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Pacquiao vs. Clottey set for March 13

A press conference was held yesterday at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas to publicly announce the WBO welterweight title fight between titlist and pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao and former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey taking place on March 13. 

Of course, the fight everyone wanted to see was Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. Due to the fact that Pacquiao and undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr simply could not come to terms over the drug testing controversy, both parties have elected to move on.  Pacquiao is the one who retains the March 13 date for his next outting.  As Hopkins vs. Jones II will inexplicably be filling HBO's PPV time slot of April 3, Money May must wait until the month of May before securing a PPV date for his next fight.

Clottey, to his credit, is a viable opponent who is probably the next best available challenger for Pacquiao.  In June of 2009, Clottey fought Miguel Cotto to a hotly contested and questionable split decision at Madison Square Garden that was awarded to the Puerto Rican native.  To this day, Clottey firmly believes he deserved the verdict from the judges, but points out that they gave the decision to Cotto because the people wanted to see him in a super fight against Pacquiao.

Although he has posted significant wins over the likes of the late and great Diego Corrales in April of 2007, as well as Zab Judah in August of 2008 to claim the IBF title, he lost the two biggest fights of his career by the slimmest of margins - a razor-thin unanimous decision to Antonio Margarito in December of 2006, followed by the split decision loss to Cotto this past June.  Clottey is a skillful technician, but he has also shown a reputation for choking at this level of the game.  Might the third time be a charm??

Pacquiao vs. Clottey will be televised on HBO PPV.

photo courtesy: Robert Hughes