United States, the 11th of January 2010 [PDN]: Arum moved swiftly to land a lucrative fight for his Filipino star following a breakdown in negotiations for the mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. The contentious fight has been postponed indefinitely after the Mayweather camps insistence on stringent drug testing and Pacquiao’s reluctance to agree. The sides went into mediation to resolve the dispute, but a compromise seemingly could not be reached.
The Pacquiao v Clottey fight will take place at the new $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium in Texas, the first boxing match to be staged at the venue. “Top Rank” spokesman, Lee Samuels has stated that the arena will be configured to seat up to 50,000 fans but also revealed that the capacity could potentially be raised if needed.
Pacquiao’s manager Mr. Arum recently attended the new stadium to witness the Dallas Cowboys play-off victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, sitting merely two seats up from former US president George W. Bush. Aram stated: “This stadium has blown me away; It is the most magnificent facility I’ve ever seen.” Arum also revealed that Mr. Bush had the same reaction as the majority of fans since the cancellation of the Mayweather bout; “Too bad you didn’t get Mayweather, but what difference does it make? Everybody just wants see Pacquiao anyway.” Arum went on to state that despite the loss of the Mayweather bout, “This is a competitive fight, as competitive as the Cotto fight going in. We got a tremendous deal at the site. It’s a big event, and I think we’ll do unbelievably.”
Although Clottey is no competition in the celebrity department to that of Mayweather, he’s a worthy welterweight opponent for Pacquiao, who is widely considered the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. The hard-hitting Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs), a native of Ghana who lives in New York, is coming off a split-decision loss to Miguel Cotto last June, a fight that some felt Clottey won. As is well known Pacquiao then convincingly beat Cotto in November last year, winning when the fight was stopped in the final round.
Mayweather’s representatives were still holding out hope that the Pacquiao fight could be salvaged, however; it is now known that Mayweather is still expecting to fight on March 13 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, which would have been the site of his bout with Pacquiao. Paulie Malignaggi has been touted as the most likely contender for that fight.