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Trainer Freddie Roach Says Manny Pacquiao Will Now Fight Joshua Clottey

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Freddy Roach jokes with boxer Manny Pacquiao during the press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel  on September 14, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)
Jacob de Golish/Getty Images
Brian O. BlakeCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2010

ESPN is reporting that Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao's trainer, has stated that Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against former title holder Joshua Clottey on March 13 at a site to be determined in Las Vegas.

The Accra, Ghana born Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs) defeated Zab Judah to briefly hold the IBF welterweight title before relinquishing it in order to fight Miguel Cotto back in June for Cotto's WBO championship.  Clottey's bid for the title would come up just a bit short as Cotto was awarded a razor-thin split decision win.

The win for Cotto led to his much publicized fight with Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) where the "Pacman" turned in the performance of a lifetime resulting in a 12th round destruction over the Puerto Rican pugilist.

Following the collapse of the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao "super fight," many names were thrown around to serve as Floyd's replacement.  Immediately afterwards Paulie Malignaggi was rumored to be in.  An awkward choice to say the least, considering that Malignaggi had been crying foul when it comes to Pacquiao and performance-enhancing drugs far before the Mayweather-Pacquiao debacle.

Next up was WBA junior middleweight king Yuri Foreman.  Foreman, who is also promoted by Bob Arum, would have been an easy fight to make had the Pacquiao camp opted not to take him on due to a major height and reach advantage for Foreman.

Now we have Clottey, who is also promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank.  He also is a natural welterweight.  All signs point to this being an easy fight to make.

Right?

Questions and comments can be sent to brianoblake@yahoo.com

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