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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Arum: Pacquiao-Cotto fight weight would be 144-145 pounds

Boxing promoter Bob Arum was on Olvera Street on Thursday to hawk his Latin Fury 10 card July 25 at Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, headlined by the latest Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bout (more on that later).

Since the boxing world's most fervent interest is in another Arum fighter, Manny Pacquiao, I asked him if there was any news on the negotiations to stage a Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

"I was on the phone with Cotto's people yesterday and I outlined to them the terms and points of the deal," Arum said. "I expect their response by the end of the week."

Arum said Pacquiao, meanwhile, has informed him again that he wants to fight Cotto. Arum has a Sunday meeting scheduled in Las Vegas with Pacquiao's U.S. business advisor Michael Koncz to discuss specifics of the deal.

"Koncz will take that information to Manny next week, we'll have further conversations then, and then likely put this thing to bed," Arum said.

Arum expressed confidence there will be none of the drawn-out drama that took place in the negotiations before Pacquiao's May 2 second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton.

One of the potential sticking points has already been defined, Arum revealed Thursday. He said a consultation with Cotto's nutritionist has made it clear the catch weight must be in the 144-145-pound range.

"Cotto is a welterweight and the nutritionist is saying the lowest he can go is 144," Arum said. "Manny will be fine with that. He doesn't want a guy to get in there and injure himself by fighting at an unrealistically low weight."

Cotto hasn't fought below 147 pounds in three years.

As for the more prickly subject of the purse split, Arum declined to discuss proposed percentages.

Meanwhile, for Shane Mosley followers, Arum said that although it continues to appear that the Pomona fighter will be deprived of Pacquiao and Cotto immediately, he'd like to arrange a title fight at Staples Center between world welterweight champ Mosley and Joshua Clottey, who fought Cotto to an entertaining split-decision Saturday night in New York.

"Nothing can be done until I finish with Pacquiao and Cotto first, though," Arum said.

Before that, there's Chavez Jr.'s upcoming super-welterweight bout against Maine's Jason Lehoullier. Chavez (39-0-1), a top-five contender by the WBC and WBO, is riding his name recognition and charisma to an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 pay-per-view buys for his Latin Fury appearances.

The July 25 show will also feature unbeaten featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa and unbeaten lightweight Urbano Antillon (26-0, 19 KOs) from Maywood.

Although the wait for a Chavez Jr. title fight is testing the patience, Arum has done something about it: He's hired West Los Angeles trainers Jon Jon Park and Todd Rushworth of Legacy Gym to make his prized prospect more fit.

The trainers' task is to keep Chavez Jr. under 160 pounds and put him on a routine that accounts for fitness, diet, rest and supplements. Next week, Chavez Jr. will be sent for the first time to train in the high altitude of Big Bear.

"He's young, but he's trainable," said Park, who added that the fighters he's worked with are 28-2. "It's an awakening for him, but he's willing to do it. That's the key."

Source: latimes.com

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