Toronto, Canada – DALLAS (Reuters) - World welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao moved on from the acrimony of his aborted fight against Floyd Mayweather by officially announcing his WBO defense against Joshua Clottey at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Pacquiao, the Filipino winner of world championships in an unprecedented seven different weight classes, takes on the former world champion from Ghana on March 13 at Cowboys Stadium, the new $1.2 billion home of the NFL team.
The highly-anticipated Las Vegas showdown between Mayweather and Pacquiao, the two men considered the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, was scrubbed earlier this month when they could not agree on a drug testing protocol for the bout.
Celebrated by the appearance of former boxing champions, former Cowboys Super Bowl champion players, and the pom-pom waving Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, Pacquiao and Clottey took the podium at midfield of the stadium to herald what is being promoted as "The Event."
"Amazing. I feel like I'm a football player," Pacquiao said after entering the stadium through a smoke filled tunnel and a gauntlet of cheerleaders.
"It's going to be a good fight. Clottey, he's a good fighter, a top fighter and he's bigger than me. I have to prepare hard for this fight and train hard and focus."
Clottey added: "This fight is going to be a hell of a fight. I love Manny Pacquiao. He is one of my favorite fighters.
"He's a throwback fighter. If you throw at him, he'll throw back at you. I know what I'm going to face."
Clottey, 32, has a mark of 35-3.
Welcomed by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to the stadium informally known as "Jerry's House," Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said: "This is going to be the Super Bowl of boxing."
The 100,000-capacity Cowboys Stadium is expected to seat about 40,000 for the bout, with fans in the distant seats able to follow the ring action on a huge 72-foot high definition screen.
(Writing by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Justin Palmer)