory, Manny Pacquiao defeated Joshua Clottey Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium.

Pacquiao retained his WBO welterweight championship in a fight that was, at times, rather dull. Clottey focused so much on covering up and defending himself that he never mounted any type of offensive attack. It was yet another decisive win for Pacquiao, who has strung together a series of decisive wins as he's risen up to the top of the boxing world over the last four years.

The judges scored it 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109 for Pacquiao. On my scorecard it was 120-108 for Pacquiao.

"It was not an easy fight," Pacquiao said afterward. "It was hard. He's a very tough fighter. I can't believe it."

Pacquiao might not have felt it was easy, but it sure looked easy. The question now is whether Pacquiao, who improved his record to 51-3-2, will finally get together with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and give boxing fans around the world the fight they want to see. Clottey, who fell to 35-4, simply isn't a good enough opponent to fight the best in the world.

Author: Michael David Smith

Relentless From Start, Pacquiao Retains Title

ARLINGTON, Tex. — As Manny Pacquiao dispatched another welterweight contender in the easy manner of a sparring session, the talk turned immediately and emphatically to Floyd Mayweather Jr.As expected. Once again.

On Saturday night in CowboysStadium, Pacquiao defeated Joshua Clottey by unanimous decision to retain his World Boxing Organization welterweight championship. He pummeled Clottey’s ribs and midsection. He turned Clottey into a punching bag of bruised and battered muscles.

Afterward, the spotlight swung back toward Mayweather. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, implored Mayweather to drop his demands for blood testing. He said Pacquiao had mimicked Mayweather’s fighting style during sparring, making fun of perhaps his most difficult opponent.

Roach said of that style, “We will crush it.”

The fight that boxing fans demand looms, larger than ever. Because Pacquiao continues to dismiss all challengers, except Mayweather. On Saturday, Pacquiao essentially won his semifinal, leaving Mayweather, who fights Shane Mosley on May 1 in Las Vegas, to win his bout before negotiations between boxing’s two best fighters can resume.

“We’re ready to fight him any time,” Pacquiao said of Mayweather, before landing his hardest punch of the night, adding, “I don’t think he’s ready to fight.”

In this bout, Clottey boxed defensively, conservatively, as if unable to summon an attack. He threw 399 punches to Pacquiao’s 1,231. In the seventh round, Clottey managed to bruise Pacquiao under his right eye, but Pacquiao remained on the offensive, stalking Clottey, landing body shot after body shot.

The question lingered. When would Clottey let his hands go and unleash his superior strength and size? When would he, you know, fight?

Clottey opened up occasionally in the later rounds, but by then it was too late. By then, Pacquiao had dispatched another challenger. By then, cries for Mayweather-Pacquiao had already begun to echo across the stadium.

“He has great speed,” Clottey said of Pacquiao. “It was difficult for me to handle that.”

The fight had a surreal premise: an African and a Filipino fighting in Texas, the birthplace of Top Rank Boxing and, fittingly, the Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones.

The fighters entered the ring to deafening noise and an electric atmosphere. Clottey danced. Pacquiao stalked into his corner, bowed, prayed, then climbed the ropes, smiling at the masses. Nervous? No. He had spent the previous two hours watching N.B.A.basketball on television.

This being football country, the crowd swelled with N.F.L. players, ex-players, coaches, ex-coaches, even owners. It included Jimmy Johnson, the retired coach, and Woody Johnson, the Jets’ owner, along with a bevy of former Cowboys: Deion Sanders, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Barry Switzer.

Early on, it was Clottey, the bigger, stronger fighter, who landed the bigger shots. But it was Pacquiao, the skilled technician, who appeared to win most, if not all, of the early rounds, as Clottey treated each punch as precious, thrown only on special occasions.

Clottey managed to slow the pace through the middle rounds, but Pacquiao continued to attack, landing combinations. He controlled the fight early, controlled it late, the outcome all but certain.

Afterward, Pacquiao said: “It was not an easy fight. It was hard. I felt his power.”

Just before noon Saturday, Pacquiao and staff members assembled for Mass at the exhibition center adjacent to their hotel. They sang hymns and said prayers and received communion, while fans snapped pictures with their cell phones. Pacquiao worshipped God, while hundreds worshipped him, a peaceful moment to conclude a kumbaya-style camp.

The last two months, from training through fight week, unfolded in atypical serenity for Team Pacquiao. The fighter flew some 130 members of his entourage here on a private jet, then spent most nights inside his suite, playing poker and belting out his favorite karaoke tunes.

