Another song and dance for Pacquiao
Clottey no challenge for top pound-for-pound fighter; Concert follows fight at Cowboys' Stadium
Report by David Finger
Photos by Chris Cozzone
With a dominant performance in front of one of the largest live audiences in recent boxing history under his belt, there was little question that Manny Pacquiao would be in high spirits at the post fight press conference. But when it was announced that Pacquiao was going to be cutting it somewhat short since he had a concert to perform at next door at the Rangers Stadium, the natural question on everyone’s mind was if he ever felt even remotely threatened by African welterweight contender Joshua Clottey.
“I know he’s a very tough opponent,” Pacquiao told the press in attendance when asked if he was at all disappointed in his inability to stop Clottey, “he’s a very good defensive fighter.”
“Although the punch stat numbers revealed that Clottey landed only 108 punches all night, there were several moments in the fight when it appeared Clottey caught Pacquiao flush, and though Clottey’s highlights were few and far between, the next question for Pacquiao was if Clottey ever hurt him at all.
“He’s strong,” Pacquiao answered, “I felt his punches, but I’m still focused.”
Pacquiao also took time to thank Jerry Jones and the city of Dallas, and admitted that he was somewhat surprised by the turnout.
“I can’t believe (that) the first time I fought in Dallas…I can’t believe there were so many people,” Pacquiao said, “I was so excited walking into the ring.”
Even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seems surprised by the turnout.
“In terms of attendance, it was beyond my wildest expectations,” Jones admitted before adding, “I believe we can have a fight that will beat the NBA all star game of 108,000.”
Pacquiao trainer Freddy Roach was pleased with his fighter’s performance, despite the lack of a knockout.
“I give him an A-plus,” Roach said with a smile, “it was a good fight.”
Although Pacquiao didn’t have much to say at the post fight press conference, his opponent spoke freely on his view of the fight.
“I think that I lost a fight for the first time,” Clottey stated, “I lost to Manny Pacquiao, he’s very fast and I respect him.”
When asked the obvious question on the minds of boxing insiders, on how Floyd Mayweather would fair against Pacquiao, Clottey seemed to favor the Filipino.
“I think Manny Pacquiao will give him a lot of problems. A lot.”
Clottey took nothing away from Pacquiao, admitting that there was little he could do to derail the champion. When asked what he would do different if he could do it all over again in the ring, Clottey replied “I did my best, Manny Pacquiao is beating everybody.”
However, Clottey didn’t seem as impressed with Pacquiao’s power as he was with his speed.
“He didn’t hurt me at all,” Clottey stated. When asked how the power of Pacquiao compared to the power of his other opponents like Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, Clottey stated “the thing Manny has over those guys is speed.”
Earlier in the press conference, some of the undercard fighters also took some time to speak to the media. Alfonso Gomez, who stopped former champion Jose Luis Castillo, thanked his trainer and father, as well as his sparring partners (including Brandon Rios) for helping him to become the “strongest I ever felt.”
“Little by little I’m proving that I’m getting better and better.’ Gomez added.
“From there former champion Jose Luis Castillo thanked his fans and confirmed his decision to call it a career.
“What can I tell you about this fight,” Castillo said through a translator, “tonight my age finally showed. It’s time to say goodbye to boxing. I believed this is my last fight, I truly believe that.”
Also speaking during the press conference was Salvador Sanchez, who promised to win a world championship in the near future, and new lightweight champion Humberto Soto, who thanked his fans and Bob Arum for the opportunity to win another title.