Manny Pacquiao overwhelmed Joshua Clottey before almost 51,000 at Cowboys Stadium Saturday night, a decisive victory that keeps the boxing and multichannel industries' hopes for a mega fight with Floyd Mayweather alive.
Pacquiao, defending his WBO welterweight title before 50,944 at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, raised his record to 50-3-2. "Pacman" began his career as a 112-pound flyweight and has won world titles at six different weight classes.
Although he couldn't stop Clottey, the Filipino took the fight 119-109 on two of the judges' scorecards. He won all 12 rounds, 120-108, with the third.
Pay-per-view tallies for Pacquiao-Clottey will come later this week. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum predicted that the bout would fall into the 500,000 to 700,000 buy range.
The 31-year-old Pacquiao is now scheduled to take a break from boxing as he competes for a congressional seat in his homeland against businessman Roy Chiongbian on May 10. That's nine days after Mayweather squares off against "Sugar" Shane Mosley in Las Vegas. Pacquiao said he would decide who to fight next after the election in the Philippines.
Boxing fans, multichannel distributors and HBO PPV all hope that will be Mayweather.
The pair was moving toward a megafight in January before it was derailed by disagreements over drug-testing regimens. Mayweather's camp demanded random, Olympic-style blood and urine testing, something Mosley, an admitted steroids user, had agreed to. Pacquiao, though, refused to submit, unless he was ordered by a state athletic commission, and the fight was scuttled. Pacquiao then sued the Mayweather camp and the fighter's promoter, Golden Boy Productions, alleging that they made false and defamatory statements that he has taken performance-enhancing drugs.
After the megafight was KOd, Mayweather and Andre Berto were scheduled to tangle on HBO on Jan. 30. However, the Haitian-American Berto, who lost eight family members in the Haiti earthquake, withdrew from the contest.
The two substitute tussles -- Pacquiao-Clottey and Mayweather-Shane Mosley on May 1 in Las Vegas -- stepped into the PPV ring instead.
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, presumably in a case of promotional bravado, predicted Mayweather's encounter with Mosley at the MGM Grand would generate 3 million buys, a figure that would shatter the 2.44 million mark set by "Pretty Boy" Mayweather and "Golden Boy" Oscar De La Hoya back in May 2007.
Perhaps Mayweather-Pacquiao could jab at that number. Cable, satellite and telco providers would love to find out.