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Top Rank says Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey is on for March 13

Top Rank has announced on their Facebook page that Manny Pacquiao will defend the WBO welterweight title on March 13 against Joshua Clottey. We talked about that earlier but it seemed most of us were skeptical it could happen. Apparently, it's going to.

Clottey is a tough stylistic matchup for anyone, and Pacquiao will be facing a real, live welterweight again for sure. Clottey is no joke. As Floyd Mayweather Sr. himself once put it, "Joshua Clottey ain't nothin' to f**k with."

I'm not sure if that March 13 date is correct or a typo. All reports are that Mayweather has retained the March 13 date at the MGM Grand, and that Pacquiao would fight on March 20, likely at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Pacquiao-Clottey is really about as good of a March fight as Pacquiao was going to get with the Mayweather negotiations falling apart. The other two top welterweights besides Pacquiao, Mayweather, Clottey, and Miguel Cotto are fighting each other on January 30 (Shane Mosley and Andre Berto), and would surely not be ready by March for another fight. Pacquiao is running for office in the Philippines in May, meaning he won't be available to fight again after March until this fall, most likely.

Clottey (35-3, 20 KO) will get another chance to break into the very, very elite of the sport. He lost a tough decision to Antonio Margarito back in 2006, and lost a rough, back-and-forth battle with Miguel Cotto in June. His first loss was a 1999 disqualification against former welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir.

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