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Friday, July 31, 2009

Pacquiao’s camp blames Arum for ‘no-title’ fiasco

The insistence of Miguel Cotto not to put his world title at stake when he fights Manny Pacquiao is being blamed on Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal said on Friday that Arum's hasty decision to come out with an announcement about the Pacquiao-Cotto fight scheduled Nov. 14 in Las Vegas early last week could be one of the reasons behind the insistence of Cotto to stand firm on his decision not to stake the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown.

"I don't know why Bob made the announcement when in fact we haven't seen the (official) contract," said Gacal when asked about the other pertinent details of the contract.

Arum has both Pacquiao and Cotto under the promotional banner of Top Rank.

Cotto's decision not to risk the WBO 147-lb crown stems from the fact that the fight is going to be at a catch weight of 145 lbs and that during the negotiations, Team Pacquiao did not bother to raise the issue.

Cotto said he will only risk the WBO title if Pacquiao agrees to face him at 147 lbs.

"(My decision is) final and firm," Cotto told El Nuevo Dia in a story that appeared on the paper's July 31 issue. "The belt is not going to be on the line in the fight."

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, already panicky about the prospects of bringing Pacquiao somewhere else other than the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, was bothered when told about the development.

"The WBO should make it a title fight. We don’t need the fight if the title is not on the line," Roach told The Bulletin. "I want Manny to do this for a reason. I want Manny to win seven world titles. Titles are overrated but I would like to see Manny do this."

There's been no seven-division world champion in boxing and Roach is dead-sure Pacquiao will become the very first when he faces Cotto.

Pacquiao has won legitimate world titles at flyweight (112 lbs), super-bantam (122), super-feather (130) and lightweight (135), but was widely recognized as well when he beat Marco Antonio Barrera for the Ring magazine featherweight (126) crown and Ricky Hatton last May even if the Englishman, considered as the best in the division, held the fringe International Boxing Organization junior-welter (140) diadem.

Source: mb.com.ph

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cotto: "Hey Freddie, I am Not De La Hoya or Hatton"

Miguel Cotto wants to send a message to Freddie Roach, the trainer of Manny Pacquiao - "be ready for a war." Cotto doesn't want Roach to think Pacquiao will have an easy night on November 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Cotto does not want to be compared to Pacquiao's most recent victims, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

"I have some news for Freddie, I am not Oscar De La Hoya who was caught at the end of his career, and I am not overrated like Ricky Hatton. Roach knows what Pacquiao will be facing on November 14. It will be a war," Cotto told Primera Hora.

Cotto then said if Pacquiao wants to fight for the WBO welterweight title, he must be willing to make the fight at 147-pounds and not the agreed upon catch-weight of 145. Francisco "Paco" Valcárcel, the president of the WBO, wants Cotto to put up the title. If the WBO wants to strip him, Cotto is willing to deliver his title to the sanctioning body.

"The weight of 145 pounds is not a division. If the WBO doesn't agree with my decision, the I wll gladly deliver them the title. I do not have any problems with that. The WBO has the legal authority to dismiss me as champion and I will gladly deliver them the title. Paco Valcárcel knows better than anybody that 145 pounds is not a division," Cotto said.

"If Pacquiao wants the fight to be for the title, it will have to be at 147-pounds. I won the title at the welterweight limit and that is 147 pounds."

Source: boxingscene.com

Fight at 147 lbs if Pacquiao wants title

If Manny Pacquiao wants their November 14 fight to be a title fight, Miguel Cotto said the Filipino has to agree to meet him at the welterweight limit of 147 lbs.

In the event that the fight would get into trouble with the World Boxing Organization (WBO), the Puerto Rican reiterated that he is willing to vacate the throne.

“If Pacquiao wants that the fight be for the title, (it) will have to be in 147 pounds. I won the title in that, the welterweight (division) and that is 147 pounds,” Cotto told the Primera Hora newspaper yesterday during the launch of his clothing line.

Cotto, the reigning WBO welter champion, stressed that the issue of the title was not raised during the negotiations with the Pacquiao camp.

Top Rank head Bob Arum echoed Cotto’s statement.

“No,” said Arum, when asked if Pacquio’s people raised the matter of Cotto’s WBO title during the negotiations.

“The weight of 145 pounds is not a category. If the OMB (WBO) is having a problem with my decision (not to stake it), I will gladly hand over the title. I do not have problems with that,” said Cotto, who was represented during the negotiations by Gabriel Penagaricano, one of boxing’s premiere lawyers.

“The OMB (WBO) has the legal authority to dismiss me as champion and gladly I deliver them the title. (WBO president) PacoValccel, better than nobody, knows that the 145 pounds is not a division,” added Cotto, who beat Joshua Clottey in his last outing last June.

Source: mb.com.ph

Face me at 147 for WBO title, Cotto tells Pacquiao

MANILA -- Miguel Cotto said that he would only agree to stake his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Manny Pacquiao if they agree to fight at 147 pounds.

In a report by MB.com.ph (Manila Bulletin), Cotto said that Pacquiao would have to fight as a true welterweight if he wants the 147-pound title.

“If Pacquiao wants that the fight be for the title, (it) will have to be in 147 pounds. I won the title in that, the welterweight (division) and that is 147 pounds,” the Puerto Rican champion said in the report.

Should the WBO insist on making the Pacquiao-Cotto match a title match at 145 pounds, the Puerto Rican said he will not hesitate to surrender the title.

“The OMB (WBO) has the legal authority to dismiss me as champion and gladly I deliver them the title. (WBO president) PacoValccel, better than nobody, knows that the 145 pounds is not a division,” said Cotto.

Pacquiao is pushing to make his November 14 date with Cotto a title fight in his bid to become a seven-division champion.

“Sa pamamagitan ng pag-sanction ng WBO sa laban namin, mangyayaring magkaroon ako ng tsansa na maging isang seven-division champion, na hindi pa nangyayari sa kasaysayan ng boxing,” the Filipino boxing icon said in his column “Kumbinasyon” posted on Philboxing.com.

Pacquiao, the reigning IBO junior welterweight champion, is a former WBC lightweight champion, WBC Super Featherweight champion, IBF Super Bantamweight champion and WBC Flyweight champion.

He also won lineal championships in four weight classes, one of which was counted as a title he won over Marco Antonio Barrera.

Source: abs-cbnnews.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pacquiao eager to be a seven-division champion

Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao is eager to gun for another world title in an unprecedented seventh division against World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico in their Nov. 14 duel in Las Vegas.

The Pacman, the current International Boxing Organization and Ring Magazine light-welterweight champion, had previously owned titles at flyweight (World Boxing Council), super-bantamweight (International Boxing Federation), featherweight (Ring Magazine), super-featherweight (WBC), and lightweight (WBC) and another one would further cement his status among the sport’s elite.

The Pacquiao-Cotto fight is penciled at a catchweight of 145-lbs (two pounds below the welterweight class) but no less than WBO president Francisco Valcarcel himself said it could still be a WBO-sanctioned welterweight title fight, citing a similar precedent, the Oscar De La Hoya-Bernard Hopkins duel for the middleweight (160-lb) crown which was fought at 158-lbs.

“Let Manny fight for the title and if he wins, he will get the title as WBO Welterweight Champion of the World," Valcarcel said a recent interview by PhilBoxing.com.

So upon knowing the WBO’s position, Pacquiao has insisted on having Cotto stake his WBO 147-lb belt as he guns for more glory in possibly his last fight.

“Sa pamamagitan ng pagsanction ng WBO sa laban namin, mangyayaring magkaroon ako ng tsansa na maging isang seven-division champion, na hindi pa nangyayari kasaysayan ng boxing," Pacquiao wrote in his Kumbinasyon column for Abante and PhilBoxing.com.

Currently he shares the rare distinction of being a six-division champ with retired legend Oscar De La Hoya, whom Pacquiao disposed of in a non-title duel at 147-lbs last December. The "Golden Boy" held world titles in the super-featherweight, lightweight, light-welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight, and middleweight wars.

“Magkakaroon ako ng tsansa na malampasan ang ganitong record (De La Hoya’s feat in six divisions)," said the Filipino ring icon.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, had earlier dismissed a title fight, reportedly saying “No one cares about a belt."

But Pacquiao has now instructed his lawyer, Jeng Gacal, to coordinate with Valcarcel and Arum to make the necessary arrangements, including payment of the $150,000 sanction fee, to make the Cotto gig a showdown for the latter’s welterweight strap.

“Binibigyang papuri ko ang WBO sa kanilang pagbigay ng espesyal na kunsiderasyon na ang labang ito ay para sa korona ni Cotto, ang pinakamagaling na welterweight sa mundo sa kasalukuyan," Pacquiao said.

As always, the 30-year-old dynamo is prepared to kill himself at the gym as he takes on Cotto’s tough challenge.

Source: gmanews.tv

Miguel Cotto: "I have no problem vacating the title"

Caguas, Puerto Rico .- The Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto said that next Monday will start his training for his fight with the filipino Manny Pacquiao on November 14 at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) .

Cotto, Welter Champion of the World Boxing Organization (OMB), explained that its preparation will begin with morning runs and then be between two and three days a week at his gym in the neighborhood Bairoa in Caguas, a city adjacent to San Juan.

The scuffle is expected to be held at 145 pounds (66 kilos).

The Puerto Rican, however, indicated that you do not mind if the directors of OMB withdrew the championship because they will fight in another weight that is not the Welt (147 pounds - 67 kilos).

"I have no problem vacating the title. The title is second fidle to me now. If there is a problem with handing the title, we will vacate it. Then other opportunities will open to get it back," he said.

Cotto and Pacquiao made in the coming months on a tour to promote his fight for the cities of Los Angeles, New York and San Juan.

Cotto, on the other hand, was launched today with new designs of T-shirts' Fearless' (No Fear), which will begin selling in October under the Ecko company, led by Effy Zinkin.

The boxer admitted that the clothing is more "developed" as that first launched in February 2008, when it sold 5 thousand shirts, so that since October, will go on sale about 20 mil.

"We will have four new designs that are novel and liked by all customers. Without fear we accept the challenges with courage and will continue," said Cotto.

