Pacquiao’s lawyer, Franklin Gacal, yesterday said they were already preparing an official statement saying they will have to start looking for another opponent after reports said Cotto was not willing to stake his 147 lb title.
The reports quoted Cotto as saying he will only stake his WBO title if the fight is held at 147 lb, the welterweight limit, and that the 28-year-old champion was not willing to pay WBO the $150,000 sanctioning fee.
“Bob Arum told us not to believe everything that’s being reported. Then he assured me that Cotto will put his WBO welterweight title on the line -- at 145 pounds,” said Gacal from Gen. Santos City yesterday.
“We have to take Mr. Arum’s word on that,” added Gacal.
The Pacquiao lawyer said with the weight issue practically settled, now comes the money issue, although he said both camps have had an agreement regarding the purse sharing.
But Gacal did not give out the details, only saying that a 65-35 sharing in favor of Pacquiao should be the “worst-case scenario” for the Filipino pound-for-pound champion and today’s main attraction in boxing.
Gacal is hoping that the fight contract for Pacquiao vs Cotto be signed as soon as possible so both boxers can start focusing on what they have to do on the ring than on the negotiating table.
Reports said Cotto is scheduled to start working out today in Puerto Rico, while Roach wants Pacquiao to start limbering up before the press tour set on the second week of September.
“We were almost ready to issue a statement that we’ll start looking for a new opponent because of all those talks that Cotto wants Pacquiao to go up to 147 before he stakes his crown,” said Gacal.
Gacal, however, did not mention the boxer they had in mind in case the Cotto fight was scratched. It could be Shane Mosley, who’s offering Pacquiao everything but the kitchen sink, or someone else.
And that could even be Floyd Mayweather Jr., whom trainer Freddie Roach described as “the easiest fight of the three.”
Mayweather, who retired almost two years ago but is slated to return to the ring in September against Juan Manuel Marquez, another fighter drooling over Pacquiao.
The fight was supposed to be held in July but a rib injury sustained by Mayweather in training, coupled by poor ticket sales, led to a cancellation, and a new date on Sept. 19.
Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=492906&publicationSubCategoryId=69 (August 4, 2009)