Even Michael Koncz and Alex Ariza, the Pacquiao employees who engaged in a fistfight last training camp, teamed up so Koncz could win a staff weight-loss challenge worth $3,000.

“I’m starting to worry,” Roach said, half joking. “I’m going to start something, because this camp has gone too smoothly.”

Normally, Pacquiao thrives amid dysfunction. This time, the opposite worked, too.

As the circus around him swelled, Pacquiao won 12 straight fights, including this one, won seven titles in a record seven weight divisions and won the award for fighter of the decade. Roach earned his fourth trainer of the year award this year, another mark for the punishing pair.

Pacquiao appeared more entranced by Cowboys Stadium than by his opponent this week. Walking in for his first news conference, wearing a white jersey, Pacquiao said he felt like a football player, like the receiver Michael Irvin.

This gleaming, palatial stadium with a scoreboard the size of a small town helped replace interest lost when Pacquiao’s negotiations with Mayweather fell apart over blood testing.

Boxing wanted to expand its fan base. Jerry Jones wanted to show off his latest toy, its price tag in excess of $1 billion. The fight featured three stars: Pacquiao, Jones and the one at midfield, underneath the ring.

Even with Clottey, a competent if relatively unknown welterweight, opposing Pacquiao, the bout sold more than 50,000 tickets, some standing-room only. When Clottey’s manager called his fighter with Pacquiao’s proposal, Clottey first asked if he was kidding. Like everyone else, Clottey expected Mayweather and Pacquiao to fight.

Maybe they still will, but dozens of factors demand answers, difficult ones at that. Mayweather has not backed off his blood-test demands. He must beat Mosley in early May. Pacquiao will soon run for a congressional seat in the Philippines, and to fight Mayweather, he would presumably need to drop his defamation lawsuit.

On Saturday, as the Mayweather questions swirled amid the celebration, Pacquiao said he would decide on his next fight after the election. In reality, only one opponent remains — for boxing fans, for Pacquiao, for Mayweather, for the sport itself.

Pacquiao proved that on Saturday, after another convincing win against an overmatched welterweight opponent.


Source: nytimes.com

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pacquiao-Clottey Prediction, Round by Round Coverage Tonight

Note: This article will be updated tonight with round by round coverage of tonight’s main event.

Tonight, top welterweights Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey do battle in front of an estimated 45,000 fans at Dallas Stadium. The site is billed by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones as the most avant-garde entertainment facility in the world, and will serve as a litmus test on boxing’s current drawing power.

For challenger and perennial contender Joshua Clottey, this fight represents a golden, and possibly final chance to exorcise past performance demons. In his 2 biggest fights against Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto, Clottey appeared to be in the driver’s seat early before suffering collapses. With Margarito, Clottey dominated early before going into a shell following a hand injury and losing a decision. Against Cotto, Clottey seemed close to forcing a stoppage before inexplicably dropping his punch output and losing a controversial split decision.

Pacquiao is taking on his second consecutive top 5 welterweight. Although he is the favorite, there exists the possibility of a letdown since the original opponent today was supposed to be Floyd Mayweather in the most lucrative fight in boxing history (both men could not come to terms on Olympic style drug testing). However, an impressive showing by the Filipino icon can put him in the driver’s seat should talks resume with Mayweather as expected later this year.

Joshua Clottey’s mindset tonight must be constant punching and pressure. He’s facing the most dynamic fighter in the game today, one who never stops throwing punches for 3 minutes of every round. Simply hiding behind his tight guard will just result in him being outworked and posting a lopsided decision loss. Clottey has underrated handspeed, and although it’s not on the level of Pacquiao, he must be willing to take chances and punch with Pacquiao when the Filipino darts in to let loose a combination. Manny has yet to be consistently hit by a bigger man, so Clottey as a big welterweight has a shot to wear down Pacquiao if he can land with authority and regularly for several rounds.

Manny Pacquiao’s key to victory remains doing what he does better than anyone else; punches from every angle, and continuous movement. As a defensive-first fighter, Clottey instinctively looks to block his opponents strikes first before launching his own firepower. This is a huge advantage for Pacquiao, who will have to keep Clottey constantly turning through movement and prevent him from getting set to launch any offense or counterpunch. Clottey later admitted after the Cotto fight he clammed up and became cautious later after the first round flash knockdown. If Pacquiao can land hard early, the Ghanian welterweight may mentally go to the same place.