Zinkin, meanwhile, acknowledged that although he has worked with many major artists, there is a personality with "more proud" that Cotto.

"Miguel is planning a fearless person. Outside of the ring represent their country with dignity and style. It is an inspiration and a model to follow," he said.

Also, the general manager of Ecko MMA, Eric Samson, Cotto described as "the boxer who gives more excitement in boxing," because "no rejects fights, but accepts that fights the fans like."

"Puerto Rico is a country with a culture of warriors. Fearless is what exactly is Michael. There is nothing to what he will issue," he said.

Several Puerto Rican athletes like NBA players Jose Juan Barea, the boxing world champions Ivan Calderon and Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez, the Pan-American gymnastics champion Luis Felipe 'Tingui' Vargas and Asuncion Ocasio taekwondo competitor, will be among representatives of the brand.

Source: informador.com.mx

Upcoming Super Fight Between Pacquiao and Cotto

By Richard Bailey: To start with WOW! This is a fight fans fight. A fight the fans want to see, and now it’s happening. Bravo, Mr. Bob Arum, bravo indeed. Why is this fight a great match up? Simple! It’s the real POWER V PRECISION a title that should not have been given to the Ricky Hatton v Paulie, oh what’s his face. With respect to Ricky Hatton and Paulie, well Ricky really, their fight was exciting but only because we was all waiting for the knockout punch that we all thought was coming, but never did.

Instead, a ref stoppage ended their fight which showed very little POWER in Ricky, and absolutely no PRECISION on Paulie’s part. Let’s face it Paulie never really had a chance in their meeting, and on that BOMBSHELL, neither does Manny. I mean yes Manny is the number one pound for pound and yes he is a five division champ, but his last 3 fights at the higher weights are questionable at least.
David Diaz is a very tough opponent, but at the very best maybe 4th best in the lightweight division. Why didn’t Manny fight the likes of Juan Diaz, or Joel Casamayor the recognized lineal champ of the lightweight division and the number one respectively, why Diaz, because he knew he would beat him with ease.

Same as De la Hoya, in his prime was a fantastic entertaining boxer with so much heart and skill it was uplifting almost to watch him beat the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez and Ricardo Mayorga, but everyone knew from past examples, when you fight in a higher weight class and then drop down a division you are going to show a bad performance and get beaten BADLEY! Am I right Roy Jones Jr. fans?

The fact Manny came up two divisions to fight him doesn’t even enter my head anymore because the bottom line is, he wasn’t fighting De la Hoya in there, he was fighting a washed up chump who knew he was shot and was going to lose.

Now we have Ricky “the Hitman” Hatton, one of my favorite boxers of all time to come out of England along with Chris Eubank and The Dark Destroyer Nigel Benn. He was a monster at light welterweight but it was a very weak division and his biggest win was over Kostya Tszyu.

With Ricky’s style of fighting we all knew Manny would destroy him and he really, really did. In fact I have only ever watched that knockout once because of the sheer devastation of it. We were all worried for Ricky at that moment and sad as it is to say, he should defiantly retire because he has nothing left to prove and while Manny is number one, Ricky never will be.

Ricky was a brilliant fighter but by no means GREAT. Now however Manny’s not fighting an over rated fighter, or a washed up fighter. He is fighting Cotto, a man who quite simply has never ducked anyone in the sport or the 2 weight classes he has fought in, but he has also beat them all, apart from his loss to Antonio Margarito, but until a rematch between them is held I don’t hold it against him.

Purely because of the loaded gloves controversy Cotto has beat Sugar Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Joshua Clotty, Michael Jennings, Carlos Quintana, Lovemore Ndou, Paulie Malignaggi, and Ricardo Torres. That’s 7 world champions in two divisions (Light Welterweight and Welterweight) who were at their peaks and considered the best in their weight class.

Manny is now fighting a man who holds unique boxing skills, mixed with a warrior and brawlers heart, that just so happens to have some of the most accurate punch records of the sweet science. He also hits hard, 27 knockouts in 34 wins is impressive. He is a very good body puncher which is where Manny is weak his two knockout losses were to the body.

He has great footwork and can handle speed mixed with power very well. He beat Sugar Shane for goodness sake who is arguably one of the hardest hitters in the sport and is just as fast as Manny. He also has the height and arm length advantage, and of course the major one, the natural weight advantage.

Cotto will come into the fight weighing easily 156 pounds where as Manny will maybe if he is lucky weight 149- 150, and Manny does not have a great chin any ways. The one shot Ricky manages to land shocked Manny and backed him up a bit, neither has he really had a competitive fight since his questionable victory over Juan Manuel Marquez.

Who in my opinion and many others won both of their fights. Speed does kill indeed, but in the sweet science of boxing, the right timing and skill mixed with power can KILL SPEED. So my prediction for this fight is simple, the first round Manny will try and work out Cotto’s style and pace as will Cotto with Manny.

Then maybe round 5 or 6 when a few punches land and a bit of dancing happens around the ring, Cotto will land some heavy blows and Manny will go down for the count. Although he will rise, I see a Cotto victory by ways of TKO by maybe end of round 6 or mid round 7.

This fight has all the makings for Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year award. Two true warriors who fight for their fans and countries on their backs, plenty of skill, danger, excitement, and precision and power all in one. I for one can’t wait.

Source: boxingnews24.com

Manny Pacquiao: Too Old To Make History?

Manny Pacquiao: Too Old To Make History?

Many have made the pending Pacquiao/Cotto fight a measure of speed versus power, but considering the fact that both men technically possess both, the focus shifts to another, less prominent factor that could ultimately decide the outcome. Pacquiao has been in a countless amount of showdowns over the years. [Morales (3), Barrera (2), Marquez (3), and many others]. After a laundry list of battles against such marquee opponents, extensive wear and tear comes without question, but when you parallel that with the fact that Pacquiao will enter the ring for the first time since going north of the super-featherweight class as the older man, facing an opponent who's younger, stronger, and in his prime, the plot thickens considerably. There have been no signs of Pacquiao slowing down at this stage in his career, but the Filipino slugger made it pretty clear in multiple interviews within the last year that politics isn't the only reason why he's considering to hang 'em up. 54 fights under his belt by the age 30! That's a pace that no longer exist in the sport. Clearly, Pacquiao has hustled throughout his career to get to the top where he now stands, but Cotto's plan is to remind him that there's only one direction to go in when you reside that high. A good question here is exactly what role will Pacquiao's past history play in his ability to make current history?

Pacquiao/Cotto: No Belts...Cool...Let It All Hang Out!

Ok, a little over a week ago, we were told that the Cotto/Pacquiao fight was a done deal by Top Rank head man, Bob Arum. Here we stand nearly two weeks later, and suddenly we're slapped with the realization that not only is there more negotiations necessary, but the two fighters at the center of this spectacle have yet to put their autographs on the paper! They say money is the root to all evil, and in this case, that statement holds true. To my understanding, the whole snag about the sanctioning fees not being paid is born out of the fact that Cotto (by Arum's own admission) "doesn't want to pay his fee". But it goes deeper than that. What hasn't been said is that Cotto won't pay his portion of the sanctioning fee to accommodate Pacquiao's bid for history without Pacquiao agreeing to divide a larger portion of the gate/PPV money. There's a total of $340K that needs to be paid. $150K from both fighters, and $40K from Arum. Cotto isn't trying to make history, Pacquiao is, so the logical question here (if this is in fact the case).....If Pacquiao doesn't want to concede extra money in the gate/PPV area, why not simply front the money for the sanctioning fee himself since it is his bid for the unprecedented 7th world title in 7 different weight classes? I think he deserves the historical accolade, but looks like it'll have to be done by him and Arum since Cotto apparently won't comply. To kill this massive headache, if it can be done this way, why not?

Roach/Pacquiao: Speed Kills or Speed Killed?

Master-mind Freddie Roach recently stated that he wants Manny Pacquiao to use speed "to tire" Miguel Cotto out. When you look at the dynamics behind that request, things get awfully intriguing. Clearly, Pacquiao is the faster fighter, but coming into their respective fights, so was Shane Mosley and Zab Judah. Cotto isn't known as a speedster, but Joshua Clottey once stated to me boldly that not only is Cotto the hardest hitting welterweight in the division, but his speed is very deceptive, because his timing is deadly. Few fighters in the sport have the lower base power (legs) of Manny Pacquiao, but against Marquez many can remember Pacquiao being timed on his way in and had it not been for the end of that particular round being only 10 seconds away, we may not be waiting to see this particular fight. Pacman's conditioning is always superb and will clearly play a huge role, but the operative question here is how well does Pacman handle this type of power if Cotto is able to use that "deceptive speed" to catch him off guard first?

Bernard Hopkins: Pacman Will 'Execute' Scarface

Legendary boxer Bernard Hopkins has come out and stated that he thinks Manny Pacquiao will get the nod over Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto because he "doesn't see Cotto's face holding up for 12 rds". This is an interesting perspective, because no doubt, Pacquiao will aim to tenderize that twice badly opened gash above his left-eye. What's ironic about this whole thing is that despite Pacquiao being left-handed, within recent months he has put in solid work with his right-hand and some would argue it's actually a better weapon because when he uses it, few are still standing for the follow up left. This truth means that Cotto will need to find a way to watch out for both...a wicked left, or a polished up right. The odds of him avoiding both are about as slim as he'll need to be to step in the ring for this 145lb catchweight fight. Pacquiao may or may not get to that cut mark, but if he does and the blood starts to rain, we've learned in two fights now that Cotto is a different man when his blood hits the canvas. Hopkins has been long known for his ring intellect and appears to be right on point. But what he didn't point out here for Pacman is....how can he make it easier to get close enough inside to open that old cut or a new one?

Source: 8countnews.com

Arum rips WBO: 'Why pay $150,000 for five dollar belt?'

Man your battle stations!

It looks as though promoter Bob Arum’s “surrender” in the battle over whether Manny Pacquiao should be fighting Miguel Cotto with the WBO welterweight title on the line was nothing of the kind.

His Top Rank headquarters in Las Vegas is turning into the Waffle House as Arum tosses and turns on the burning issue.

It appears that Arum, who flips and flops more than John Kerry ever did, really just intended to have a brief cease fire in the raging controversy which he now blames “the press in the Philippines and Michael Marley” for causing. Arum did admit that “now Manny is pushing the issue.”

