Wednesday, December 07, 2022  |


Pacquiao to face Clottey?


So who are Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. going to fight?

Pacquiao originally targeted Paulie Malignaggi when it appeared his showdown Mayweather, scheduled for March 13 in Las Vegas, was falling apart. Malignaggi apparently was deemed an unworthy opponent by the Pacquiao camp.

Then they turned to junior middleweight titleholder Yuri Foreman, who would provide Pacquiao the chance to win a belt in an eighth weight division. However, Mike Koncz, Pacquiao's advisor, said there was a concern about a Foreman’s height (5-11; 180cm).

Now it looks as if former welterweight titleholder Joshua Clottey is the most-likely opponent for Pacquiao. They apparently would fight on March 13 or March 20.

Top Rank, which promotes Pacquiao, Foreman and Clottey, actually posted the following on its Web site but then removed it:

“Sorry FloydÔǪyou had numerous chances to make the fight of the century happen. We are no longer waiting around for you! Top Rank is pleased to announce that Manny Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight championship title in a bout with Joshua Clottey, Saturday March 13, 2010! It’s on!”

Koncz told The Philippine Star that no deal has been struck but the sides are in negotiations.

“It was supposed to be a secret,” Koncz told the newspaper. “But suddenly I get calls from the media and it’s all over the Internet. Manny and I talked about it and he said he’ll see.”

Clottey, a tough slugger from Ghana, lost a split decision to Miguel Cotto on June 13, his most-recent fight. Cotto subsequently was knocked out by Pacquiao in the 12th round of their Nov. 14 fight.

In a baffling bit of logic, Koncz told The Star that Juan Manuel Marquez was dismissed as a potential opponent because Pacquiao has nothing to prove by fighting the Mexican.

Huh? Marquez is the one fighter against whom Pacquiao DOES have something to prove. Some people believe Marquez won both their meetings, which officially were a draw and close Pacquiao victory.

Meanwhile, Mayweather’s handlers have not openly discussed potential opponents beyond Pacquiao. One rumored possibility is fast-talking Malignaggi, who would help sell the fight with his mouth even if he would be overmatched in the ring.

Of course, neither Pacquiao-Clottey nor Mayweather-Malignaggi approached Pacquiao-Mayweather in scope or intrigue. However, Pacquiao-Clottey probably would be fun to watch and Mayweather-Malignaggi will at least interesting going into fight night because of the personalities involved.