Pacquiao is Already Looking Sharp in Training Camp

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Pacquiao vs Clottey will be on March 13, 2010.

Manny Pacquiao, the reigning world pound-for-pound king looks like “he didn’t take time out” after his 12th round TKO victory over WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last November.

That’s the assessment of conditioning expert Alex Ariza after Pacquiao had two days of workouts at trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym.

Ariza said Pacquiao did several rounds on the punch-mitts and his usual routine but would start his strength and conditioning exercises on Monday. Ariza said Pacquiao planned to begin sparring on Thursday. Ariza added, “he is looking sharp already” in preparation for his title defense against tough Joshua Clottey at the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium on March 13.

Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told us that Pacquiao’s training “went very well. Training is going good and Manny is feeling good.”

Broadcaster Hermie Rivera who lives in California and is well known for having steered Luisito Espinosa to the world bantamweight title and Morris East to the light welterweight crown informed us that he had spoken to Roach about Pacquiao’s training and quoted Roach as telling him, “Pretty good on the first day. No problem at all. He was punching hard. He’s weighing 149 pounds right now. Perfect for the agreed upon welterweight limit.

Asked about what they could expect from Clottey, Roach said “He’ll be aggressive. He’’ try to kill us. He comes forward, he’s strong and he fights. That’s what he does. Its not a problem. I’m reviewing tapes on how Clottey handles lefties.”

Roach added that “If a knockout comes that would be our bonus but I’ll be getting ready for twelve hard rounds.”

The promotional kickoff rites at the venue owned by Jerry Jones followed by a stop at Madison Square Garden spiced up with the attractive Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders has had an early impact on ticket sales.

Top Rank promoter who was at Madison Square Garden for the championship doubleheader featuring undefeated fighters Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa against Steven Luevano and Rogers Mtgawa was obviously happy over the sale of tickets for the Pacquiao-Clottey fight.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael said Arum told him that 20,000 tickets of a planned 40,000 had already been sold in the first three hours of public ticket sales which was preceded by three days of limited pre-sales. The ticket prices ranged from $50 to $700.

Meantime, Clottey was reportedly set to fly home to Accra, the capital of his native Ghana to speak to US Embassy officials and try to facilitate the renewal of the visas of his trainer, Godwin Nii Dzanie Koet and assistant Daniel Clottey which expired in November last year.

While the US Embassy reportedly wanted to further investigate the application of Koet Clottey was said to have been flatly refused a visa.

Via: BoxingScene

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Pacquiao ready to focus on Clottey fight

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Watch Pacquiao vs Clottey live stream fight on March 13, 2010 via PPV

Joshua Clottey smiled for photographs, hugged two Cowboys cheerleaders, then stood behind a podium and thanked Manny Pacquiao for the opportunity to fight him.

Three times.

The two will vie for Pacquiao’s version of the welterweight championship on March 13 at the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, but they looked anything like foes Wednesday. They shook hands, spoke glowingly of each other and promised fight fans something to remember.

Or perhaps a reason to forget the last two months.

Pacquiao acknowledged during a news conference at Madison Square Garden that even he wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., the braggadocios welterweight who held the pound-for-pound mantle until the Filipino champion came along. Negotiations for the biggest fight in years began in November, but by late December had spiraled out of control.

The main sticking point became the protocol for drug testing, although that’s simplifying six weeks of contentious negotiations. There were accusations that Pacquiao used performance-enhancing drugs, a defamation lawsuit filed against Mayweather, a failed attempt at mediation and seemingly dozens of negative press releases dispensed by both sides.

“He didn’t want to fight me,” Pacquiao said, shrugging his shoulders. “I think maybe Mayweather is scared to lose.”

The death knell came when Mayweather insisted on blood testing 14 days before the fight, even though Pacquiao agreed to 24 days out. Pacquiao had blood drawn the night before losing to Erik Morales and vowed never to let it interfere with training or a fight again.

“When Manny gives blood, he feels weak for about two days,” his trainer Freddie Roach said.

Despite becoming the biggest attraction in the sport over the past few years, generating huge pay-per-view numbers with wins over the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Pacquiao is still an introvert when he’s surrounded by television cameras. He speaks softly, barely above a whisper, and is reluctant to say anything negative.

He leaves that to promoter Top Rank and outspoken chief Bob Arum, who sounded incredulous that Mayweather would seek more stringent drug testing than is required by state athletic commissions.

“If Mayweather wants to fight Manny, it will have to be under the rules of the commission that governs the fight,” Arum said flatly. “You cannot have fighters in this sport imposing regulatory restrictions on other fighters because they damn well please.

“That is chaotic,” he added. “Nobody in their right mind should allow that to happen, whether it’s Mayweather or God knows who else.”

Negotiations are under way for Mayweather to fight Shane Mosley in May, the biggest fight not involving Pacquiao available. If both are successful, HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg mused that Pacquiao may still fight Mayweather sometime in the future.