I appreciate the plug, Bobola, but please add “of Examiner.com and Boxingconfidential.com” next time.

According to the Pinoy sports scribe, Arum repeated his odious and onerous assertion “that nobody in the US cares” if it is a world title bout.
OK, Uncle Bob, shoot the messengers if you must but be advised I now have over 20,000 men, women and children solidly lined up and reporting for duty in the Pacman Worldwide Army.

Arum spoke to Boxingscene’s Ronnie Nathanielsz and began hedging on his earlier vow to pay the approximately $340,000 in sanction and promoter fees for the Nov. 14. Out of other side of his mouth, Arum crowed about how the fight is almost soldout and how less than 3,000 seats will be offered to the general public.
A solid, deeply analytical piece by the Dean of all Filipino Journos, the estimable Recah Trinidad, really gets to the heart of the issue which is my valient effort to save Brother Arum from total embarrassment.

Arum being Arum--never forget his motto “yesterday I was lying but today I am telling the truth”--he then took a cheap shot at the WBO and its leader, Puerto Rican lawyer Paco Valcarcel.

Arum said he would talk to both fighters to see if they will fork over $150,000 each for “a belt that is worth five dollars.”

Valcarcel could not be reached for comment.

Arum is correct in asking the fighters to pay the sanction fee as that is boxing custom.

But he remains arrogant and dismissive about Pacquiao possibly winning a record world title in a seventh weight class.

What part of history don't you understand, Mr. Arum?
Pacman has already won six world titles in six divisions so supporters are calling this “Manny Pacquiao 7 for 7.”

Stay combat ready, troops, because that was no surrender by Arum, just a typically sneaky time out.

Until further notice, all leaves and weekend passes are canceled for the Pacquiao Worldwide Army.

Our mission has not ended.

Source: examiner.com

A case of one world crown too many?

NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL FILIPINO boxing fans, regardless of age and creed, to come to the aid of promoter cum laude Bob Arum.

Let's all join hands and save Arum from himself.

While there's still time, let's march to have Manny Pacquiao's forthcoming bout with Miguel Cotto officially declared a world welterweight championship.

* * *

Cut it, please.

What you just read was the first part of a column originally meant to share in the monumental protest mounted by the eminent Michael Marley, when he called on fight fans to shake Arum back to reality.

What sparked Mr. Marley's indignation was an uncharacteristic quote from Arum, who tried to undermine the sublime significance of a world title belt being staked in the Nov. 14 showdown in Las Vegas.

* * *

"Nobody in the US cares about it," Arum was quoted as stating against the importance of a Pacquiao-Cotto world title bout.

Either Mr. Marley was on his third margarita or driving home, but the stunning quote must've tasted like a spoiled lemon in his drink.

It was an atrocity that should be stricken out of a future Arum bio.

"He's already over 70," said WBO president Paco Valcarcel, "and Mr. Arum sometimes says things he [doesn't] mean."

* * *

OK, the rest of that original column that barked against Arum's insensitivity had to be junked.

Instead, here's an assurance from Mr. Marley, who yesterday wrote on boxingconfidential.com that "Arum has folded like a $5 umbrella."

Arum has vowed to make sure the Pacquiao-Cotto fight at 145 pounds will be for the WBO welterweight crown, Mr. Marley wrote.

* * *

The indignation was inevitable.

Not only was Arum in the strongest and best position to process the staging of the world title bout.

As Pacquiao's promoter, he should've been in the lead pack to see to it that the RP superhero achieves what has never been done in world boxing before.

After taking away crowns from Sasakul (flyweight), Ledwabah (super bantamweight), Barrera (featherweight), Marquez (junior lightweight), Diaz (lightweight), Hatton (junior welterweight), Pacquiao is strongly favored to also wrest Cotto's welter crown, which should count as the Pacman's seventh title in seven weight divisions.

* * *

Well, as for Michael Marley, he must've overshot his tequila quota musing on what had caused Arum to lose grip.

It was not the Arum who, as one pundit put it, always had a sparkling quote to turn the dullest prospects into a best seller.

OK, maybe it was a case of one crown too many.

Not many boxing fans here in Manila have realized it, but the Marley call to action generated a total of 17, 489 enrollees in less than three days (at mlcmarley@aol.com).

He does not say it, but it goes without saying Sir Michael agreed to turn activist in order to prevent dear Uncle Bob, 77, from being totally unfair to himself.

Source: inquirer.net

Fire Power: Manny Pacquiao Vs Miguel Cotto

Finally Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao agreed to fight each other on Nov. 14. The much anticipated fight of the fall. Bob Arum, promoter of both fighters, said that both parties verbally agreed on the conditions of the contract.

Hopefully by the time this article is published the contract has Pacquiao and Cotto signatures on the dotted lines.

I can't wait to see the fight. Both fighters are warriors and fighters on the ring and gentlemen when outside the ring. And neither of them are cocky, they always let their fists speak for themselves. They are both true champions and pride of their own country.

Many people are already counting Cotto out. Skeptics say that he is no longer the same fighter he once was when beaten by Antonio Margarito, his only lost. But I say he is still dangerous especially for Pacquiao, who used to be a 106 pounder in early of his career. Otherwise, Cotto would no longer be the champion by this time.

Against Joshua Clottey, he maybe not that impressive because the cut he got on the early stage. But he still managed to win it. If other boxers were in his shoes they could have lost it, look at Pacquiao when he fought Eric Morales the first time.

The only thing that, I personally think, is not appropriate is to put Miguel Cotto's welterweight title on the line. To meet Cotto, who is a natural 147 pounder, at a catch weight of 145 lbs. and putting his title on the line is too much to ask. Pacquiao will have the lion share of the money and having Cotto agreed at a catch weight is more than enough. Besides even if Cotto pulls an upset I don't think Cotto would be recognized as the epic pound for pound king. The winner of the Mayweather-Marquez fight will definitely be on the debate on who's the holder of the epic title that is if Pacquiao is defeated by Miguel Cotto.

This might be the biggest payday for Miguel Cotto. If he wins, he will have the bragging rights and can even call out Mayweather, assuming Mayweather survived against Marquez. The long awaited fight of Cotto-Mayweather could still materialize. Sssshh! I heard somebody's shouting for Pacquiao-Maywether! Who knows what's next in boxing? That's why boxing is still more popular than UFC because of these unpredictable fighters.

Back to reality, here is the tale of the tape of Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto:

Manny Pacquiao (Career Stats: 49 wins - 37 by KOs, 3 losses, 2 draws Age: 30 Height: 5'6.5" Reach: 67" Neck: 16" Chest (Normal) : 38" Chest (Expanded): 40.5" Bicep: 13" Forearm: 12" Wrist: 8" Fist: 10" Waist: 28" Thigh: 20" Calf: 15")

Miguel Cotto (Career Stats: 34 wins - 27 by Kos, 1 loss, no draws Age: 28 Height: 5'7" Reach: 67" Neck: 16" Chest (Normal): 39" Chest (Expanded): 41" Bicep: 13" Forearm: 11.5" Wrist: 7.5" Fist: 11" Waist: 32" Thigh: 22.5" Calf: 12")

Place your bets people. Come Nov. 14th is the true fight. Let's get ready to rumble!!!

Source: associatedcontent.com

Pacquiao may train in Canada

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is luring Manny Pacquiao to the Bahamas for the first half of his training camp for the November 14 duel with Miguel Cotto but the Filipino fighter might end up going to Canada, Mexico — or even the Philippines.

Owing to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation called the Substantial Presence Test, defined as a calculation that determines the resident or nonresident status of a foreign national for tax purposes in the US, Arum said Pacquiao has to spend the first four weeks of training outside US territory and the Bahamas, which is 45 minutes by air from Florida, turned out to be perfect choice.

“Manny’s going to love it there,” Arum said on Wednesday, stressing that a high-ranking executive of the high-end Atlantis Resort in the capital city of Nassau, is more than willing to host Pacquiao and his training team.

“The weather is similar to that of the Philippines and everything there will be first-class,” said Arum, who turned a bit annoyed when told about the possibility of Pacquiao opting to stay in the Philippines.

Arum said he can also train in Mexico but the language barrier might turn Pacquiao off.

“Manny has to be near the US because we will maximize the pay-per-view,” said Arum, noting that “it will all be up to Manny” to decide where to train.

Even chief trainer Freddie Roach is not leaning towards a training camp in the country “because of too many distractions.”

Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal said Vancouver in Canada appears to be a good choice, not only because it is also near the US but because of the large number of Filipinos residing there as well.

Roach wants an eight-week training camp for the Cotto fight and regardless of where Pacquiao spends the first four weeks, they would resume training at the Wild Card in Hollywood a month before the bout.

Source: mb.com.ph

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ESPN PREVIEW: Manny Pacquiao VS Miguel Cotto

Pacquiao vs Cotto trailer video

Pacman pushes for Cotto title fight

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao wants Miguel Cotto’s belt.

“Let’s make it a title fight,” Pacquiao said yesterday during his visit to The STAR, referring to his Nov. 14 match with Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Questions about the fight being a non-title fight came up when Bob Arum announced last wek that Cotto doesn’t want to put his WBO welterweight crown at stake because he didn’t want to pay the sanction fee.

Pacquiao himself said a few days ago that the title was not part of the agreement made when the fight was sealed two weeks ago. No contract has been signed but Arum said very soon he’ll get things done.

But WBO president Francisco Valcarcel had been insisting that it should be a title fight even if the fight is to be held at a catch weight of 145 lb, two pounds short of the welterweight limit.

The WBO chief said the sanction fee could amount to more than $300,000, including those for the boxers and the promoter as well.

Pacquiao fans insist that the fight be for the title so the Filipino ring icon can go for a historic seventh world crown and add up to his flyweight, super-bantam, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight and light-welterweight.

“The people want this fight. And they want it to be a title fight. So, let’s make it a title fight,” said Pacquiao.

“I’m willing to pay the sanction fee. But I don’t know with Cotto. It seems that he doesn’t want to pay,” added the pound-for-pound champion.

