Commentary

Pacquiao tabs Clottey, jabs Mayweather

Feud denies fans a megafight at Cowboys Stadium and further hurts boxing

Updated: January 20, 2010, 8:28 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The fight everybody wants will not come to the biggest football stadium in the NFL.

So instead of watching Manny Pacquiao take on Floyd Mayweather for some sort of welterweight title, $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium will host a Joshua Clottey-Pacquiao fight.

The announcement of Pacquiao-Clottey for the WBO welterweight title came Tuesday in front of 500 fans seated two stories above the field.

When the fight happens March 13, promoter Bob Arum believes 40,000 fans will watch it. HBO will put the fight on pay-per-view to showcase Pacquiao, one of its biggest stars.

The sad part is that it doesn't help boxing. All it does it make the Pacquiao people take shots at Mayweather for not agreeing to a fight that had the potential to be one of the highest-grossing events in the history of the sport.

"It's a better fight to be honest with you," Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said of the Clottey fight. "Actionwise, both guys come to fight, and Mayweather is a talented guy [but] he puts people to sleep and he runs and runs and runs."

The stumbling block of a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was the scheduling of blood testing. Mayweather said he believes Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao said he felt insulted to be accused of taking PEDs.

"I feel bad. I'm a very honest person," said Pacquiao, who denied taking performance-enhancing drugs. "I'm a nice guy. They are accusing me of drugs. I don't know what that is. I feel bad."

Mayweather wanted Pacquiao to take a blood test 14 days before the fight instead of 24 days.

"It seemed to us after a particular point that Mayweather didn't want to do the fight," Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said. "At the end, we had compromised this stupid blood testing down to 24 [days] and he was staying at 14 [days], and if he wanted to do the fight, what the hell difference does it make, 14 to 24? It was just to be a bully and have his way, and he lost the fight."

As for the Clottey fight, Pacquiao is the favorite and will get the rock star treatment in Texas. He was introduced last as he walked through the same tunnel the Dallas Cowboys use to take the field to a loud ovation from a large group of Filipino fans.

Pacquiao wore a Cowboys jersey, and team owner and general manager Jerry Jones even presented him with one of his Super Bowl rings.

The boxer felt special even in this massive stadium that can expand to 100,000, if needed. He should win this fight against a tough fighter in Clottey. Then again, that's what Pacquiao is supposed to do.

And while Pacquiao takes on Clottey, the man people want to see him fight will take on Shane Mosley sometime in the spring.

It will be interesting to see whether Mayweather asks Mosley to take a blood test in the same manner that he asked Pacquiao.

"The answer is I don't think these stipulations are good for boxing," Arum said. "I know Shane at one point used performance-enhancing drugs, but I know Shane and I really think he's a good man. I don't think that he does that anymore. Shane fought two of my fighters, [Miguel] Cotto and [Antonio] Margarito, and I never once [questioned whether Mosley used drugs]. I don't believe it."

It's a shame Clottey gets lost in a fight such as this because he can fight a little bit. His three losses are to Cotto, Margarito and Carlos Baldomir.

"This will be a tough fight," Pacquio said.

Yes, and people in Texas will come and support the first fight in Cowboys Stadium. But it won't be the fight we all want to see.

Calvin Watkins covers boxing for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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