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Monday, June 15, 2009

Pacquiao okays Cotto showdown - Arum

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao has given his promoter, Bob Arum, the go-signal to set him up for a fight with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

“There’s no question he wants the fight. And he told me to put the fight together,” Arum said yesterday in an overseas conversation from his base in Las Vegas.

Arum was with Pacquiao over the weekend in New York, gracing the Boxing Writers Association of America awards dinner and watching Cotto’s win over Josh Clottey.

Pacquiao watched the fight at Madison Square Garden with his wife Jinkee, and sat beside Arum trying to size Cotto up. He must have felt he could handle the Puerto Rican so now it’s a go.

Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Cotto, said they’re giving the 28-year-old, 5-foot-7 welterweight an extra month to recover from a very nasty cut he suffered against Clottey.

Arum had penciled Oct. 17 as the date for Pacquiao’s next fight, following his May 2 destruction of Ricky Hatton, and now it’s been pushed to Nov. 14 or five months away from now.

“I stayed in the same hotel where I put Manny and before I went to my room after the Cotto press conference I visited him and Jinkee in their suite and we talked about it,” said Arum.

Pacquiao stayed at the swanky St. Regis Hotel on Fifth Avenue, and it was in his suite, which may cost close to $5,000 a night, where he gave Arum the go-signal for set up of the Cotto fight.

“Now, it’s just the economics,” Arum told The STAR.

Pacquiao, who was scheduled to be back in Manila late last night, should get the lion’s share against Cotto, who has never fought under 145 lb in his last eight fights, and losing only once, to Antonio Margarito.

The lion’s share could mean 70 percent of everything. Pacquiao wants to fight Cotto at 142 lb but the latter said he can’t go lower than 145 lb. Now they must agree on something in between.

Arum said Floyd Mayweather Jr. postponing his July 18 fight with Juan Manuel Marquez due to a rib injury sustained in training means the undefeated ex-pound-for-pound champion can’t fight Pacquiao this year.

It was reported on the Internet that one more reason that led to the postponement was the poor ticket sales. With only 11 weeks before the fight, $300 tickets are still available by the 10s per fight fan.

When Pacquiao fought Oscar dela Hoya last December and Ricky Hatton last May, the cheapest tickets were gone barely hours after the booths opened so many weeks before the fights.

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said he wants the Mayweather fight next, and neither Cotto nor (Shane) Mosley, but now the three-time Trainer of the Year must change his thoughts.

“Mayweather postponing the fight against Marquez means he can’t fight Manny this year. Now it’s just Cotto, Mosley or Edwin Valero. But the biggest fight out there for Manny is Cotto,” said Arum.

Source: philstar.com

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