Clottey looks great as usual, but I don’t believe he’ll have an answer for Pacquiao’s speed and movement. The challenger makes it a competitive fight, but in the end Pacquiao lands more punches, and Clottey more than likely will have stretches of inactivity where he sticks to defense and hurts himself badly on the cards. A Pacquiao knockout would be shocking considering Clottey’s durability, so the prediction is Manny Pacquiao by clear decision over Joshua Clottey, probably by the score of 116-112.

Author: Ismael AbduSalaam

Source: allhiphop.com

Pacquiao’s magic number is 149, says trainer Roach

GRAPEVINE, Texas—For four-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, 149 is Manny Pacquiao’s magic number, his perfect fighting weight.

No wonder, he and conditioning trainer Alex Ariza want Pacquiao to come in at that exact weight against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey on Saturday (Sunday) in Manila.

Roach must have noted that Pacquiao weighed 149 pounds when he stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round of their World Boxing Organization welterweight crown showdown last year.

“I think we will stop him,” said Roach. “I don’t think we’ll knock him out with a one punch, but we’ll overwhelm him and make him quit, yes. Before the 12th.”

Though he’s greatly feared for his voluminous punches, Pacquiao also owns a one punch knockout as displayed in his ninth round knockout of Chicago’s David Diaz and his second round demolition of Briton Ricky Hatton.

With his dervish in and out movements, Pacquiao is expected to break through Clottey’s defenses in the middle rounds with body shots before going for the kill in the 10th to 12th rounds.

Roach thinks Clottey is too defense-oriented and will eventually be caught by Pacquiao’s patented left hook.

Online polls also gave Pacquiao a good chance of finally dealing Clottey his first-ever knockout loss.

Author: Roy Luarca

Friday, March 12, 2010


ARLINGTON, TX -- The fighters for the “Event” scheduled on Saturday night at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington had the official weight in this afternoon.

The following are the weights:

Manny Pacquiao - 145.75 lbs.
Joshua Clottey - 147 lbs.

David Diaz - 134 lbs.
Humbert Soto - 134 lbs.

Jose Luis Castillo - 144 lbs.
Alfonso Gomez - 145 lbs.

Top photo: Manny Pacquiao (L) and Joshua Clottey pose during this afternoon's weigh-in at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.

Author: Ed de la Vega, DDS


Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao may give away around ten pounds when he enters the ring in “The Event” against Ghana’s tough guy Joshua Clottey at the unbelievable $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium on Sunday, Manila Time.

At the official weigh-in which drew a huge crowd of predominantly Pacquiao supporters, the Filipino champion weighed 145 ¾ pounds while Clottey who reportedly had to shed off some excess weight the previous day tipped the scales at the exact welterweight limit of 147.

Clottey said earlier that he was going to have a hearty meal after the weigh in and the consensus is that he will enter the ring at around 160 pounds on fight night although his trainer Lenny De Jesus told us the other day that he wanted to make sure Clottey comes in around 155 so his weight won’t slow him down against the super fast Pacquiao.

Pacquiao’s conditioning expert Alex Ariza said he expects Pacquiao to weight around 150 at fight time which would definitely give Clottey, who can take a big shot, an advantage in weight to go with his slight advantage in height which was evident when the two fighters posted for the media.

Try as they might to provide the customary stare-down, Pacquiao and Clottey couldn’t pull it off and instead smiled at each other further accentuating what Pacquiao has always maintained – there is no need for trash-talk.

Indeed, if there is one added dimension to the Pacquiao legend is that like the late, great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, he earns the respect of his opponents by being a gentleman in and outside the ring.

The two Filipinos featured in the undercard also made weight without trouble.

Featherweight Michael Farenas, a protégé of former two-division world champion Gerry Penalosa came in at 127 1/5 pounds as against the 126 of veteran Joe Morales while bantamweight Eden Sonsona, a protégé of Pacquiao’s former business manager, the late Rod Nazario weighed 119.7 pounds while his opponent, former world champion, veteran Mauricio Pastrana checked in at 119 ½ pounds.

In the WBC lightweight title fight former champion David Diaz from whom Pacquiao won the title with a crushing 9th round tipped the scales at 134 while champion Humberto Sotto was slightly heavier at 134 1/5 pounds.

Diaz believes that Pacquiao faces "a tough fight against Clottey, but its a winnable fight for Pacquiao." WBA super flyweight interim champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire says he expects Pacquiao to win by a twelve round decision and the chances of winning by a knockout are about 30 percent.