His lawyer, Franklin Gacal, said he has informed Arum, the Top Rank president who has both Pacquiao and Cotto under his wings, of the plan to make it a title fight.

“To remove the cloud in the minds of some, and for the satisfaction of the greater majority of the boxing fans, Manny Pacquiao wants his November bout against Cotto to be a title bout,” said Gacal.

“I have already talked to Bob Arum about Pacman’s decision. I also relayed through a telephone conversation to the WBO president that the fight be sanctioned as a championship bout at a catch weight of 145 lb,” he added.

Gacal said if Cotto still refuses to stake his crown, it only means one thing.

“He’s afraid he’ll lose it,” said the lawyer.

Source: philstar.com

Pacquiao mulls initial training in Cebu

MANILA, Philippines -- In preparation for his November clash with welterweight star Miguel Cotto, IBO junior welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao is reportedly planning to kick off his training in Cebu City.

In a TV interview, Pacquiao said he will be holding initial workouts in the famous southern city before flying to the US to train at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. He added that he is eyeing to wrap up his preparations in Marbel, South Cotabato.

If his plans push through, this would mark the first time Pacquiao has trained in the Philippines since his rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera in 2007. He has consistently trained in Roach’s Gym since 2008.

Pacquiao’s bout with Cotto will be reportedly staged on Nov. 14.

Source: philstar.com

Bahamas and US training for Pacquiao

Freddie Roach, always cool and calm, was uncharacteristically frantic over the phone on Tuesday.

“If you get to talk with Manny, please tell him to give me a call,” Roach said as he was about to call it a day at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. (Roach’s message has been forwarded to Pacquiao).

Roach was jumpy after receiving word about a vital decision concerning Pacquiao’s training camp for the Nov. 14 fight with Miguel Cotto.

Owing to tax issues, Pacquiao has to spend a reduced number of days on American soil, Top Rank head Bob Arum told The Bulletin on Tuesday.

“It’s an IRS (Internal Revenue Service) regulation,” said Arum, about the Substantial Presence Test, defined as a calculation that determines the resident or non-resident status of a foreign national for tax purposes in the US.

Because Pacquiao will exceed the number of allowable days present in the US if he follows the original schedule of setting up training camp in Los Angeles eight weeks before the fight, Arum had to find a remedy.

And here’s what he suggested: “He’s going to set up training camp in the Bahamas for several weeks then head to Los Angeles three weeks before the fight and the last week will be spent in Las Vegas.”

Roach said he has to get in touch with Pacquiao at the soonest possible time because it’s being arranged that he fly to the Bahamas this weekend for an assessment not only of their prospective place but their temporary residence as well.

“I have to set up training camp there so I got to talk to him,” said Roach.

Source: mb.com.ph

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cotto-Pacquiao: No Title? No Problem

When the fight between Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao was first announced, promoter Bob Arum mentioned adding a certain element to “sweeten the deal” for Pacquiao. Most assumed that would come in the form of Cotto’s WBO Welterweight title being on the line, despite the bout not taking place at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. Now that Arum has made it clear that the title will not be up for grabs in November, the fight unfortunately loses some historic significance.

But will that make the fight any less appealing?

Pacquiao was keen on becoming boxing’s first seven-division champion in history, though there’s a lot of room for debate there. He’s won titles from the “big four” organizations (WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO) in four different weight classes, including flyweight, super bantamweight, junior lightweight and lightweight in addition to beating the recognized champion of two other divisions; Marco Antonio Barrera at featherweight and Ricky Hatton at junior welterweight.

In that sense, Pacquiao is a six-division champion to many, but his win over David Diaz for the WBC Lightweight title, for example, can only be taken so far. There were two other champions in the division at the time, WBA, IBF and WBO Champion Nate Campbell and recognized champion Joel Casamayor, both of whom were considered better fighters than Diaz. Still, details aside, Pacquiao has won in countless weight classes, making him the true definition of pound-for-pound.

But trying to make Cotto defend his title in their November fight is where the line needed to be drawn. By refusing to pay the sanctioning fees required to put the WBO title at stake, Cotto, thankfully, has done just that before things really got out of hand.

It should never have been a question of whether or not the belt – and the opportunity for Pacquiao to call himself a seven-division champion – was at stake in this fight. The bout is a catchweight, not a welterweight fight. Sure, it will be contested under welterweight since both men are allowed to weigh in up to 145 pounds, meaning it’s not a junior welterweight nor junior middleweight fight – the divisions immediately north and south of 147 pounds. But since Cotto won’t be allowed to weigh in up to 147 pounds, as welterweights are supposed to be, it never really was a welterweight fight and certainly shouldn’t have been treated like one.

To draw an analogy to one of Pacquiao’s celebrity fans, forcing Cotto to defend a 147-pound belt at a limit of 145 pounds would be the equivalent of telling the Los Angeles Lakers they’ll defend their NBA title against the Orlando Magic, but they can only play Kobe Bryant for a certain number of minutes. It’s changing the rules, and it’s simply not fair to Cotto.

Consider Floyd Mayweather Jr., whose multi-divisional success has fans constantly likening him to Pacquiao. Mayweather has won titles in five divisions without a loss. He didn’t beat the recognized champion in all of those divisions, but he also never put a limit on his opponent’s weight to increase his chances of a win. Imagine Mayweather challenging Oscar De La Hoya for the junior middleweight title and demanding Oscar only weigh in at 152 pounds. It’s a shortcut, and it shouldn’t be allowed.

Beating Cotto at 145 pounds doesn’t make Pacquiao a welterweight champion. If he wanted to call himself a champion there, then he shouldn’t have demanded the fight take place at a catchweight. Obviously, he and trainer Freddie Roach, or at least one of the two, don’t feel confident about their chances fighting a welterweight Cotto. Otherwise, why throw any stipulations on what should have been a truly historic fight? Why not allow Cotto the allotted weight and earn the title the way others have?

Pacquiao and Arum were simply trying to take a shortcut to a fabled accolade, and, by refusing to put his title up for grabs, Cotto cut them off at the pass. If that had been allowed to happen, what would stop Pacquiao from challenging a junior middleweight champion and forcing him to drain himself to 150 pounds while still defending his title?

Enough was enough. It’s the right decision on Cotto’s part, even if it’s unpopular among fans who were buying into the historic angle of this fight.

The advice here? Enjoy the fight and stop worrying about history.

Belts are little more than a bargaining tool in boxing these days anyway. Having a fight labeled a “championship fight” may add intrigue to casual fans and increase buyrates just enough to make it worth the effort, but belts have lost their luster among boxing fans, and it’s been that way for some time. It’s who you beat that matters, not the various belts you pick up along the way. And, with a win over Cotto, Pacquiao’s resume is even further solidified as one of the all-time greats.

Is a title trinket, especially one that Cotto “won” by beating up Michael Jennings, really enough to turn boxing fans off to an otherwise huge event? The answer is a resounding “no.”

Fans will be treated to a real battle when Cotto, one of the top three welterweights in the world, and Pacquiao, the best junior welterweight in the world, clash at the MGM Grand in November. At 145 pounds, Pacquiao will retain much of his incredible speed while Cotto won’t sacrifice too much of his brute welterweight strength. Catchweight translates to middle ground, meaning fans will see each guy as good as he can be without limiting the other too much.

A win over Cotto is huge for Pacquiao, title or no title. He’ll earn a big paycheck and really put himself in the driver’s seat regarding the bigger fight – the one that really matters – against Mayweather, especially if Floyd’s fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in September fails to pull in a comparable buyrate.

And should that fight come to fruition next, well, either fighter would likely trade in all the belts in their careers for a win on that stage – a battle between two of the greatest to ever step in the ring.

Source: insidefights.com

Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's mailbag feat. Pacquiao/Cotto, Vernon Forrest, Bradley/Campbell, and more!!!

By Vivek Wallace: Jose O. (Los Angeles, CA): I read your article last Friday about the "determining factors" for the Pacquiao/Cotto fight. What do you think about their respective resume's, in terms of how it could affect the outcome of the fight?

Vivek W. (ESB): This is a very intriguing question from the standpoint that it opens a can of worms few have talked about thus far. Think about this.....Despite Pacquiao being such a well conditioned fighter, he now enters the ring for the first time in his post super-featherweight career as the older man against a fighter in the peak of his prime - (30 as opposed to Cotto who is 28). Granted, guys like Mosley and Hopkins challenge the conventional train of thought daily, but in reality, they are more extreme than this occurrence is normal. Yeah, Pacquiao brings a great wealth of experience into the ring which will serve as a benefit, but show me another fighter in the sport today who has had 54 fights by age 30 and I'll show you a needle in the haystack. It just doesn't happen in this era anymore. Parallel that fact with the countless amount of wars that Pacquiao has had against Morales (3), Barrera (2), Marquez (2), De La Hoya, and many others, and you quickly realize that at some point water runs dry. If he loses, certainly, this extensive track record against all those warriors in such a short time has to be considered. That being said, I must say, Cotto is currently looking like the one closer to burnout of the two. At the tender age of 28 with only 35 fights in his rear view mirror, the one loss he has (to Margarito) took more out of him than it appears all those epic battles took out of Pacquiao collectively. Middleweight contender Daniel "Haitian Sensation" Edouard once said it perfectly. He stated that "boxing is the ultimate metaphorical position of life itself, because when you step in the ring across from an opponent, literally everything you've done in your life up to that point will manifest....Everything from the way you ate, to the way you drank, to the way you slept......everything". And he couldn't have been more on point. All things in the past of both men will play a major role. I just hope for their sake that both men have taken good notes and plan to come prepared on November 14th, because the one who took the shortcuts to get here will undoubtedly be the one on the receiving end of what could be a short night when it's time to exit.

Barry W. (Carol City, FL): I think Timothy Bradley is awesome and is pretty much unbeatable, but I read a comment from an interview where had comments about Nate that made me suggest that he isn't too sure of himself in this fight. Do you think he was being modest? Or do you think Campbell stands a chance?

