Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Manny Pacquiao versus Miguel Cotto? It's tentative for Nov. 14 in Las Vegas

By Lance Pugmire
June 16, 2009

Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto have each told their promoter they want to fight each other next.

Now that promoter, Bob Arum, is working out the details to make a bout that is penciled in for Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

"I hope to put it together this week, to get an agreement on terms," Arum told The Times on Monday in a telephone interview from his Top Rank headquarters in Las Vegas.

Arum identified the two major points of negotiation as weight and the purse split.

Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 knockouts) watched from ringside Cotto's dramatic split-decision world welterweight title victory over Joshua Clottey on Saturday in New York after picking up his award for 2008 fighter of the year across town.

Cotto sustained a deep cut to his left eyebrow late in the third round, forcing him to wipe blood from his eye as he out-punched Clottey in the final rounds. Afterward, Pacquiao expressed confidence to associates that he could beat Cotto. Arum said Pacquiao told him later that night that his first preference was to fight Cotto.

Pacquiao fought Oscar De La Hoya at the welterweight limit (147 pounds) in December, but was back at junior-welterweight (140) in his second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton last month.

Pacquiao, whom many experts consider boxing's best pound-for-pound boxer, will dictate at what weight a potential Cotto bout would be fought. Sources say it will probably be around 142 pounds, though Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs) hasn't fought below the welterweight limit since June 2006.

Pacquiao also will determine how the purse is split.

Shane Mosley, the world welterweight champ from Pomona, has announced he'd agree to fight Pacquiao for a 60-40 split, and Arum made it clear Cotto also would receive a minority share.

"Shane's a terrific fighter, but for now he's the second choice," Arum said. "If we can't put together a Pacquiao-Cotto fight, we'll reach out to Shane."

Mosley's promoter, Richard Schaefer, called the push for a Pacquiao-Cotto bout "ridiculous" since Mosley knocked out Antonio Margarito in January and Margarito knocked out Cotto last summer. (Cotto beat Mosley by decision in 2007.)

"Cotto has a deep cut; Shane's ready to go," Schaefer said. " 'Sugar' Shane Mosley is the best fighter in that division. He can punch more, he has more speed. Shane really wants this fight and is willing to make concessions. This is the fight people want."

There would even be more interest in a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout, and Pacquiao's interest in maximizing revenue makes that bout a near certainty in the future. Mayweather's camp reported Sunday, however, that he'd suffered a rib injury last week training for his comeback fight July 18 against Juan Manuel Marquez, forcing a postponement.

The timing was curious and brought up the question of whether it might be a way for Mayweather to get out of a fight that was struggling to reach sellout status.

But Schaefer, who is also the promoter for Marquez, said Mayweather is locked into a contract to fight Marquez and asserted, "It's absolutely not a ploy. It's a legitimate injury, he's in a tremendous amount of pain."

Schaefer said he'd like to reschedule the fight in September.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-boxing-pacquiao16-2009jun16,0,4456572.story (June 16, 2009)

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