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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Promoter: Cotto on board for showdown, awaiting Pacquiao

Negotiations for a Nov. 14 megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto remain on track, according to the promoter for both fighters who said the Puerto Rican's team is ready to proceed and make it official.

"We're pretty well there," says Bob Arum, chairman of Top Rank, Inc., who talked with Cotto's representatives Tuesday morning. "I'll get it done next week. That's my goal."

Arum met with a representative from Pacquiao's camp over the weekend to outline the deal. Pacquiao still has to review it.

"We decided we didn't want to call Manny to discuss it on the phone because Manny tends to be distracted (in the Philippines)," says Arum, who was able to get Pacquiao to agree via phone to set up his May 2 junior welterweight championship bout with Ricky Hatton. Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KOs) won by second-round knockout in the first major pay-per-view bout of the year in his first appearance at 140 pounds.

Although Cotto holds a major welterweight belt and is one of the division's top two fighters with a claim to the actual throne along with Shane Mosley, the fight will take place slightly below the 147-pound limit. Though initially it appeared to be a major stumbling block — Cotto (33-1, 27 KOs) had said he wouldn't come down in weight before his close decision win vs. Joshua Clottey on June 13 — it isn't any more.

Source: usatoday.com

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