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Friday, June 19, 2009

Updates on Cotto, Pacquiao and Pavlik

While Top Rank promoter Bob Arum spent part of Thursday in Los Angeles trumpeting his July 25 "Latin Fury 10" pay-per-view -- which is headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and will include the Top Rank debut of electrifying interim featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa -- he was also at work on two other fronts.

Arum, of course, promotes three of boxing's most significant fighters in pound-for-pound king and junior welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao, welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto, and middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik.

I talked with Arum the other day, and he provided updates on all three of them.

As you should all know by now, if you are even a remote boxing fan, Arum is trying to tidy up a deal for Pacquiao and Cotto to fight Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on HBO PPV.

The deal is moving forward, Arum said.

"I'm negotiating with both camps. It's the usual process," Arum said.

Arum said he has been in regular touch with Cotto's lawyer since Cotto's hard-fought decision win against Joshua Clottey on Saturday at New York's Madison Square Garden, where Pacquiao sat next to Arum and indicated midfight that he wanted Cotto next.

"We have a number of points we are talking through, but nothing that's deal-breaking," Arum said. "Everything looks great."

As for the Pacquiao side, Arum said Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz is flying in from the Philippines to meet with him Sunday in Las Vegas. Arum said he plans to present a deal to Koncz, who will take it back to Pacquiao.

"I'm moving forward in an attempt to have this fight happen," Arum said.

One of the key points -- besides the financial breakdown, of course -- is the weight. Arum said that Cotto is willing to come below 147 pounds and that the contract maximum would wind up at 144 or 145. Stay tuned on that.

There is some minor concern that the brutal cut Cotto suffered over his left eye against Clottey could delay the fight, but Arum said it would be OK. Cotto needed 20 stitches in two cuts but said that the doctor said he should be good to spar around the end of September.

When Arum co-promoted Pacquiao's May 2 victory against Ricky Hatton, the pay-per-view fight was shopped to Showtime before Arum and Golden Boy settled on HBO. In the case of Cotto-Pacquiao, which Arum would control by himself, he said HBO PPV has dibs based on the deal he made with the network to carry Cotto-Clottey.

Arum said part of the discussion with HBO was the production of a "24/7" series for Cotto-Pacquiao. "That would be part of our deal," Arum said.

On the Pavlik front, Arum and the champ have agreed to a contract extension, which appears to have made everyone happy. Contract issues are what forced a planned June 27 fight against Sergio Mora to be called off. Pavlik did have a staph infection in his hand, which was cited as the reason for the cancellation, but it wasn't serious enough to call off the fight. It did, however, provide Top Rank with a good cover story.

Nonetheless, Arum and HBO are now talking about a two- or three-fight deal for Pavlik, which would start in October, with a possible unification fight against Felix Sturm, who would first have to win a July 11 fight in Germany against Khoren Gevor. Top Rank and Universum are in talks.

"I'm waiting to hear from HBO on the money," Arum said, noting that the target date for the fight is Oct. 3 in Atlantic City, N.J.

A second fight on the Top Rank/HBO radar would come in early 2010. The opponents HBO would take -- and fights Arum said he'd like to make -- include middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham (the fight I want to see) or a move up in weight to face super middleweight titlist Carl Froch. Top Rank and Abraham promoter Sauerland Event have already talked quite a bit about getting to a Pavlik-Abraham showdown. Before a Pavlik fight can materialize, Abraham has a June 27 defense against Mahir Oral and then has a mandatory due against Giovanni Lorenzo, which would take place in the fall.

For all of Arum's plans for Pavlik, he may have an issue with Mora and promoter Jeff Wald of Tournament of Contenders. Their side claims to have a contract for the fight with Pavlik. Don't expect them just to walk away without some considerations.

Source: espn.go.com

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