Diaz, who came back from the loss to Pacquiao on June 28, 2008 to win a majority decision over former WBC and IBF lightweight champion and WBC super featherweight champion Jesus Chavez last September 26 said he is “feeling good and f eels blessed to get another opportunity to fight for the world title. I am getting ready and hope everything will go right.”

He said the almost six months break since the Chavez fight wont affect him since he has been sparring a lot and while its not the same thing Diaz said “I think I’ll be okay.”

Diaz has been training under Mike Garcia and Jim Strickland in Chicago and said although Sotto “is a tough guy but I’ll work that body and try to get inside of him. He’s a real good technician in the way he uses his reach but if you get inside of that and work him I think we’ll be okay.”

Diaz recalled how well he was treated when he was Pacquiao’s guest along with Edwin Valero at Pacquiao’s lavish 30th birthday celebration in his hometown of General Santos City in December 2008. He said “they were all very nice and give them my best wishes.”

Author: Ronnie Nathanielsz

Pacquiao’s Challenger Clottey Follows in Footsteps of Warriors

ARLINGTON, Tex. — Even here, with Saturday’s welterweight title fight in Cowboys Stadium, with nearly 45,000 seats sold, withManny Pacquiao defending his latest world championship, the fight that fell apart looms over the proceedings.

Every day, someone asks Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, about the other fight, the dream bout between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., boxing’s undisputed kings. Roach gets that question in grocery stores and shopping malls, from Magic Johnsonand the celebrities who train at his Wild Card Boxing Club, even from a waiter at an ice lounge in Los Angeles.

“I was wearing an Eskimo hat,” Roach said. “Same question. Everybody wants to see that fight.”

Instead, Pacquiao will face Joshua Clottey under the most jumbo of all JumboTrons, in the fight few wanted except for the participants, none more so than Clottey. To get here, he survived poverty in Africa, career turmoil and four years spent out of boxing, all to become the latest challenger from the most unlikely of boxing hotbeds.

Pacquiao travels in a luxury bus with his image plastered on the side. On Thursday, Clottey rode to Cowboys Stadium in a hotel shuttle van. Pacquiao houses his sizable entourage in two homes in Los Angeles. Clottey lives in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx.

Clottey lives a simple life, born out of necessity, buoyed by boxing, each of his 32 years defined by struggle and by spirit.

“I have the mentality of a warrior,” he said. “I love to be in the ring.”

Clottey grew up in Accra, Ghana, a place he described with two words: small and poor. His father worked in road construction, earning barely enough money to care for six children and Clottey’s mother.

Clottey grew up in a house with one room. As many as 10 people stayed there at a time, sharing a single bed, sleeping in shifts.

Clottey, part of the Ga tribe, grew up in a neighborhood called Bokum. He said the Ga fancied themselves as warriors, and that translated naturally to boxing.

“There is no help from nowhere,” Clottey said. “That makes you a harder boy. You have to be hard. Because if you don’t do that, you’re not going to eat.”

Boxing reigned in Bokum, like football in Texas or basketball in Harlem. Except, instead of pickup basketball, the boys in Bokum had pickup boxing.

Clottey said his neighborhood was split into seven areas, each with its own gym. He used the word “gym” loosely, because fights often took place on concrete, inside a thin rope, without hand wraps and with torn, mangled gloves. “Like there,” Clottey said, pointing to a dilapidated parking lot.

From this warrior mentality sprung dozens of warriors, the modern-day kind who fought their battles inside makeshift boxing rings. All the fighters — from the featherweight champion Azumah Nelson to the bruising welterweight Ike Quartey, among others — came from this small, poor place.

Many boxing champions have risen from similar circumstances, but the concentrated volume made Bokum different. Boxers became the area’s chief export.

“Manny Pacquiao’s poverty makes an American kid’s poverty look like luxury,” said the promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing. “From what I’ve heard, Clottey’s poverty makes Manny’s poverty look like luxury.”

Throughout his career, Clottey carried with him the spirit from the neighborhood. He endured a disastrous stretch in England, where he said he never faced top competition. He returned to Ghana, where he began plotting his big break — which was available only in the United States.

He arrived in 2003, broke, and landed in the Bronx, minutes from Yankee Stadium. The first time his manager, Vinny Scolpino, watched Clottey spar, Scolpino had never so much as heard of him.

“I didn’t know him from a hole in the wall,” Scolpino said. “Joshua Clottey was nobody, basically, just another 10-round fighter. I always thought he had something, a spark. Maybe because he had so little, he needed something.”