Vivek W. (ESB): The only comment I think could come close to what you read was when Bradley stated that while watching Campbell destroy Diaz, he lost money in a bet and told someone close to him "Wow, I don't ever want to get in the ring with that dude"! If that was the comment, I can't say that it's something that imposed fear in him. That kind of comment can easily slip off any mans tongue who sees the destruction of another, but Bradley is a game fighter and I don't suspect that he will carry any fear into the ring. Now, the flipside to that argument is that despite the fact that Bradley is a game fighter and there isn't any initial fear factor going in, when he gets into the ring and that same version of Nate Campbell resurfaces, (only this time with him in the role of Diaz), that's when those type of fears surface and that's also the time that that hidden fear will be at it's peak. I always said that we'll never know what Miguel Cotto has left in him until he's faced with the identical scenario he had with Margarito where he faces someone who can take everything he has and walk right through it until Cotto himself can walk no more. He was great against Jennings, but we saw him visibly shaken against a gritty Joshua Clottey who was Margarito revisited - less the killer instinct. This will be the same thing for Bradley. He will be fine until Campbell makes it a dog fight and he realizes that that same beast is standing in front of him and there's no easy way out. Do I think Campbell has a chance? Anyone that doesn't is smoking something they need to leave alone...Fast! I said before and I maintain....Campbell has more in common with Bernard Hopkins than older age. He has evolved into a throwback type fighter, and if he walks through Bradley, I hope people give him his credit, rather than questioning Bradley by taking his away.

Shannon R. (Orlando, FL): What are your thoughts on the loss of Vernon Forrest?

Vivek W. (ESB): Many of us have a knack for asking rhetorical questions in the midst of times like this....things like "Damn, who next"?, or "What next"? Perhaps this is the best time to measure our words even more, because truthfully, I think most of us are so depressed about this recent string of deaths in the world that it's horrifying to even want to know the answer to that question. You literally don't want the answer, because you just know that it could be anyone. No one and nothing is spared, as we've been reminded, yet again. I lost my best friend in the U.S. Marine Corp back in '98 as a result of the same situation (literally) so this is a very difficult topic to comprehend and digest for me. Many have often commented on the fact that they feel my work is generally impartial and non-biased, and despite my flaws, that is one thing I aim for in every piece I write. Simply for the fact that I know these guys all sacrifice a ton and it makes no sense to tear them down for personal gain, then try to be 'politically correct' (and looking hypocritical in the process) by later trying to build them back up. I had nothing personal against him, but truthfully, no, I wasn't his greatest supporter, and no, I wasn't shouting his name in arena's. But I always respected him greatly, and just like those that were amongst his biggest supporters, today I'm in a period of mourning because the fight game has lost another warrior. On that note, I want to personally send my condolences to his family and friends. Buddy McGirt in particular, because this is now the second fighter he has trained and worked with closely (Gatti was the other) who he has lost forever in as little as a 3 week span. I would like to let everyone close to them know that despite our many questions, buried beneath this pain, there are actually some deep rooted answers. Answers that we all need to decode collectively in an effort to help us learn our roles individually. Roles that will guide us in the present to address mistakes from the past, and hopefully generate a better future. May they both rest in peace.

Terry C. (Dallas, TX): Bernard Hopkins recently said that he likes Pacman to defeat Cotto because he doesn't think Cotto's face will "hold up for 12 rounds"? Do you think the cuts that Cotto had recently will play a role in this fight?

Vivek W. (ESB): Absolutely, but the role they play depends on the two men creating the circumstances. By that, I mean that each man is accutely aware of the weak areas where the old cuts were. Cotto will plan to protect it, and Pacquiao will plan to dissect it. Pacquiao is left-handed, but has a sneaky right hand that is lethal, which happens to be on the side of the previous gash Cotto suffered. Cotto will fight to protect his eye, and every time Pacquiao tries to come in, (which he will have to do based on his relatively short reach), Cotto's plan will be to give him something that he doesn't want to feel anymore for the rest of the night. Pacquiao's job will be to land early to the body, forcing Cotto to drop those hands more so that he can get to the eyes. Once again, that will come at a high premium because Pacquiao will have to step in that same 'kill zone' to land there - even more so for body shots. Long story short, the still recovering cuts over Cotto's eye, as well as every other aspect of the fight will all come down to the same thing.....who wants it more and who's willing to go through the most to get it. I can see Hopkins' logic, but hey, this is the same guy that told us he would "never lose to a white guy", and even though it was questionable and he later pulverized another, I'm afraid he did. Excellent old school fighter, but probably not the guy whose words you'll want to use when placing a bet! (Smiles)

Wilfredo B. (Tampa, FL): Why isn't Miguel Cotto putting his WBO title on the line in this fight?

Vivek W. (ESB): According to Bob Arum's statements in several published reports, Miguel Cotto would have to pay sanctioning fees which may tally up to $400K. I don't know the validity of that statement, but taking his word for face value, what sense would it make for Cotto to pay such a huge fee for a strap you may not own at the end of the night? I think that Pacquiao deserves the shot at the strap, considering the history he would make by winning, (a title in a record 7th weight class), but this is just another example of how small hidden politics play such huge role in the sport. Even if the WBO wanted to be cool and say "hey, go ahead, we'll waive the fee".... it would set off a wave of legal actions based on discriminatory actions with fighters who lost their titles in the past for not paying the sanctioning fees. Remember, just a few years ago, it was Carlos Baldomir who lost both his IBF and WBA titles for refusing to pay sanctioning fees. It is what it is, and if the champ doesn't pay them, he can't defend them. We can blame Arum, Cotto, or whomever, but at the end of the day, the fee is what it is and someone has to pay it. If they don't, we'll watch a non-championship mega fight. The operative words there is "we will", because title or no title, any boxing fan with a pulse that night will seek a television and couch nearby it to tune in. You already know!

Source: eastsideboxing.com

Sunday, July 26, 2009

'Picasso' picks Manny by decision

MANILA, Philippines - It will go the distance, predicted international boxing matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz who said the other day Manny Pacquiao may not be able to knock out Miguel Cotto and is likely to win on points in their 12-round bout in Las Vegas on Nov. 14.

Lewkowicz, who was in town to announce Marvin Sonsona’s fight against WBO superflyweight champion Jose (Carita) Lopez in Ontario on Sept. 4, said Cotto is no slouch and won’t be an easy opponent for Pacquiao.

“I’m not taking anything away from Cotto but I think Manny is too talented, too strong and too fast for him,” said Lewkowicz, nicknamed “Picasso” in boxing circles for his deft touch in matchmaking. “But Cotto will give Manny one of his hardest fights. Cotto is extremely motivated. Manny is motivated by fame while Cotto is motivated by money. Cotto is the type of fighter who will never back off. He will put a lot of pressure on Manny.”

What disturbed Lewkowicz is the news that Cotto may not put his WBO welterweight title on the line even if the agreed catchweight compromise of 145 pounds is within the division limit.

“Cotto should take the risk,” he said. “For Manny, this could be historic because if he wins the welterweight title, he’ll be the only fighter ever to win seven titles in seven divisions. That would give a lot of pride for the Philippines. But if Cotto is able to retain the title, imagine what that would mean to his reputation.”

Lewkowicz said size won’t be a factor in determining the outcome of the fight.

“Manny’s smaller than Cotto,” said Lewkowicz. “But he was smaller than Oscar (de la Hoya), too. I think Manny has unbelievable power. He’s very talented and very fast. In the old days, there were 240-pounders losing to 180-pounders. Rocky Marciano used to knock out guys who were much bigger than him. So I’m not surprised that Manny is beating bigger guys.”

Lewkowicz said what sets Pacquiao apart from the rest is his dedication in training.

“Some people don’t realize how much Pacquiao sacrifices in the gym, how hard he trains to prepare for a fight, to make sure he’s in the best condition to give a good performance,” said Lewkowicz. “Manny likes being the underdog but even if he’s the 2-1 favorite to beat Cotto, he has the mindset of an underdog because he’s smaller than Cotto just like he was an underdog against Oscar, (Erik) Morales and (Marco Antonio) Barrera.”

Lewkowicz said if Pacquiao beats Cotto and annexes the WBO title, he will make boxing history and establish his place among the greatest fighters ever.

“Manny feeds the Philippines with a lot of pride and recognition,” he added. “He’s great for his country and his people. Nobody can deny that right now, he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”

Lewkowicz said trainer Freddie Roach has played a major role in honing Pacquiao’s skills.

“It’s a perfect marriage between trainer and fighter,” said Lewkowicz. “Since Manny went to Freddie, he has changed a lot. Some people claim Manny was already a star when he went to Freddie but even if that’s true, Freddie made Manny more of a star. Freddie doesn’t just train fighters, he also develops a master plan for them to win. Look what he did to Amir Khan who’s now a world champion. I saw Khan before he was with Freddie and now with Freddie, he’s a world champion. What’s beautiful about Freddie is he and his fighters understand and trust each other.”

Lewkowicz said after Pacquiao disposes of Cotto, next in line should be Sugar Shane Mosley.

“If there’s anybody who can beat Manny, it’s Mosley,” he continued. “Mosley is a dangerous opponent. If Manny ever fights him, he’ll be taking on a real man.”

Source: philstar.com

Roach ponders Pacquiao's plan

Now that Manny Pacquiao has agreed to fight Miguel Cotto, trainer Freddie Roach will have several months to put Pacquiao's game plan in place for the Nov. 14 bout at the MGM Grand Garden.

Roach said he has been working on a strategy to beat Cotto for a couple of months.

"I know Cotto pretty well," Roach said. "But I haven't really studied him yet. I have a pretty good idea how we want to fight him, but until I sit down, watch the tapes and talk to Manny, we're still in the planning stage."

The bout will be contested at a catch weight of 145 pounds, between welterweight (147) and junior welterweight (140).

Pacquiao is relaxing at home in the Philippines, and Roach said serious training is probably a few weeks away. A typical Pacquiao camp lasts from eight to 10 weeks, starting in the Philippines, then moving to Roach's gym in Hollywood and finishing in Las Vegas.

"I'll go (to the Philippines) sometime next month and we'll get started," Roach said. "For this fight, speed is going to be important. I think if you get Cotto in a fast-paced fight, he'll tire. So we want to come out quick and set a fast pace. Speed is our biggest asset."

Roach said Cotto figures to be stronger than Oscar De La Hoya was when Pacquiao fought him in December at 147 pounds. He said Cotto's power is a factor.

