MANILA, Philippines – The Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas will finally have Manny Pacquiao fighting in its premises on March 13 when the pound-for-pound king goes against Joshua Clottey of Ghana.
Dan Rafael of ESPN.com reported that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sealed the deal with Top Rank Promotions head honcho Bob Arum and president Todd duBoef Sunday afternoon.
Jones, who offered $25 million to host the botched mega fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., said he is excited about the Pacquiao-Clottey bout.
“I'm so glad Bob came back to us... It's important for us. Manny is such an exemplary athlete,” he told ESPN.com.
“This is about having a fighter like Manny and an event like this in our venue. When we finished the deal, I was shaking as much as I was when we beat the [Philadelphia] Eagles. I'm just as excited,” added Jones.
Pacquiao is set to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title in the pay-per-view event.
Ghana, the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion, lost to Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto via split decision at the Madison Square Garden in New York in June.
Cotto, on the other hand, was defeated by Pacquiao in November by a 12th round technical knockout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Cowboys Stadium has a 100,000 seating capacity but Jones said they will be starting with 40,000 seats.
“But that's one of the great things about the stadium -- we can expand the seating capacity as it warrants” noted Jones.”
Arum, for his part, stated: “This is going to be one of the biggest events in the history of boxing… This is the most incredible stadium setting I have ever seen. It is absolutely unbelievable. This is going to be much, much more than just a boxing match.”
“When people see this event and how it will be presented, nothing in the past will ever compare to it,” Pacquiao’s promoter added.
The stadium is set to host the NBA All-Star Game in February and the 2011 Super Bowl among other major sporting events.
The venue boasts of having the world’s largest High Definition (HD) video board worth $40 million. It is 72 feet high and 160 feet wide.
Mayweather at the MGM
The super bout between Pacquiao and Mayweather is not pushing through as anticipated by fight fans on March 13, but they will still go "head on" as the American is said to be fighting on the same day as the Pacquiao-Clottey match.
According to Ben Thompson of FightHype.com, several sources confirmed that Mayweather will still fight on March 13 even if negotiations for a Pacquiao clash fell apart due to a disagreement on the drug testing procedure.
Mayweather will reportedly fight at the MGM Grand, which was supposed to be the venue of his clash with Pacquiao.
Team Mayweather has not yet decided on the next opponent of “Pretty Boy Floyd,” the online report noted.
Possible foes for Mayweather are World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight super champion Shane Mosley, former International Boxing Federation (IBF) light welterweight champ Paul “Paulie” Malignaggi, and welterweight Matthew Hatton, the younger brother of British boxing superstar Ricky Hatton. -- With reports from ESPN.com and FightHype.com
as of 01/11/2010 11:10 AM