The insistence of Miguel Cotto not to put his world title at stake when he fights Manny Pacquiao is being blamed on Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.
Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal said on Friday that Arum's hasty decision to come out with an announcement about the Pacquiao-Cotto fight scheduled Nov. 14 in Las Vegas early last week could be one of the reasons behind the insistence of Cotto to stand firm on his decision not to stake the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown.
"I don't know why Bob made the announcement when in fact we haven't seen the (official) contract," said Gacal when asked about the other pertinent details of the contract.
Arum has both Pacquiao and Cotto under the promotional banner of Top Rank.
Cotto's decision not to risk the WBO 147-lb crown stems from the fact that the fight is going to be at a catch weight of 145 lbs and that during the negotiations, Team Pacquiao did not bother to raise the issue.
Cotto said he will only risk the WBO title if Pacquiao agrees to face him at 147 lbs.
"(My decision is) final and firm," Cotto told El Nuevo Dia in a story that appeared on the paper's July 31 issue. "The belt is not going to be on the line in the fight."
Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, already panicky about the prospects of bringing Pacquiao somewhere else other than the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, was bothered when told about the development.
"The WBO should make it a title fight. We don’t need the fight if the title is not on the line," Roach told The Bulletin. "I want Manny to do this for a reason. I want Manny to win seven world titles. Titles are overrated but I would like to see Manny do this."
There's been no seven-division world champion in boxing and Roach is dead-sure Pacquiao will become the very first when he faces Cotto.
Pacquiao has won legitimate world titles at flyweight (112 lbs), super-bantam (122), super-feather (130) and lightweight (135), but was widely recognized as well when he beat Marco Antonio Barrera for the Ring magazine featherweight (126) crown and Ricky Hatton last May even if the Englishman, considered as the best in the division, held the fringe International Boxing Organization junior-welter (140) diadem.
Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/213744/pacquiao-s-camp-blames-arum-notitle-fiasco (July 31, 2009)