Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas reports that there are just a "few hundred" seats remaining in the 45,000-seat setup at Cowboys Stadium for Saturday night's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey, meaning the fight is close to selling out. Those wondering whether Clottey would be a big enough name to help Pacquiao reach that attendance plateau can now be assured that if nothing else, Pacquiao alone is a big enough name to draw that much interest.
As we've discussed previously, that doesn't mean this will be the year's biggest gate in terms of money drawn at the event. Even without about 30,000 less seats available, the May 1 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley in Las Vegas is going to generate more cash simply because ticket prices are much higher. Most of the seats for the Pacquiao-Clottey fight are fairly inexpensive.
I also don't mean that to be a negative. Fight tickets outside of the relatively intimate setting of the Vegas casinos should be fairly inexpensive for anything but the best seats, so I look at this as a genuine positive. It proves that if you make it readily available, the general public will come.
The talk between the two at today's final press conference wasn't heated, but rather competitive. Clottey offered the day's best quote:
"Nobody has ever beat me or cracked me," said Clottey, who has lost three close fights. "I want to see what he can do."
Clottey also noted there is "much respect" between the two fighters, and Pacquiao feels their promotion can be "a good example to everybody."
As usual, the closer this fight gets, the more excited I've become. If nothing else, it's another chance to see a living, breathing phenomenon in the prime of his career take a stiff challenge from a very good fighter whose shot has been earned, and who never comes in at less than 100%. Chances to see Manny Pacquiao in action become fewer by the fight, as he has legitimate interests and concerns away from the boxing world, so I say it's at least worth making sure you don't miss an opportunity to see one of a generation's absolute best while he's still got it.