SBD/Issue 88/Facilities & Venues

Pacquiao-Clottey Gives Cowboys Stadium A Big Debut Bout

Jones (c) Happy That Pacquiao Will Be
Fighting In First Bout At Cowboys Stadium
While the March 13 Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey bout at Cowboys Stadium "isn't the hoped-for mega showdown" between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., it still is a "good, big-time boxing start for the house that Jerry Jones built," according to Gil LeBreton of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. The stadium will use its "basketball configuration for the bout." The top deck will not be opened, and the center-hung video board "will be lowered to 30 feet over the ring." Ticket prices to the fight will range from $50-700, and Top Rank Chair Bob Arum is "excited about being able to offer what he called 'reasonable prices' for a world-class boxing show." LeBreton notes with the "gate reasonably priced, more people -- with a younger demographic -- will be exposed to big-time boxing." Arum yesterday, announcing the fight during a press conference at Cowboys Stadium, "likened the upcoming bout" to a fight in '66 between Muhammad Ali and Cleveland Williams at the Astrodome, which he recalled "centered more around the then-new Astrodome than the ring matchup" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/20). Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said, "The fact that we've got Manny Pacquiao here says a tremendous amount to the constituency of our new stadium. You don't build something for ($1.2B) without putting yourself on the incentive plan to go get the very best. From the beginning, I pictured boxing matches in this stadium. I would have never dreamed, though, that I could introduce that with this stadium with a man of the character of Manny Pacquiao" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/19).

THE NEXT BIG THING? Jones yesterday said he envisions as many as "four or five significant fights a year" in the new stadium. Jones: "Las Vegas has its aura, and we can do things here to capture our own aura." The ring will be placed at midfield, and Arum and Jones noted that they are "hoping to fill 40,000 seats." Jones: "It was always in our mind that right here on the star we would put the ring" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/20). In Ft. Worth, Tobias Xavier Lopez notes there were "comparisons to the Roman Coliseums" throughout yesterday's press conference at Cowboys Stadium, and Arum suggested that the Dallas facility "could replace Madison Square Garden or Caesar's Palace as the 'new Mecca of boxing'" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/20). Jones said, "With the stature of Pacquiao, we're going to be able to put on a unique fight." While the plan is to fill 40,000 seats, Arum indicated that a "60,000-seat plan can be arranged if necessary." Arum also announced that HBO PPV will televise the fight (L.A. TIMES, 1/20). Jones yesterday vowed, "We're going to make this one of the most interesting fights to view that there's ever been." He noted that he has already "gotten ticket requests" from Dolphins Exec VP/Football Operations Bill Parcells and Fox' Jimmy Johnson. Jones yesterday also revealed that he "once looked into investing in Pacquiao's career." He said Parcells "really encouraged me to meet with the guy who had Pacquiao." Jones: "I had him come in and sit down and talk about backing Pacquiao. You could see his potential at that time" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 1/19).

DODGING A RIGHT HOOK: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole noted HBO Sports officials "weren't too excited about having to choose between" airing a Mayweather or Pacquiao bout on March 13. HBO was "freed from having to make a decision when Andre Berto withdrew from his Jan. 30 fight with Shane Mosley and a Mayweather-Mosley fight became a possibility." It would have been "almost impossible to negotiate a deal and properly promote" a Mayweather-Mosley bout by March 13. Had Berto not pulled out of his bout, Golden Boy Promotions was "planning a Mayweather fight against a different opponent on March 13," and that would have put HBO in the "unenviable, and losing, position of having to choose" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/19).

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