x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Pacquiao 'is boxing's lone star'

Manny Pacquiao is ready to move on after the collapse of his proposed "superfight", but the Filipino's promoter is still throwing thinly-veiled barbs at Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Manny Pacquiao is ready to move on after the collapse of his proposed "superfight", but the Filipino's promoter Bob Arum is still throwing thinly-veiled barbs at the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. Arum yesterday confirmed that Pacquiao's March 13 bout with Ghana's Joshua Clottey would take place at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas. But while the announcement laid to rest belief that a match-up between the WBO welterweight champion and Mayweather could still take place this spring, it did not end the ongoing ego war between the two camps.

The deal was finalised after Arum negotiated with Jerry Jones, the owner of American football side the Dallas Cowboys. And the chief executive of Top Rank promotions slipped a slur at the American boxer into his written statement. "Manny Pacquiao is the lone star of boxing," said Arum, referencing the nickname of the state of Texas and in doing so dismissing Mayweather's claims of being the biggest draw in the sport.

"There isn't a more appropriate place in the world for him to fight. Jerry 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." Pacquiao's 12th-round knockout of Miguel Cotto in November added to his reputation as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. The fight with Mayweather fell through after the Filipino objected to drug testing rules.

"Manny Pacquiao is boxing's No 1 pound-for-pound attraction," said Jones. "We're going to promote this like it was the Super Bowl." gmeenaghan@thenational.ae