"He's a little bit bigger and a little bit stronger," Roach said. "But I think Manny's the better boxer, and Manny's defense is the best it's been. I think Pacquiao will stop him along the way."

Roach has kept busy since Pacquiao knocked out Ricky Hatton on May 2. He was in London last weekend working Amir Khan's corner when Khan beat Andriy Kotelnik for the WBA junior welterweight title. While Roach was in London, one of his newest fighters, Cuban super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux, was impressive at Planet Hollywood, winning by first-round knockout over Robert Griffin.

"Amir did a nice job. He looked very good," Roach said. "Rigondeaux, I heard he did well. He's a kid with a lot of talent. He's coming back to the gym this week, and we'll keep working with him and get him in the ring soon."

Source: lvrj.com

The all action war between Cotto- Pacquiao and more

Firepower- Miguel Cotto vs. Manny Pacquiao- So it's official, Finally!! The all action war between Cotto and Pacquiao is set. From the e-mails that I have read so far, it appears that most Diamondboxing readers believe that Pacquiao is going to smash Cotto. What do I think? Well, I strongly feel that Pacquiao must do his work going in and out as he did against De La Hoya, do not allow Cotto to get set. For Cotto to win, now this all depends on his conditioning, I mean if making 145 didn't totally drain him, I feel that if Cotto has no problem or has very little problem making the 145 limit that any plan that Pacquiao has could get toasted. A flush shot from a strong Cotto can very well change any Pacquiao plan, everyone has a plan until they get hit. Here's to an electrifying, exciting night on November 14th. Firepower.

Source: diamondboxing.com

Pinocchio: Arum lies, Pacquiao fans roar, sanction fee 150K

Pinocchio The Promoter has struck again.

I had a disquieting feeling I should have double and triple checked Bob Arum's assertion that WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto had rejected paying $400,000 out of his multimillion dollar purse to fight Manny Pacquiao Nov. 14.

This was all a part of Arum making the baseless and senseless assertion that "nobody in the US cares" if Pacman-Cotto is a world title bout.

Such a comment would mean that "nobody in the US cares" then about Parkman making ring history by possibly winning a record seventh weight division world title. (Oscar de la Hoya, who won six weight class world titles, might care about losing this prestigious record, don't you think?)

Oh, Uncle Bob, do I have a bulging mailbag to send along to you. Your remarks have set off a firestorm for both Pacquiao and Cotto fans around the world including America.

But I didn't check Arum's $400, 000 figure and I have to now report this omission as "my bad."

Turns out--here's a real shocker--that Uncle Bob was prevaricating meaning lying.
That is in line with his famous line about "that was yesterday, yesterday I was lying and today I am telling the truth."
Or, giving Arum the benefit of the doubt on the big bout, he was merely exaggerating.
Turns out Uncle Bobola was only exaggerating the single fighter sanction fee by $250,000.
It is most helpful to have a calendar watch or carry a desk calendar when you are in the company of Bottom Line Bob.

He is said to be more careful as to how much money his company, Top Rank, gets from the PPV, live gate and all other revenue it makes off the blood, sweat and tears of warriors such as Cotto and Pacquiao.

To make sure I had the right figures, I rang up WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel who was returning from a bout in Chicago Sunday morning.
Valcarcel said all fees associated with Pacquiao-Cotto would amount to $340,000 or $60,000 less than what Arum said Cotto's sanction fee would be alone.
"We have no minimum sanction fee any longer," Valcarcel said. "We do have a cap and that cap is now $150,000. This is what we would require for this important title fight.
"Including the fee the promoter, Arum in this case, must pay, the grand total would be $340,000, no more than that."

My limited math skills show that Pacquiao pays $150,000 and Cotto pays the same amount. Arum pays a trifling $40,000 or something less and the title match is good to go.

As an accountant friend of mine points out, both the fighters and Arum are likely to be able to deduct such "reasonable and necessary expenses" from their income tax reports.

Some of the promoter fee money goes into the WBO's not for profit Welfare Fund.
You can be skeptical about the Welfare Fund but I do know that Valcarcel, WBO president, has given money from the fund to ill equipped boxing gyms in Central and South America.

The fund is supposed to give its money to "educational, rehabilitative and research" related to boxing and to "other social causes."

"We're building or providing money for boxing gyms and programs also in Africa, in Asia and in Chicago and Los Angeles," Valcarcel said.

Keep those fast and furious emails of protest coming, folks.

Send your name and place of residence like so: Hermie Rivera, General Santos City, RP.

Send to mlcmarley@aol.com.

Let's keep these righteous fires burning strong.

Having Pacquiao and Cotto fight with no world title on the line is just another cheap trick.

Source: examiner.com

Cotto crown at stake in tiff vs Pacquiao

THE WORLD Boxing Organization welterweight belt will be on the line when Manny Pacquiao tangles with titlist Miguel Angel Cotto on November 14 in Las Vegas.

WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel made this assurance to Michael Marley of Examiner.com Friday afternoon to assuage fears of Pacquiao fans that Cotto’s crown won’t be staked because the fight, slated at the MGM Grand, is set at a catch weight of 145 pounds and not at the regular limit of 147 pounds.

Valcarcel said he appreciated Pacquiao’s quest for a seventh weight division world title, adding that it would “be ridiculous not to dangle the WBO title” considering that a highly respected champion (Cotto) is fighting the No. 1 contender (Pacquiao).

Officially, Pacquiao has reigned as World Boxing Council super featherweight, flyweight and lightweight champion and International Boxing Federation super bantamweight titlist.

Pacquiao, the pound-for-pound king, currently holds the International Boxing Organization light welterweight crown, snatching it from British icon Ricky Hatton, whom he demolished in two rounds on May 2.

In addition, Pacquiao, who’ll be fighting at over 140 lbs for only the second time in his sterling career, has been recognized as the Ring Magazine’s featherweight, super featherweight and light welterweight champion.

In his initial foray as a welterweight, Pacquiao sent future Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya with an eight-round stoppage last December also at the MGM Grand.

This early, bettors have installed Pacquiao a -215 favorite and Cotto, who’s going below 147 pounds for the first time in nearly three years, a +175 underdog.

This means that a $215 bet on Pacquiao would just net $100 while a $100 wager on Cotto would generate $175.

Both Pacquiao and Cotto, who hails from Puerto Rico, are being promoted by Top Rank’s Bob Arum, assuring the 77-year-old lawyer of a windfall in gate receipts and pay per view buys of the 12-round bout dubbed “Fire Power.”

Source: inquirer.net

Hopkins says Pacquiao will 'bust up' Cotto

A Manny Pacquiao hater before, now a certified "Pacman" lover.

Former undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins has come out in the open and declared the Filipino boxing superstar will beat Miguel Cotto in their highly-anticipated Nov. 14 showdown in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 44-year-old boxer from Philadelphia and a known associated of the great Oscar De La Hoya in his Golden Boy Promotions made his prediction of a Pacquiao victory during an interview on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.

“I just like Pacquiao because Pacquiao’s proven fight after fight after fight that he can answer the call. He is the legitimate pound-for-pound fighter right now until something else happens," Hopkins said, as quoted by FightHype.com.

The fighter known as “The Executioner’" previously went against Pacquiao when the Filipino icon took on De La Hoya in 2008, saying there’s no way the “Pacman" was going to beat “Golden Boy."

But Pacquiao scored a sensational eight-round technical knockout, apparently turning Hopkins into a believer. So much so that when the pride of General Santos City penciled a showdown with Englishman Ricky Hatton, Hopkins was already on his side – and rightly so as Pacquiao destroyed Hatton inside two rounds.

Now Hopkins sees the same thing happening to the 28-year-old Cotto, a Puerto Rican who is the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-welterweight champion.

“Basically, I see Cotto busted up. I don’t think his face is gonna hold up through 12 rounds of the fight," said Hopkins.

Cotto’s stunning loss to Mexican Antonio Margarito last year and his unimpressive split decision win over Joshua Clottey of Ghana recently doesn’t augur well in his 145-pound slugfest with Pacquiao, Hopkins pointed out.

“Cotto’s game. He’s a game fighter. We all know he comes with that Puerto Rican pride. He’s coming in to try and win the fight, but I just think the Margarito fight, where he suffered punishment from round one to the end, and also the last fight he just fought, he showed grit and he showed guts and he pulled it out, and he had a nasty cut.

“Too many things working against him, not for him, and he’s fighting a guy who’s going to take advantage of all those opportunities," said Hopkins.

In contrast, everything appears going in favor of the "Pacman."

“Pacquiao is a sharp shooter. He punches in angles. He’s got Freddie Roach, who’s going to give him all of the teachings and the smarts to be able to basically give Pacquiao the edge," Hopkins said. - GMANews.TV

Source: gmanews.tv

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cotto not staking title in Pacquiao bout

MANILA, Philippines - Unless he changes his mind, Miguel Cotto won’t put his belt on the line against Manny Pacquiao.

“No,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum told The STAR when asked if Cotto would stake his WBO welterweight crown for his fight with the Filipino pound-for-pound champion on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

Cotto will face Pacquiao at a catchweight of 145 lb but can put his 147 lb title at stake if he wants to.

But the champion from Puerto Rico, at the moment, is not thinking about it.

“He doesn’t want to pay the sanction fee. So, no, Miguel Cotto will not stake his crown against Manny Pacquiao,” said Arum over the phone.

However, WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel insisted yesterday it should be a title fight.

Arum said sanction fees if it becomes a title fight could amount to as much as $400,000.

However, the legendary promoter from Top Rank who has both Pacquiao and Cotto in his stable said it’s going to be a huge fight – with or without the title.

Arum said he doesn’t even care if there’ll be no title at stake. What’s important, he said, is for the people to see a great fight between the two great fighters.

“Nobody in the US cares about the title,” said Arum, adding that it’s going to be a 12-round battle just the same at the 17,000-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

There are no signatures on the fight contract yet, but Arum said there’s nothing to worry about, even as Shane Mosley, the other welterweight champion from the WBA, has dangled everything but the kitchen sink for Pacquiao to fight him instead.

“There’s no contract yet but everything’s been agreed upon. We’re finalizing everything and maybe we can get it done this week or early on next week,” said Arum.