Clottey compiled a 35-3 record, with 21 knockouts, and his losses came against world champions. He beat Zab Judah. He lost by close decision to Antonio Margarito, despite fighting with a pair of broken hands. In his most recent fight, last June, he lost bycontroversial split decision to Miguel Cotto.

None of those fighters knocked Clottey down, or cut him, or left any mark other than three losses on his record. The only mark on Clottey is the tattoo he had inked a few weeks back, his initials interlocked with boxing gloves on his right forearm.

Roach predicted Pacquiao would become the first fighter to “stop” Clottey, to end the fight before the scorecards are tallied. Clottey responded: “Why would Manny Pacquiao knock me out? That surprises me. He can’t knock me out with punches.”

After the Cotto fight, Arum consoled an emotional Clottey in the dressing room by promising bigger future fights. Neither Scolpino nor Clottey envisioned what came next, when the Mayweather negotiations fell apart because of blood testing and Clottey landed the biggest of all bouts.

All week, these fighters tossed compliments at each other. Pacquiao called Clottey a gentleman and a “nice guy.” Clottey, while vowing to attack the smaller, quicker Pacquiao, lauded his place in boxing history.

Scolpino believes his fighter can shock Pacquiao on Saturday. He pronounced Clottey to be in the best shape of his career and said, “If he comes out with a ‘W,’ man, he’s on top of the world.”

If Pacquiao wins, and Mayweather defeats Shane Mosley on May 1, negotiations are expected to resume for the fight that would transcend boxing. But first, Pacquiao must topple Clottey, a fighter familiar with long odds.

“People have lost sight of Clottey because of the Mayweather stuff,” Arum said. “He’s never had the exposure. He’s never been a network favorite. But people who say this is going to be a walk in the park for Pacquiao are crazy.”

Inside Cowboys Stadium on Thursday, Clottey leaned forward in the stands, his eyes fixed on the scoreboard that read “Pacquiao-Clottey, The Event.” Clottey had secured the fight he always wanted. For him, Mayweather-Pacquiao could wait.


Source: nytimes.com

Pac-man primed for Clottey showdown

ARLINGTON, Texas – Manny Pacquiao has ascended to the level of the boxing legends.

He faces a difficult test on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium when he defends his World Boxing Organization welterweight title in an HBO Pay-Per-View bout against Joshua Clottey.

Promoter Bob Arum was beaming after Friday’s festive weigh-in that attracted around 2,500 enthusiastic fans to the plaza outside the swank stadium.

Only a few hundred of the 45,000 tickets for the card remain, prompting Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday to offer standing-room tickets at $35 apiece.

Jones refers to his standing-room seats as “party passes,” and Arum will be partying for a week if early indications of the fight’s popularity prove true.

The closed-circuit locations and presales in the East are at record levels, surpassing where they were in 2007 for the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight. Indications are that the pay-per-view is tracking better than expected, and Arum said he won’t be shocked if it touches 900,000 buyers.

That’s an astonishing number for just about any fight but even more so for a bout against a largely unknown opponent like Clottey, who doesn’t bring with him a large fan base.

Had Pacquiao-Clottey fought two years ago, Arum would have been lucky to have sold a quarter of the tickets he has sold for Saturday’s card.

One of the truths in boxing promoting is that you always need a strong ‘B-side’ if you’re going to do real business.

Pacquiao, though, is one of the few exceptions to that maxim. He is one of those, like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, who no longer needs a wildly popular B-side to sell. Pacquiao sells tickets and pay-per-views on his name alone.

He erased any doubts about his legitimacy as a welterweight when he decimated Cotto in November.

Pacquiao has set the bar enormously high, and though Clottey never has been knocked out, trainer Freddie Roach is expecting Pacquiao to set another first.

“I really believe Manny will find a way,” Roach said.

Pacquiao was as relaxed as ever on Friday. He was wolfing down food in an attempt to come somewhere near the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

He was 142 when he awakened on Friday, then ate a large breakfast featuring eggs and had a lunch of grilled pork, grilled beef, white and brown rice and steamed vegetables. He was also gulping large amounts of water.

That’s in stark contrast to the vast majority of fighters, who can’t eat at all on the day of the weigh-in and wind up sucking on ice or, if they’re lucky, slices of fruit.

Despite all he ate – and he was headed for dinner after the weigh-in – he still was only 145 pounds.

Like Ali, he understands his place in the sport, as well. Boxing fans were bitterly disappointed when a bout with Mayweather wasn’t finalized. That would have pitted the two best fighters in the world for overall supremacy in a match that in essence would have been boxing’s Super Bowl.