“I hope by the end of the year we can put the big one back together again,” he said.

The big winner - perhaps the only winner - in the failed negotiations was Clottey, a former titleholder coming off a narrow loss to Miguel Cotto last June.

After all, it’s not his fault he’s not Mayweather.

Born in Ghana and now training in the Bronx, Clottey is taller and stronger than Cotto, who was stopped in the final round by Pacquiao last November. He also has a granite chin and, unlike Mayweather, prefers to stand toe-to-toe with his opponents.

“This is a very big fight. He’s one of the best fighters out there, and he’s beaten everyone they’ve given him. But we’re going to fight,” Clottey said. “I know it’s not an easy fight for me and it’s not an easy fight for him.”

Even so, it’s difficult to sell anything less than the best in sports, which is why Arum understands he may have to work overtime to promote an alternative to Mayweather.

That’s one of the reasons the fight is being held at Jerry Jones’ $1.2 billion showplace, where Arum hopes to see 40,000 fans the night of the fight. It’s also the reason five Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders accompanied the entourage to New York for an introductory news conference, and why Top Rank is trying to put together an enticing undercard.

“We’re going to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” Arum said.

Source: YahooSports

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Pacquiao, Clottey press conference at Cowboy Stadium

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Pacquiao to face Clottey, not Mayweather

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The super fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is officially dead, as Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said he closed a deal Sunday for Pacquiao to meet Joshua Clottey in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium on March 13.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he is thrilled to land a bout featuring Pacquiao, who is widely regarded as the top boxer in the world. And while he’s disappointed he won’t be hosting a Pacquiao fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. as he had hoped, he said he doesn’t see Pacquiao-Clottey as a consolation prize.

“This is a very significant fight and I’m truly ecstatic,” Jones told Yahoo! Sports by telephone on Sunday. “From the time we began work on the stadium, I envisioned bringing boxing here. We have a very large Hispanic fan base surrounding us and they’re very loyal boxing fans. I think they’ll be thrilled with this event.”

Jones said he considered naming the stadium Vaqueros de Cowboys, which is Spanish for Dallas Cowboys, in homage to the many Hispanics in the area.

Arum and his stepson, Top Rank president Todd duBoef, attended the Cowboys’ playoff victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday and sat with Jones as his guests in his private box.

Arum said he met former President George W. Bush at the game, who said he would attend the fight if he does not have a speaking engagement that night.

“He was excited about the fight and he said to me, ‘Who needs [Mayweather]?’ ” Arum said.

Arum said he was amazed by the new stadium, which will initially be configured to seat around 45,000. That figure can increase, he said, if there is sufficient demand. The top ticket will be $700.

The ring will be placed at what would be the 50-yard line.

Jones said attendance at the new facility has been far better than expected, not only for football but for all events it has hosted since opening last year.

“We’ve underestimated the attendance for every event we’ve done, whether it’s been soccer or whatever,” Jones said. “I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that we can” draw at least 45,000.

Arum said he has a memorandum of understanding with each fighter. A Top Rank attorney is drawing up the contracts and Pacquiao and Clottey are expected to formally sign in the next few days.

Arum said the fight will be on pay-per-view, but he’s not certain if it will be distributed by HBO. He said he plans to hold conversations in the next several days, but said several large media companies have reached out to him.

Still unclear is when Mayweather will fight and against whom. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who represents Mayweather, said Mayweather still plans to fight on March 13 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, which was held for the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

Schaefer said he’s reached out to several opponents, whom he would not identify, and said he hopes to reach a deal in the coming week. He said he also has had conversations with HBO, though he anticipates the Mayweather fight also would be on pay-per-view.

“I’m disappointed, but life goes on and the sport goes on,” Schaefer said. “We’ve had the March 13 date for a long time. We were planning to put [Bernard] Hopkins and [Roy] Jones on that date initially, so that’s been a date we’ve been planning as a pay-per-view date for quite a while now.

“We’re having conversations with HBO and we’ll have to see how it develops. But we can still make a very good event featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr. and that’s what we’re going to work hard to do.”

The proposed Pacquiao-Mayweather bout was derailed largely by disagreements over which drug-testing program the fighters would undergo in the weeks before the fight.

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Mayweather-Pacquiao superfight off

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The richest fight in boxing history is bust.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. would not agree to a compromise on his insistence for Olympic-style drug testing and, as a result, the planned March 13 bout with Manny Pacquiao is officially off, promoter Bob Arum told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.

The bout would have been the richest in boxing history and would have guaranteed each fighter at least $25 million, with their take likely soaring over $40 million apiece after pay-per-view sales were counted.

The fight would have matched the two men who are widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world in a rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown. Pacquiao is No. 1 in the Yahoo! Sports rankings and Mayweather is No. 2.

Mediator Daniel Weinstein, a retired federal judge, was unable to bring the sides to an agreement for the historic bout after two days of negotiations over the drug-testing dispute.