Understandably, Pacquiao, the reigning pound-for-pound king and IBO light-welterweight champion, will get the lion’s share and that could mean 65 pecent of everything.

Pacquiao got a guaranteed purse of $12 million for facing Ricky Hatton last May and his take for this one, only his second and last fight this year, should be just around the vicinity if not bigger.

Mosley is hot in pursuit of Pacquiao, saying he deserves the right to face the Filipino icon, and not Cotto. The native of Pomona, California, said he’s willing to face the southpaw from Saranggani in his own weight of 140 lb for 40 percent of the purse.

Yesterday, reports came out about Mosley’s latest offer.

“What does Manny want? Mosley was quoted by Michael Marley. “He can have all my old title belts. They just sit in my garage and gather dust as it is. I’ve got an old pool table I never use. I’ve got some great old music on those eight track things. I could also wash and wax Manny’s cars if he likes.

“Manny can have it all if he wants it...hell, Manny can even have cutman Cassius Greene’s sailor’s cap. Do you know what you could get for that on Ebay?” said the 38-year-old champion.

Source: philstar.com

Pacquiao wants Cotto fined for excess pounds

Manny Pacquiao wants Miguel Cotto be slapped a penalty of $1 million per pound in the event the Puerto Rican fails to make the agreed catch weight of 145 lbs for their Nov. 14 fight in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal told the Bulletin that the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight (141-to147 lbs) champion might sacrifice shelling out an exorbitant amount as long as he doesn’t starve himself to make the catch weight.

“This is precisely the reason why we have to demand a big amount,” said Gacal Saturday.

The Puerto Rican press has reported that Cotto could get as much as $10 million — the biggest of his storied career — against Pacquiao.

Reports have it that Cotto’s purse alone is $6.5 million and that the amount is expected to rise once the accounting is over with the computation of the pay-per-view and ticket sales.

Pacquiao, in contrast, is guaranteed $12 million and stands to pocket more considering that he has a 65-35 revenue split advantage over Cotto.

Demanding a stiff penalty is not new to Pacquiao as the pound-for-pound king did the same thing — albeit in a smaller amount--when he squared off with Erik Morales for the third time in Nov. 2006.

Morales succeeded in making the 130 lbs but he was so dried out and weakened by doing so that Pacquiao blew him away in less than three rounds.

Source: mb.com.ph

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cotto's strap up for grabs by Manny Pacquiao

Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, lawyer and president of the World Boxing Organization, is not tone deaf.

Valcarcel has heard the cry from the millions of Manny Pacquiao fans and those who devoutly follow the fistic fortunes of Boricua Bomber Miguel Angel Cotto.

As I reported, Cotto has thought he could hold the WBO welterweight title hostage and use it as a blackjack on the head of the Pacquiao-Cotto Nov. 14 promoter Bob Arum.

I caught up with Valcarcel as he was going through airport security somewhere and we had a brief conversation Friday afternoon.

Whatever happens in Cotto’s money play with Top Rank’s top dog, Valcarcel said that Pacquiao fans, Cotto fans and fight fans in general can relax.

“I know that Manny is looking to make boxing history. I can appreciate that as he goes after the very tough Cotto for a seventh weight division world title,” Valcarcel said.

“You can tell all the people right now, the WBO title will be on the line. You’ve got a highly respected champion fighting the Number One contender. It would be ridiculous for this not to be for the title.

“No matter what happens, I assure you that this will be a WBO welterweight title fight. End of story.”

Yes, you can say, well Paco is a boxing politician. That much is true.

But, unlike many politicians, he has his finger on the pulse of the people.

Good call, El Presidente.

Source: examiner.com

Rumor: Cotto doesn't want to defend title against Pacquiao

Michael Marley of the Examiner has some interesting tidbits that qualify more as rumor than true news at this point, but they're worth noting for sure.

The contracts are unsigned although there is verbal agreement on a majority of the vital issues.


Cotto’s lawyer, Gabriel Penagaricano Jr., has informed both Arum and WBO bossman Paco Valcarcel that Cotto has no desire to risk his belt against Pacman.

The WBO wants the title fight. Arum wants it, in large part because one of the major storylines for this fight is Pacquiao going for a title in an historic seventh weight class. And Pacquiao wants it, obviously.

Pacquiao is currently ranked as the No. 1 contender at welterweight by the WBO, which is shadier than all get-out considering he's fought once with a 147-pound limit in his entire career and it came against a guy who hadn't fought at 147 for the better part of a decade, plus Pacquiao's last fight was at 140, where he's the world champion now. The ranking isn't excusable and there's no logic behind it. It's typical sanctioning body B.S.

Joshua Clottey is the WBO's No. 2-ranked contender, and then you get into the usual mess where sanctioning bodies try to rank people and they'd never be able to reasonably defend 90% of the list. Kell Brook at No. 7?

Marley supposes Cotto is really looking for more money, which if the reports are true seems to be the most likely scenario. Pacquiao was talked into the 145-pound limit. Cotto wants to be talked into putting his belt on the line. Talk is green. Don't forget that Cotto also conveniently signed a new, two-year deal with Top Rank just after the fight was announced.

If this story picks up some traction, expect to hear Shane Mosley come out with a press release about how they'd be more than happy to defend a welterweight title against Pacquiao.

Source: badlefthook.com

Dougie's FAT Friday Mailbag


Hi Dougie,
After my last few these didn't make it in the mailbag, I'm going to keep it short. I believe Manny Pacquiao will buzz Miguel Cotto with a right hook to the head the way Chop-Chop/Ricardo Torres did, and then either TKO/KO Cotto. Although the 145 catch weight is not as low as 143-144, I believe this is going to have a negative effect to Cotto's conditioning as well. I can't remember who reported it, but I read Cotto had difficulty making 147 for Josh Clottey.

Even with these factors, I know this is a more difficult fight for Pacquiao, but based on his progress in recent fights, I believe he will get the W. Keep it up lb. for lb.! -- Les from DMV

Thanks for keeping it short, Les. And thanks for continuing to email me even when you didn’t get a response or get your questions posted in the mailbags.

It certainly appears like Pacquiao is on an upward trajectory and Cotto has either leveled off or began a downward trajectory since his career-best win (vs. Shane Mosley in Nov. of 2007), so I can’t fault the logic of anyone who picks the Filipino icon to win this showdown. Right now I slightly favor Pacquiao to win by decision. I think he has the speed, technique and mobility to get and in out and keep Cotto off-balance and resetting for most of the fight. However, just because Pacquiao has the ability to outbox Cotto doesn’t mean he’ll pull it off, and even if he can it still won’t be an easy fight.

I don’t believe that making 145 pounds will severely drain Cotto, so I believe the Puerto Rican star will have the strength to hurt Pacquiao, which is something the Pac-Monster’s last three opponents couldn’t do. I’m sure Roach will have an excellent gameplan for Pacquiao to follow, but once the former flyweight titleholder gets nailed flush to the jaw or body that strategy could go out of the window.

The only reason I’m not picking Cotto win this fight (yet, I could still change my mind) is the Caguas native’s relatively slower feet, lack of reach and lesser hand speed. If he were able to close ground quicker, were just a little bit rangier and a wee bit faster I could envision him catching and stopping Pacquiao cold. As it is, Cotto has underrated counter-punching skill and the ability to time faster opponents, which should serve him well should Pacquiao get too aggressive.


Hey Dougie,
What do you think about the David Haye vs. Nikolai Valuev match? At least Haye will have more of a chance than he had when he was going to face Vitali Klitschko.

Do you favor Arthur Abraham to win the super middleweight tourney? Man it a cruel summer for boxing fans. Peace. -- Adam

I’m not particularly excited about Valuev-Haye because I don’t enjoy watching the Russian giant fight and I don’t think the former cruiserweight champ will be able to bomb out the behemoth. I slightly favor Haye to outpoint Valuev. If an ancient Evander Holyfield had the athleticism to outmaneuver the lumbering titleholder, I think Haye can get in and get out with impunity (and obviously do more damage than the old man did). However, if Haye gets too big for his britches and tires to overpower Valuev it wouldn’t shock me if the brash Brit got caught and dropped for the count by a smashing right hand.

I do indeed favor King Arthur to one day rule the 168-pound division thanks to Showtime’s Super Six tournament.

Don’t fret about the dog days of summer. It’s almost over and we still have Bradley-Campbell to look forward to on Aug. 1. I think Juan Diaz will force a decent fight out of his Aug. 22 matchup with Paul Malignaggi, and Klassen-Guerrero could be a good one. The Juan Urango-Randall Bailey 140-pound title bout (on ESPN2 Aug. 28) should also be a good scrap.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll get a surprisingly good fight on Bob Arum’s ‘Latin Fury 10’ PPV this Saturday (I think Antillon-Acosta will deliver), or the ‘Pinoy Power 2’ PPV card (perhaps the Donaire-Concepcion fight will give us some drama). Now that I think about it, despite the embarrassing sight of ‘Jolly Roy Jones’ dressing up like a pirate to get attention for his Aug. 15 PPV show and knowing that Jeff Lacy is more faded than the 40-year-old former champ, I can see Jones-Lacy being a fun fight. It would be nice if fight fans didn’t have to pay extra to watch these bouts, huh?


David Haye sure knows how to talk a big game, but when the time comes to put up or shut up he comes up woefully short. So much for all the bold banter and those crude T-shirts he wore of Wlad and Vitali's dismembered bodies. Perhaps Vitali and Wlad should sport their own of Haye-sans testicles, that would truly be fitting...

Finally caught the Khan fight, you were right he did look very impressive... How is it that talks have began for a proposed Pavlik-Williams fight if Pavlik still has a signed deal to fight Mora? I think the two of us are the only ones who believe Mora gives Pavlik trouble...We all knew it was coming but man am I stoked for Pacquiao-Cotto. I think it's fascinating in that while Manny is regarded as boxing’s best fighter, he still remains an enigma to us in the sense that we are not really sure of how well he will take a bigger man's shot. One has to believe with a reasonable amount certainty that Cotto will be able to sustain some offense over 12 rds. -- Tom G.

I think Pacquiao-Cotto is guaranteed to be competitive for at least half the fight…. then someone is taking over.

