The Pacman, the current International Boxing Organization and Ring Magazine light-welterweight champion, had previously owned titles at flyweight (World Boxing Council), super-bantamweight (International Boxing Federation), featherweight (Ring Magazine), super-featherweight (WBC), and lightweight (WBC) and another one would further cement his status among the sport’s elite.
The Pacquiao - Cotto fight is penciled at a catchweight of 145-lbs (two pounds below the welterweight class) but no less than WBO president Francisco Valcarcel himself said it could still be a WBO-sanctioned welterweight title fight, citing a similar precedent, the Oscar De La Hoya-Bernard Hopkins duel for the middleweight (160-lb) crown which was fought at 158-lbs.
“Let Manny fight for the title and if he wins, he will get the title as WBO Welterweight Champion of the World," Valcarcel said a recent interview by PhilBoxing.com.
So upon knowing the WBO’s position, Pacquiao has insisted on having Cotto stake his WBO 147-lb belt as he guns for more glory in possibly his last fight. “Sa pamamagitan ng pagsanction ng WBO sa laban namin, mangyayaring magkaroon ako ng tsansa na maging isang seven-division champion, na hindi pa nangyayari kasaysayan ng boxing," Pacquiao wrote in his Kumbinasyon column for Abante and PhilBoxing.com.
Currently he shares the rare distinction of being a six-division champ with retired legend Oscar De La Hoya, whom Pacquiao disposed of in a non-title duel at 147-lbs last December. The "Golden Boy" held world titles in the super-featherweight, lightweight, light-welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight, and middleweight wars.
“Magkakaroon ako ng tsansa na malampasan ang ganitong record (De La Hoya’s feat in six divisions)," said the Filipino ring icon.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, had earlier dismissed a title fight, reportedly saying “No one cares about a belt."
But Pacquiao has now instructed his lawyer, Jeng Gacal, to coordinate with Valcarcel and Arum to make the necessary arrangements, including payment of the $150,000 sanction fee, to make the Cotto gig a showdown for the latter’s welterweight strap.
“Binibigyang papuri ko ang WBO sa kanilang pagbigay ng espesyal na kunsiderasyon na ang labang ito ay para sa korona ni Cotto, ang pinakamagaling na welterweight sa mundo sa kasalukuyan," Pacquiao said.
As always, the 30-year-old dynamo is prepared to kill himself at the gym as he takes on Cotto’s tough challenge.
“Alam kong matinding pagsubok na naman ang nasa aking harapan at matinding ensayo na naman ang aking gagawin," he said, adding he’s inspired to plunge into serious training by September. - GMANews.TV
Source: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/168621/Pacquiao-eager-to-be-a-seven-division-champion (July 30, 2009)