The official Joshua Clottey cheat sheet

(All images in this blog post culled from various boxing sites)

IMPT. UPDATE: Manny Pacquiao weighed in at 145 3/4 while Joshua Clottey came it at an even 147

THIS is actually the unabridged version of amy supplement article that’s coming out on the day that Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey collide in Arlington, Texas, for the WBO welterweight crown.

Pacquiao will be defending the title he won from Miguel Cotto last year at the spanking $1.2-billion Cowboys Stadium.

Two things about the American football arena:

1. It is located in Arlington, not Dallas.  It is the home of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL, so that’s probably where the confusion stems from.

2. The domed stadium, which features a retractable roof is not–and I hope the local television crews finally get this one right–a 45,000-seater venue. The stadium seats at least 80,000 people (the NBA set a basketball attendance world record with 108,713 fans watching this year’s All-Star match) but was reconfigured for The Event to seat just 45,000.

Tickets have been snapped up like crazy and it looks like Pacquiao will be fighting before a record-of-sorts crowd, most of whom will be betting on the number of rounds Clottey can last.

He’s that much of an underdog. And Pacquiao’s a -800 favorite among bookies. To be less-than-technical about it, that’s the casinos’ way of telling you that you’re better off putting your money on Tiger Woods being cheered on by a group of feminists if he returns, as reported, to action in this year’s Masters than wagering on Joshua Clottey.

The way bookies have made it out, they’re practically telling Clottey to give up. Now.

But quitting the fight isn’t exactly something you’d like to serve to fans who were jilted by the promise of a Mayweather-Pacquiao. So if you were trainer Lenny DeJesus, how do you know if your man is doing okay against the most frenetic, relentless and highly-charged boxing machine of this generation, and perhaps of all time?

And how do you know if it’s time to pull the plug?

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Angping’s got balls, but Peping has it all?

OF COURSE it has a lot to do with balls. This is, after all, sports.

And what would sports be without balls?

Don’t let the calm between the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee right now fool you. There is no agreed truce between both camps. There is no temporary, makeshift bridge that spans the gulf between both sports agencies.

What they’re doing right now is simply waiting for that big date that will help tip the scales to their favor: May 10, 2010.

Yup, this isn’t just the at-the-crossroads presidential elections. It’s also the elections that could decide the next sporting overlord.

Just don’t mention that to Harry Angping.

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Automation, according to the Sex Bomb Dancers

I USED to think that electoral reforms will have to start with serious inculcation from the grassroots. Like, for instance, teachers bombarding students as young as 7 or 8 about the sanctity of one’s vote and how it is a powerful tool in nation building.

Tuesday night, however, I realized that electoral forms can begin from such a jologs source (I love the way this video–12 seconds in–asks, “Can I tell you a story?”).

Like this:

Yup, believe it or not, memorizing the lyrics to that much-maligned video by the Sex Bomb Dancers may actually be the key to changing the way politics is played in the country.

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Whining isn’t everything

THERE ARE calls that decide a game. This one might’ve decided a series.

And coming at the heels of a controversial and expensive walkout by Talk ‘N Text in the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup, this one was as absurd as it gets. Worse, especially for the PBA, the two officials who were involved in the TNT-Ginebra Game 4 controversy were part of the three-man crew for Game 2 of the Alaska-Purefoods finale, which the Giants won.

Of course, that’s at most a tenuous, conspiracy-theory type of link between the two matches but the whistle on Joe Devance as he challenged a Kerby Raymundo jumpshot with 1.7 seconds remaining had walkout written all over it.

Except that Alaska Aces, the aggrieved party who went from being five minutes within a posible series-tying win to an 0-2 hole that’s tough to climb out of, had no time to walk out. Raymundo went to the stripe with the game tied and completed an intentional split. He made the first and missed the second to deny the Aces a chance to burn a timeout and make one final play.

“It is a foul that you must call because there was contact and they were calling [fouls of the same nature] in the first quarter,” said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

Not everybody felt that way.

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Do we need the son as much as we needed his parents?

I REMEMBER being on assignment for the Cory Aquino funeral. I was standing in front of the memorial park where she would be laid to rest, awaiting the arrival of the funeral march.

I talked to a few people there, like the loquacious Imelda Palar. At the time of the funeral, Palar was 32 years old, meaning she was around nine when the events that triggered the EDSA uprising—which eventually shaped Cory Aquino into the sainted icon of democracy—unraveled.

“I fought with my husband so I could come here,” said Palar. “I wanted to see her one last time. She was a good president. Nobody came close to her. She was clean.”

Cavite resident Carmela Bascon, 46 at the time of the funeral, was in her 20s during EDSA I and was a little bit more aware of the significance of that historic 1986 moment than Palar.

“I was very much aware of the change that swept our country,” said the mother of two. “Everyone was at peace with each other after EDSA. We owe President Cory a big debt of gratitude.”

Businessman Antonio Razo, 51, also marched in 1983, the year Ninoy Aquino was assassinated. It was the martyred former senator’s death that is usually pointed out as the event that lit the wick of the ’86 uprising. He never thought he’d bury another Aquino.

“The difference between then and now was that in 1983, emotions were running high in the sense that people were mad,” said Razo, who seemed to know a lot of people in the sweaty crowd. “Now, it seems like the people feel sad because part of us is now gone.”

“No matter how many mistakes we committed after EDSA and how we never seemed to learn from them, we always felt somehow safe because we had Tita Cory,” he added.

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Let me welcome everybody to the wild, wild wet

THE sun-burnt twentysomething with smiling eyes and a ready laugh delivered punchline after punchline as he spoke to a group of vacationers from up north about the safety precautions needed before plunging into Cagayan de Oro’s famous white water adventure.

Guide gives last minute instructions... and warnings

“If you fall off your raft, float on your back,” said the tour guide, who introduced himself as Tata. “Don’t try to swim. In a shallow river with a strong current and plenty of rocks, freestyle is not advisable.”

There is a palpable nervousness in the murmur of laughter that followed.

“If you do try to swim, chances are, you’ll end up hitting rock after rock and dislocate 70 to 90 percent of your bones. Or, you could swim head first into a rock and end up with a broken smile.”

This time, there is no trace of laughter.

“So just go with the flow.”

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