“Manny’s reaction is that he’s very disappointed because he wanted to give the fans this fight,” Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz, his de facto manager, said by telephone from the Philippines, where he is with Pacquiao. “He is upset his reputation has been tarnished and he wants his fans to know that at some point, you have to stand on principal. He’s walking away from $35 million, $40 million, maybe $50 million on principal.”

Pacquiao last week filed a defamation lawsuit in federal court against Mayweather, his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., Golden Boy Promotions, Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya and CEO Richard Schaefer for alleging he used performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao’s suit will go forward.

Top Rank spokesman Lee Samuels read a statement and said the company would make no further comment.

“No deal has been reached,” the Top Rank statement began. “We cannot discuss details. Manny is moving on. It doesn’t appear Mayweather wants to fight Pacquiao.”

Neither Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, nor Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, could be reached for comment. Ellerbe and Schaefer represent Mayweather.

In a Dec. 22 press release, Mayweather laid out his concerns. “I think it is our responsibility to subject ourselves to sportsmanship at the highest level,” Mayweather stated. “I have already agreed to the testing and it is a shame that he is not willing to do the same.

Arum said he planned to contact Murray Wilson, the manager of World Boxing Association super welterweight champion Yuri Foreman, on Thursday about a potential fight with Pacquiao in March.

Arum said he wants to keep the fight in Las Vegas but the date and venue are still uncertain. He said he will speak to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones later about putting a Pacquiao-Foreman fight in Cowboys Stadium. Jones made an aggressive bid to land the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

Mayweather had been considering a fight with former super lightweight champion Paulie Malignaggi as an alternative to a bout with Pacquiao, though the status of such bout could not be determined.

Koncz said Pacquiao has not agreed to fight Foreman yet and has expressed concern about Foreman’s height. Pacquiao, who began his career as a 106-pounder, is 5-foot-6½ inches. Foreman is 5-11, a half-inch taller than De La Hoya, who is the tallest man Pacquiao has fought.

“Did we reject [a Foreman fight]? No. Did we accept it? No. We’re going to sit down tomorrow, Manny, myself and [attorney Jeng Gacal] and see if we can come up with an alternative opponent. We’ll communicate that to Bob and [trainer] Freddie [Roach] and see what their thoughts are on it.”

Koncz, though, was not surprised that the mediation attempt to salvage the Mayweather fight failed. He had been skeptical throughout whether Mayweather really wanted the fight and said his actions in refusing to bend prove he didn’t want it.

Koncz said Pacquiao had agreed to a compromise in which he’d be blood tested 24 days from the bout, but Mayweather would not budge from his demand for random blood and urine testing up to and including the day before the bout.

“This is no surprise,” Koncz said. “I talk to a lot of people and it’s been my belief all along that the drug testing issue is a fa├žade and a way for Mayweather to get out of the fight.

“After Manny fought [Erik] Morales [in 2005], he attributed the loss to the late blood test he took and I think they came across that. They initially wanted to use this as a way to get under Manny’s skin … but it was also a way he could bow out of the fight.”

Source:Yahoo Sports

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Make or break for megafight today

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The signs that the Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. will take place on March 13 are back.

“Neither side is insisting on pre-conditions, and both sides will present their positions in an effort to resolve the dispute,” retired judge Daniel Weinstein, tapped to mediate and stand in between both parties, said in a statement printed by The Los Angeles Times yesterday.

And Weinstein, Lance Pugmire wrote, is “satisfied all parties are negotiating in good faith.”

Weinstein is a master mediator, and finding a solution to the impasse that has threatened to derail what is being billed as the biggest fight of the new century will be his only objective.

He is set to meet Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Todd duBeof, for Pacquiao, and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe and Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer, for the American fighter, at his Santa Monica office today.

“I have been asked by representatives of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to mediate certain disputes that have arisen in connection with the negotiation of a bout between the two fighters,” Weinstein said in a statement.

Weinstein, once voted as the most popular mediator in the Bay Area, said both sides are working on a gag order which they also imposed among themselves when they started negotiating the fight.

Once the meeting is over, Arum and Schaefer could either announce that the fight is officially on or off or that they would need a little more time to get things done.

The whole world is waiting for the match that could generate more than $100 million in revenues and break all existing records in pay-per-view sales, ticket sales, closed-circuit sales, merchandise, among others.

As it is, the weight issue, the venue and the purse have all been resolved, and it’s just the procedure on how the drug testing would go that’s taking all the time.

If the fight is made, it’s highly expected that the case filed by Pacquiao against the Mayweathers, Schaefer and Oscar dela Hoya would be dropped in exchange for a public apology.

Meanwhile, the father of Miguel Cotto passed away Sunday in Puerto Rico, apparently due to heart attack. He was 57.

The Puerto Rican press said Miguel Sr., who was around when his son trained and fought Manny Pacquiao last November in Las Vegas, had suffered from asthma in the past and had needed an oxygen task to help him breath.

Source: Yahoo News

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