Facing a difficult, but far less notable opponent, Pacquiao understands the need to perform to give the sport a jolt when it needs one after it lost a mega-fight at the negotiating table.

“I can’t promise a knockout, but I want to put on a good show for the people who support me all the time,” he said.

Clottey is a bigger man naturally and probably will weigh around 160 pounds by the time he walks to the ring on Saturday. Pacquiao may go up to 148 but certainly isn’t expected to hit 150.

He has been smaller than everyone he has fought since his epic 2008 match with Juan Manuel Marquez, but in subsequent knockout victories over then-lightweight champion David Diaz, De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Cotto, Pacquiao has been stalking his larger opponents.

Perhaps the most stunning scene in many a year was Cotto, one of the toughest, most aggressive fighters in recent times, backpedaling to flee the power of the man who just two years earlier was fighting at 128 pounds.

His meteoric rise from super bantamweight in 2001, where he won the International Boxing Federation title while weighing 121 pounds, to his crushing victory over Cotto in November has caused some to suspect he has used performance-enhancing drugs.

The Mayweather fight was unable to be made for that very reason, as Mayweather for the first time in his career demanded that his opponent agree to random blood and urine testing.

Arum, though, insists it’s a misnomer to believe Pacquiao is a big man now.

“He was having trouble making 130 and after the Marquez fight (on March 15, 2008), he wanted to go to lightweight (and its 135-pound limit,” Arum said. “But he’s really a 140-pounder now. He fought Hatton at 138. His most comfortable weight now is 140, but if there were some kind of a huge fight at 135, he could make that if he had to.

“That’s what makes what he’s doing all the more remarkable, because you have this little guy just beating the (expletive) out of guys who are physically a lot bigger than he is.”

Clottey has a tight defense and isn’t a guy who throws a lot of punches, thereby reducing the number of openings to be hit. So Pacquiao may not get the knockout, but there is one thing you can count on when Manny Pacquiao hits the ring – excitement.

Legendary hockey announcer Mike Lange of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins often would say during a particularly exciting game, “If you’ve missed this one, shame on you for six weeks.”

And if you’re a boxing fan and you miss a chance to see Pacquiao, you’re going to regret it a lot longer than just six weeks.

He’s that good.

Author: Kevin Iole

Source: sports.yahoo.com

Pacquiao painting by fashion artist

Albie Espinola is a fashion artist from London who also happens to be lifelong boxing fan.

Today, RingTV.com presents Espinola's painting of Manny Pacquiao -- who fights Joshua Clottey on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium -- and a time-lapse video (below) of him painting it.

Espinola was born in London to Filipino parents. His father often spoke of the great Flash Elorde and other top fights from the Phillipines and he became of fan of such British fighters as Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn, whose war in 1990 got him hooked on the sport.

The Londoner boxed briefly as an amateur but decided to focus on his art. He began to paint portraits of top models, becoming a prominent presence on the fashion scenes in Paris, London and New York. USA Today dubbed him the “fashion artist.”

However, he never lost his love of boxing. He taught the sweet science at a London gym while he worked in fashion public relations and produced fashion shows. And he has followed the sport religiously.

His favorite fighters today are Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., both of whom have been subjects of his paintings. The Pacquiao painting is presented here. Mayweather will come later.



Manny Pacquiao reminds Bob Arum of Muhammad Ali

Jerry Jones, the owner and general manager of the newly-built Dallas Cowboys Stadium speaks which stages Saturday's fight between welterweights Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey.

Manny Pacquaio arrived at Cowboys Stadium in a bus covered with his own likeness, the seats filled with members of his entourage. There were 140 of them in all, and his small Jack Russell Terrier ‘Pacman’.

If Pacquiao is not saying ‘I’m the Greatest’ then the signs are there. Pacquiao wore a straw hat and a dark jacket for the final press conference, like a latter day pop star. He then changed into a red Adidas tracksuit, matching his entourage. Pacquiao has a fight on his hands, both in the ring and in his upcoming election for Congress in his homeland, the Philippines.

Pacquiao is facing Ghanaian Joshua Clottey on Saturday night in boxing's debut at the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium. A sellout crowd of 45,000 is expected, with the attendance possibly soaring if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decides to sell standing-room-only tickets. The pay-per-view audience that promoter Bob Arum said is likely to top the hoped-for total of 700,000.

Arum insists that the fervour for Pacquiao reminds him of the days he promoted Muhammad Ali. “It’s the same love that people have for him, as they had for Ali. Except with Manny, that love is from his own nation. It reminds me of what we had when Ali was in his pomp. It’s the same thing. Pacquiao is blessed.”

