Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was in Arlington, Texas, last night, a special guest of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for the Cowboys-Eagles playoff game, and came away ecstatic about having Cowboys Stadium host the March 13 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey.
Arum also told the Manila Bulletin that he expects the fight to be finalized Sunday, and that they'll situate the massive building to hold 50,000 fans. Arum described the building as "fantastic" and said it would be a "great facility for boxing."
For those curious about a possible catchweight, Arum says there won't be one. The full 147-pound welterweight limit will be in effect for the fight.
When the stadium was in the running to host Pacquiao-Mayweather, one of the big things was the concern over Texas judges and officials, and Texas made it clear that they would approve whatever officials the two camps wanted. Given that Pacquiao-Clottey is still a very big fight if not quite the richest fight in history, here's hoping that this will stick. The last time we saw major boxing in Texas, a media backlash of epic proportions took place in Juan Diaz's controversial August win over Paulie Malignaggi. I also will say that given Clottey's nature for rough-housing, the notorious Laurence Cole is about the last referee I'd want to see in the ring with those two. Cole's penchant for making a spectacle of himself is well-known by boxing fans, and this fight deserves Kenny Bayless, Tony Weeks or one of the other top-tier referees.
With this fight only two short months away, expect Top Rank to move very quickly on forming a pay-per-view undercard as well, and all signs point to the return of Antonio Margarito being featured on this show, should Margarito have his license reinstated soon by California. If Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. isn't still suspended, I'd also expect we'll have to sit through another one of his fights.