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Pacquiao, Clottey More Friends Than Foes

Philippine News, Posted: Mar 12, 2010

GRAPEVINE, Texas They were supposed to be combatants, but Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey appeared more like friends when they met Wednesday at the final press conference of The Event at the cavernous $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium.

Pacquiao and Clottey stood up from their corners, headed for the center of the stage, exchanged glances and then smiled at each other. They were still grinning when they were made to stand side by side and back to back by the swarm of photographers angling for right spots.

Since becoming pound-for-pound king in 2006, Pacquiao, who was accompanied by Dallas Cowgirls, brightened up the boxing scene with his pleasant behavior. He doesnt trash-talk, belittle opponents and flaunt his exploits, forcing opponents to reciprocate with similar civility, thus avoiding pre-fight hostilities. Clottey, wholl be trying to snare Pacquiaos welterweight crown Saturday, was no exception. Drawn by the Filipinos genuine warmth and humility, the Ghanaian ended up an admirer.

Come fight time, however, Pacquiao, the only seven-time world champion in as many divisions, and Clottey, a fierce warrior longing for international recognition, will try to knock each other out as they try to make their countrymen back home happy and proud. But for the moment, billionaire Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys and the sparkling new stadium that can accommodate more than 100,000 fans, is satisfied with his successful return to boxing promotion.

Trainer Freddie Roach, whos handling Pacquiao predicted a 6th or 7th round knockout of Clottey. Pacquiao, a ferocious attacker, merely promised to give the fans a great fight while Clottey, a durable defender, vowed the performance of his life. Clottey believes he can either block or withstand Pacquiaos assault and eventually wear him down. Pacquiao, who loves to sing, plans to perform with his own band at a post-fight party in the Rangers ballpark in Arlington.

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