Top Rank Promotions has just announced on its Facebook page that Manny Pacquiao will fight top welterweight Joshua Clottey on March 13. The announcement comes in the aftermath of the collapse of the mediation efforts by former Judge Daniel Weinstein to achieve an agreement between the camps of Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr for a Pacquaio-Mayweather megafight that would have been the highest grossing bout of all time. The mediation efforts ended without success when, reportedly, Pacquiao agreed to unlimited urine testing and blood testing up until 24 days before the fight, and immediately afterwards. Mayweather reportedly was willing to allow a cutoff 14 days before the fight.
In Clottey Pacquiao will be facing a dangerous true welterweight with a record of 35-3, 20 KO and a reputation as a tough brawler. Early reaction on boxing fan sites seems to be generally favorable to the matchup. More on this as it develops. (Note: There is also speculation that the hurried announcement on the Top Rank Facebook page may have gotten the date wrong — that it will be March 20 instead of March 13, but that is just speculation at this point.)