“He has been so through so much in his life, but the best thing of all is that he has kept his humanity. Manny cares about people, and cares about his people. I look forward to introducing him as ‘Congressman’ in the future.”

"There's no stage big enough for Manny Pacquiao," added Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said. "He loves it, and I love it. He's going to perform for the crowd. He'll entertain all 45,000. He'll entertain everybody."

Clottey was given this opportunity against Pacquiao when the proposed megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. fell through. He's very appreciative for this opportunity and has nothing but nice things to say about Pacquiao. It's Roach who rankles him, from the predicted result to talk of a head butt being one of Clottey's best punches.

Clottey's prediction? "I'm predicting a win," he said, adding that he had not studied Pacquiao. "I know his style, I know the way he moves, the way he throws punches, so it doesn't matter. I study myself," he added. "I watch my own fights. I know what I have to do."

What he must do is overcome a fighter who has won world titles across seven weight divisions, who is fast becoming one of sport's living icons. It will have to be a special performance.

Author: Gareth A Davies

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Pacquiao - Clottey Referree & Judges' Track Records

Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas is a magnificent facility and the Lone Star State certainly has passionate and enthusiastic fight fans.With that being said, a fear did cross my mind that the weak Texas boxing commission could screw up a fight of this magnitude when it was announced as host of Manny Pacquiao - Joshua Clottey.

Afterall, this is the same state where referee Lawrence Cole, son of state commissioner Dickie Cole, tried to help Juan Manuel Marquez in a fight by telling him he was ahead on the scorecards following an accidental headbutt against Filipino fighter Jimrex Jaca in 2006. Texas is also where Cole stopped a fight between Massachusett's Micky Ward and Texas' Jesse James Leija due to a cut Leija sustained from a Ward punch and ruled it an accidental headbutt, causing Ward to be screwed out of a decision.

Outside of Ward, it's were Gale Van Hoy saw hometown fighter Juan Diaz beating Paulie Malignaggi by a score of 118-110. Many folks thought that Malignaggi won that fight. I had it 114-144 even. Regardless, 118 - 110 was incredibly wide for a competitive fight.

So with these memories, let's take a look at the officials assigned to this weekends megafight.

Referee - Rafael Ramos

Reports from San Antonio say that the WBO wanted Cole to referee this fight. Thankfully, he won't be and Rafael Ramos will.

As a referree, Ramos worked last years stirring Texas slugfest between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz. He's devoid of any refereeing scandals and is a 20 year veteran.

Judge - Levi Martinez

Martinez was a judge for the rematch between Beibut Shumenov and Gabriel Campillo. Shumenov won a controversial decision over Campillo in that fight. Many feel it was the worst decision of the year thus far.

The good news is that Martinez got it right. He scored the bout 117-111 for Campillo. A scorecard more in line with what most people were watching.

Judge - Nelson Vasquez

No known bad scorecards. Has Shane Mosley ahead 105-104 when he knocked out Ricardo Mayorga in the 12th round. Reasonable from my point of view.

Judge - Duane Ford

Veteran Nevada judge has worked many major fights over the years. Save for only having Chad Dawson ahead of Glen Johnson 115-113 (I had it a shutout and HBO has it 118-110), Ford is a fine choice.

Author: Peter Czymbor

Source: examiner.com

HBO has big plans for Pacquiao-Clottey fight

University of Texas alum/HBO Sports director Marc Payton said the overhead video board at Cowboys Stadium will provide unprecedented viewing for in-house fans because of the close-ups -- particularly in the corners between rounds -- of the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight Saturday night.

Payton will be on hand to direct the pay-per-view ($49.99) fight for HBO.

"I grew up a Cowboys fan, so this is nirvana for me to direct the first fight ever held in Cowboys Stadium," said Payton, who was raised in the Texas Panhandle and has lived in The Woodlands, just north of Houston, since 1982.

Put a 20x20 foot ring inside a 3-million square foot venue and what do you get? A chance for creativity, said the veteran HBO Boxing director of 29 years.

"In terms of how we actually cover the fight itself, not a lot changes from bell to bell," Payton said. "But the stuff between rounds, between fights prior to the main event, now that's where we can really use the stadium to magnify the coverage."

Extra cameras have been added. HBO's Max Kellerman will work with a hand-held cameraman and report from around the stadium.

