By Mark Vester
The tug of war is still going for the WBO welterweight title. Miguel Cotto refuses to make it a title fight when he steps in the ring against Manny Pacquiao on November 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Pacquiao wants the title to be on the line. The fight is scheduled to take place at a catch-weight of 145-pounds and Cotto refuses to defend the title unless Pacquiao agrees to face him at the full welterweight limit of 147. He says Pacquiao can have the title or the catch-weight but he can't have both.
Pacquiao's lawyer Franklin Gacal tried to shift the blame on Top Rank's Bob Arum for announcing the fight before Manny and his team had a chance to review the official contract. He says Cotto is making his stand because the fight is already announced.
"I don't know why Bob made the announcement when in fact we haven't seen the (official) contract," said Gacal to the Manila Bulletin.
Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach told the paper that Manny doesn't need a fight with Cotto if the title is not on the line. He says the WBO should force Cotto to defend the title. The sanctioning body is trying but Cotto has already said that he plans to vacate the title if the WBO tries to force his hand.
"The WBO should make it a title fight. We don’t need the fight if the title is not on the line," Roach said. "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."
Source: http://www.boxingscene.com/index.php?m=show&id=21346 (July 31, 2009)