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28 November 2023

Dallas date for Pacman defence

Pacquiao, right, takes on Clottey on March 13. (GETTY IMAGES)


Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao will take on Ghana's Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium, the billion-dollar state-of-the-art home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, promoters announced late on Sunday.

Promoter Bob Arum and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones revealed the deal a day after Arum attended the Cowboys' NFL play-off victory against Philadelphia at the stadium on Saturday night.

Jones had put the facility forward as a venue for the anticipated fight March 13 between Pacquiao and unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr, but the super-fight fell through last week because of a disagreement on the drug testing protocol – Arum immediately lined up Clottey for Pacquaio's WBO welterweight title defence.

"Jerry Jones knows exactly how big and important this event is which is why it was so easy to put this deal together," said Arum. "If Jerry could sell me on Cowboys Stadium and the North Texas market, you know he is going to have no problems selling out Cowboys Stadium on March 13.

"We are ready to roll up our sleeves and promote Manny's debut as World Welterweight Champion. Manny Pacquiao is the lone star of boxing. There isn't a more appropriate place in the world for him to fight."

Jones said he is thrilled to host a bout involving a fighter of Pacquaio's stature, even if the fight with Clottey won't be the mega money-spinner that Pacquiao-Mayweather promised to be.

"I never got into the NFL or bought the Cowboys for the money," said Jones. "I was lucky enough to already have some.

"This is about having a fighter like Manny and an event like this in our venue. When we finished the deal, I was shaking as much as I was when we beat the Eagles. I'm just as excited."

The stadium will not be configured for the 100,000 seating capacity – organisers will start out planning in the 40,000 seat range, but can increase it if needed.

"Manny defending his title against Joshua Clottey is not just a great fight, it's a great event, and one we can showcase to the fullest in Cowboys Stadium," added Jones. "We're going to promote this like it was the Super Bowl."


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