"For me, it'll be the corner action between rounds, close-ups of the fighters' faces, cuts being treated ... these [are] shots of a fight that you often don't get even seated close to ringside."

Because of the 60x170-foot video board, fans in attendance will get state-of-the-art close-ups from the PPV feed, no matter if they bought a $33 ticket or a $2,730 center ringside seat.

Payton, 62, has directed some of HBO's biggest fights, including all the Thomas Hearns-Marvin Hagler-Sugar Ray Leonard classics as well as Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson from Tokyo in 1990.

He directed Sunday Night Football on ESPN through the 2000 season and Sunday Night Baseballthrough 2001. For 22 years, he worked at HBO and ESPN until, as Payton put it, the travel became too much.

Now he has a fight practically in his own back yard. It's only a 230-mile drive from The Woodlands to Arlington.

Author: Ray Buck

Source: star-telegram.com

Pacquiao has perfect game plan for Clottey

DALLAS, Texas (AFP) – Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao puts hisWorld Boxing Organization title on the line Saturday against Ghana's Joshua Clottey as they headline the first fight card at Cowboys Stadium.

The 31-year-old Pacquiao will be making the first defence of his WBO welterweight belt but it could also be his last fight as he prepares to embark on a political career in his native Philippines.

Pacquiao, who will run for a congressional seat in May after failing to get elected three years ago, said Filipinos are now more accepting of his political goals.

"Before they don't want me to enter politics because I am still fighting," Pacquiao said. "They didn't want to lose Manny Pacquiao in boxing. But now my time in boxing is really short. I have to think about the future and helping my people."

But first the three-time fighter of the year Pacquiao has to get past the much bigger Clottey who is fighting at his natural weight (147 pounds) unlike Pacquiao who is moving up in weight class.

Pacquiao (50-3-2, 28 KOs) has looked unstoppable in his last three fights and he isn't showing any signs of losing power as he fights bigger and stronger opponents.

Pacquiao has won 11 consecutive fights, eight by knockout, since losing to Erik Morales in March 2005.

His plan is to wear the 32-year-old Clottey down on Saturday so he can finish him off in the later rounds.

"Joshua will bring out the best in Manny," said Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach, who wants to see his champion fight one more time - against Floyd Mayweather - then retire. "Manny will go out there and fight another perfect fight."

Promoters are expecting a sellout of 45,000 for the first fight card at the 1.2 billion dollar Cowboys Stadium which was opened last year.

The home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys is an unusual venue for a world championship fight because of its location and size. The majority of world title fights these days are held in much smaller venues in Las Vegas.

This will be the largest crowd Pacquiao has fought in front of and he is looking forward to showing what he can do.

"This is very important fight for me," Pacquiao said. "This is my first time here in Dallas.

"It is going to be worldwide and it is a good example to other places that also want to promote boxing."

Pacquiao had been expected to fight Mayweather on the same date in a pound-for-pound mega-fight.

But when that bout fell through over a drug-testing dispute, former IBF champion Clottey (35-3, 21 KOs) came into the picture.

Both fighters fought former champion Miguel Cotto in their most recent fights - southpaw Pacquiao winning by a 12th round TKO four months ago and Clottey losing a close decision to Cotto nine months ago.

Clottey, who has never been knocked down, comes into the fight without his long-time trainer Godwin Kotey, who is back in Ghana because he couldn't get a visa to come to the US.

Kotey's replacement is former cutman Lenny DeJesus, 64, who was promoted to head trainer just seven weeks ago.

DeJesus says his boxer is more than just a fill-in fighter for Mayweather.

"It is a hurting game," said DeJesus, who worked a half dozen fights in Pacquiao's corner as a cut man. "If my guy can put a hurt on Pacquiao that will change the fight.

"I got a stronger and bigger guy. I have created some different movements so he won't be a target."

This is Pacquiao's second fight as a true welterweight. He weighed just 106 pounds for his first professional fight in 1995 and won his first title in the 112 pound flyweight division

His major titles have come in weight classes ranging from 112 pounds to 147 pounds and he is the first Asian to win four or more major belts.

Before systematically dismantling Cotto in 12 rounds, he sent Oscar De La Hoya into retirement in December 2008 and demolished Briton Ricky Hatton in just two rounds in May 2009.

"I want to give a good fight and make people happy," Pacquiao said. "We have a plan. We have some strategy and whatever happens in the ring we will adjust to.

"We based our training on our opponent's style. We trained perfectly to the style of the opponent so I think our team work for this fight is very good."

Author: Greg Heakes

Source: news.yahoo.com

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