Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey were standing underneath the world's largest high-definition video display in the world's largest domed stadium.
All eyes were focused squarely on them and they knew it. So they smiled gleefully...at each other.
It was a refreshing display of humanity between two fighters who were announcing their upcoming boxing match scheduled to take place at the opulent new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Mar. 13.
A date that was originally reserved for Floyd Mayweather Jr. to face Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
But most people know how those hostile fight negotiations ended up.
Rather than agreeing to fight the Filipino icon who has won championships in a record seven different weight classes—Mayweather decided that the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stage boxing's biggest event would instead be an excellent time for him to pull down his pants and take a crap.
So he did.
He crapped all over Pacquiao, the sport of boxing, the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the numerous fans who have faithfully supported his career since he first won the National Gold Gloves in 1993, and everyone else in between.
And he seemed to enjoy it.
And now there is crap everywhere.
That's why it's so refreshing that a smiling Joshua Clottey is going to be Pacquiao's next opponent.
The fighter, also known as "The Hitter," is everything that Mayweather is not; he's dignified, respectful, aggressive, courageous, and willing to actually square up and fight.
He's the perfect choice to stand in the corner opposite of Pacquiao on Mar. 13 to clean up the mess that has been left on boxing's once beautiful landscape by Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Born in the Republic of Ghana and now fighting out of the Bronx in New York City, Clottey is 35-3 with 20 knockouts. And all three of his defeats were somewhat controversial:
In 1999, Clottey was disqualified against Carlos Baldomir in the 11th round for head-butting after the referee had warned him to stop leading with his head. At the time he was winning comfortably on all three judge's scorecards.
In 2006, Clottey lost unanimously to Antonio Margarito, but Margarito was later found with illegal substances in his hand wraps before his fight against Shane Mosley. Casting a shadow of doubt over all of his previous victories.
And in 2009, Clottey lost via split-decision in a close, hard-fought battle with Miguel Cotto. Many people who were in attendance believed it should have been scored either a draw or a split-decision victory for Clottey.
Everything taken into account it's not that difficult to identify why Clottey is such a formidable opponent for the naturally smaller Pacquiao. He's a legitimate welterweight who's never fought below 140 pounds and he has never been knocked out.
If Pacquiao plans on extending his record to 51-3-2 he has his work is cut out for him, that is obvious. On the bright side though, I don't think he's going to have to worry about any more crap storms rolling in from over the horizon.
Clottey seems ready and willing to immediately put an end to that.
From here on out we should expect forecasters in the boxing world to call for mostly sunny skies with an occasional smile shower mixed in, something the sport could certainly use a lot more of at this point in time.
I'm sure Pacquiao and Clottey will be more than happy to oblige.
They seem to have gotten off to a wonderful start.
Photo courtesy of Top Rank's Chris Farina.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!