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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pacquiao wants it 144 lbs, Cotto 145

Manny Pacquiao wants it at 144 pounds, but Miguel Cotto says it should be 145.

So, it’s up to Top Rank big boss Bob Arum’s convincing powers and negotiating savvy to finalize the proposed super showdown on November 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Arum told the Bulletin yesterday from his home in Las Vegas that “Manny told me he wants it at 144, while Cotto said 145, so we’ll see what I can do when I talk to Cotto’s people.”

Cotto’s decision to agree on a catch weight -- and the smaller slice of the pie -- are indications that the 28-year-old puncher accepts the fact that Pacquiao is the top draw even if he rules the World Boxing Organization welterweight class, a division that has a weight limit of 147 lbs.

Cotto is coming off a hard-earned split decision win over Joshua Clottey of Ghana at New York’s Madison Square Garden and Pacquiao was at ringside with Arum during the spirited battle.

Arum’s negotiations will officially kick off Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) as the Hall of Fame promoter speaks with Cotto’s lawyer, Gabriel Penagaricano, who is also the secretary-general of the World Boxing Council.

What would make it easier for Arum to strike a deal with Cotto is the fact that like the Filipino, the Puerto Rican hotshot is also under contract with Top Rank although Arum also has to contend with the fighter’s management team.

Based on Arum’s timeline, an agreement between the two parties can be forged by next week “although there’s no need to rush” despite rumors circulating that the main reason behind the July 18 featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez is the fact that Mayweather wants to back out so he could instead face Pacquiao.

Arum said “Mayweather is obligated to fight Marquez” and in the event he decides not to honor the contract and deal with Pacquiao, “everyone’s going to get sued.”

As in the last few fights of Pacquiao, Arum wants to maximize the earning potential of the Pacquiao-Cotto bout with the holding of another round of promotional and press tours -- in New York and in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“There is a large pay-per-view market in Puerto Rico,” added Arum, noting that based on his timeline, he expects Pacquiao to show up for training camp under Freddie Roach at the Wild Card in mid-September.

Source: mb.com.ph

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