With Pavlik’s personal issues, promotional beef, and generally negative mindset going into the June 27 date, I would not have been surprised in the slightest if Mora upset him that night. Mora was VERY motivated and confident for that fight, and he still wants it. Too bad, nobody else wants it to happen. As much as I like Mora, I’d rather see Pavlik-Williams, which I know HBO wants to happen but getting Bob Arum to deal with Dan Goossen and Al Haymon won’t be easy. We’ll see how all this plays out. I’m thinking Mora will have to settle with Arum & Co. and get some kind of step-aside fee for ignoring the contract he has with Pavlik and perhaps have Top Rank put together a fight for him that can go on one of their Latin Fury PPV cards (perhaps a bout with Marco Antonio Rubio). He’s got to fight in order to stay sharp and to stay in the public eye (not to mention the rankings).

Good point about Haye. I don’t mind s__t talk from a fighter (James Toney is one of my all-time favorites) but if you don’t back that big mouth in the ring you’re just a punk. Haye talked all that s__t and wore those disgraceful and disgusting T-shirts and didn’t fight EITHER Klitschko. As far as I’m concerned, Vitali and Wladimir have the right to talk about Haye like a dog for the next year. I like the idea of the “ball-less” T-shit, but you and I both know the Klitschkos have too much class for that sort of thing.


I was just wondering what is Mayweather's excuse going to be when Cotto-Pacquaio does more PPV sales than he does against Marquez? It's clearly the bigger, more anticipated fight and it's guaranteed to be an action fight. Will Floyd still claim that he should get more than 50/50 split when Pac proves to be the bigger draw? Finally, Floyd complains that he won't fight certain people (Mosley especially) because they've never been an "A" side. However, has Floyd ever clearly been the "A" side? Maybe against Baldomir but that's probably it, and I don't recall that fight doing big business. -- Kory

There’s no doubt in my mind that Pacquaio-Cotto will do more PPV buys than Mayweather-Marquez. Mayweather will say Marquez wasn’t a big enough star to help him attract his usual number of PPV buys even though everybody in the arena on Sept. 19 will be Mexican.

It doesn’t matter. If Pacquiao beats Cotto I’m not even sure Mayweather deserves to fight the pound-for-pound king. I’d rather watch Pacquiao take on Mosley, or better yet, I’d like to see Sugar Shane be Mayweather’s only big-money option in 2010.


Mr. Fischer:
I'd like your thoughts on the debate re: the ever-expanding universe of sanctioned belts. Steve Kim & Dan Rafael have just staked strong, opposite positions. I myself think that a variant of 'diminishing returns' controls: the more you produce in aggregate, the less valuable they are individually. A belt has a certain value in identifying the holder as a champ; the more 'champs' there are, the less of a claim each one has.

Mr. Kim's argument is, so what? It brings great recognition to the holder, especially those who struggle in less wealthy nations. This makes a lot of sense for promoters & fighters.

But it doesn't make sense for fans; we want undisputed champions, just as in every other sport. Boxing isn't going to give us the tournaments, so we have to settle for endless, inane debates about ranking systems and who is better than who. (I certainly fall prey to this). It is regularly stated that this is an advantage MMA has over boxing. That is only half, but sufficiently, correct. MMA consists of numerous organizations at the moment, so in that sense, there are several 'champs' for each weight across the organizations. However, UFC is clearly bigger than the rest at the moment, and my guess is that fans will generally give more legitimacy to one organization over the rest. While boxing is clearly holding its own on the coasts and abroad, MMA has completely taken over the middle of the country, and there's no reason to believe that it won't begin to make inroads into the coasts and abroad once the infrastructure (gyms, amateur leagues, etc.) fall into place.

Boxing should do what's best for boxing, regardless of what other sports are doing, so I don't want to get too distracted by MMA. Hopefully, the silver lining could be more projects like Showtime's super-middle tournament. If that proves successful, it could be a perfect solution; give the guys a certain number of belts in each division, as long as they all fight it out for an undisputed title. The belts could even be a sort of 'ticket' into a tournament. Anyway, I'm probably chasing windmills here, but its a move in the right direction.

Sorry for the length. Best. -- Matthew, NYC

My two cents on the alphabet titles is that they matter but they aren’t and shouldn’t be viewed as true championships. The belts are good for giving unheralded and unconnected guys like Glen Johnson recognition and opportunities to fight for bigger and better rewards. If the Road Warrior didn’t have that IBF title he would have been viewed as just another journeyman and he never would have got his crack at Roy Jones. The IBF title led to the shot at Jones, which led to his shot at Antonio Tarver and the REAL world title. There are dozens of other examples of how winning an alphabet belt helped turn a “zero” into a “hero” (or at least started an unknown fighter on his way to a more promising future). So I see the sanctioning organization titles as a gateway into true world rankings and sometimes the opportunity for one to prove he’s worthy of being a real champion.

If you look at THE RING’s ratings most belt holders are ranked contenders, and most RING champs have won more than one belt.

At the same time, I get sick of all the damn interim titles, and I absolutely HATE the warped concept of “champions in recess or emeritus”. Champion emeritus? What the f__k is that? These are prize fighters not college professors. If a fighter is indefinitely injured or if he retires, he’s out of the game, period. He shouldn’t continue to hold a belt or be ranked.

I also think the divisional ratings of most of the alphabet boys suck. I get emails from nitwits who diss THE RING’s rankings (especially our heavyweight top 10) but all I know is that we would never have Kali-F’n-Meehan as our No. 1 heavyweight contender. Shane Cameron ain’t making our top 10 any time soon. I like BJ Flores personally, and I’m not saying that he can’t make some noise in the 200-pound division if he puts his mind to it, but there’s no way he’s in our cruiserweight rankings (especially as high as No. 3 as he is in one of the alphabet groups). I could on and on right down to strawweight, but you get my point.

Here’s the deal. I think the sanctioning organizations are here to stay. They do good business in other countries (UK, Germany, Japan, etc.). And I don’t think they are the root of all of boxing's problems. I think MMA kicks butt on boxing in certain markets and with specific age groups because it actually MARKETS to those populations and brings the sport to them. Boxing limits itself in terms of how it’s packaged/presented and where it goes. The truth is most casual fans don’t pay attention to world titles, legit or not. Fans want to see the best fight the best and they want those matchups to produce thrilling and dramatic contests with decisive endings. Talk to anyone who was at Leonard-Hearns I (or who watched it live) about that great fight I guarantee that NOBODY will mention that Leonard had the WBC belt and Hearns had the WBA title and their clash unified titles and crowned the “real” champ. They will only tell you how exciting it was watching two future hall of famers in their prime go at it until only one man was standing.

I think boxing writers and hardcore fans make too much out of “world” title belts. Rather than worry about what Gilberto Mendoza Jr. (who’s a great guy, by the way, someone I consider a friend) and the WBA are doing, I think fans and the media should focus on putting pressure on the top boxers, promoters and networks to make the best fights as often as possible.


What's up dude? Listen, Andre Dirrell is about to get taken to place that he's never been to. Carl Froch is easy to hit and slow but he is battle tested. It says here that Froch gets in that a$$ like a mad grave digger.

Mosley needs to take a fight with Clottey, Berto or Cintron and stop waiting on fights that ain't going to happen anytime soon.

Cotto shouldn't be fighting below 147 lbs. Fighting at 145 lbs is likely to get him an a$$ kicking against the Pacman.

Amir Khan has already shown more sac than Hamed so the Prince should STFU about him being greater than Khan. Yeah, I know he has accomplished more but when he lost he virtually disappeared. Manuel Calvo does not count. Holla back! (p.s. Keep it pimpin!) -- Fleetwood, St. Louis, Mo.

If Hamed wants to prove he’s better than Khan all he has to do is un-retire and fight the kid. Of course, he’ll have to lose 35 pounds in order to make junior welterweight…

I think with this much advance notice, Cotto can make 145 pounds without crippling his body.

Mosley vs. Clottey, Berto or Cintron are all good matchups. I’d rather see Mosley bump heads with Clottey or swap power with Cintron than pick on the still-green Berto. I think we’ll see Mosley-Cintron in the fall or winter. At least I hope so.

I have a lot of respect for Froch. He proved me wrong with his come-from-behind win over Jermain Taylor, and his title winning effort against Jean Pascal looks even better now that Pascal is a light heavyweight titleholder. However, Taylor and Pascal both tried to put it on the British Margarito, which was their downfall. I agree that Dirrell has never faced a fighter as battle tested as Froch, but I think he KNOWS it and will box a safety first bout. He’s got the speed, reflexes and footwork to stay away from Froch for at least six or seven rounds, but I don’t know if he can take the Nottingham man’s pressure down the stretch. That’s why it’s an interesting matchup. For the record, I think Dirrell can pull off the upset.


Heya Dougie,
Starting about 5 years ago, my friends and I would make our yearly trek to Vegas during the winter for the NFL season. A couple years back, I started the tradition of selecting a big fight weekend. They were all non-boxing sports fans, but man did they get hooked by the atmosphere and action of a great boxing night.

So for the few months, they been asking me to tell them when the Pa-Ka-Yo fight is going to be signed. On Monday, about 20 minutes after an article on Bob Arum all but confirming the done deal between Pacquiao and Cotto, I get an excited call from a buddy who probably doesn't watch boxing 364 days a year, informing me to book the tickets and alert the rest of the guys. A mass email later, I'm getting responses from a bunch of friends just hyped about the fight and booking their tickets!

Anyhow, it's way early so just one question on Pacquiao-Cotto, but a couple of other comments/rants.

1. I hope making 145 won't be too draining on Cotto. After all, he weighed in at 146 for the Clottey fight. Do you know how much Cotto weighed the night of the fight? I want to see the best Cotto facing the best Pacquiao.

2. Can you give your "boss" Oscar a call and tell him to put together a similar tournament to the Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic? Do you think HBO is considering something like that or are they afraid to be seen as copycats? I would think if Showtime can pull it off, HBO with their far greater resources should be able to as well.

3. Good old K9 (Steve Kim from Maxboxing for those who don't know) wrote another article defending the worth of an interim alphabet title of all things. Jeez, I know their value and worth to a fighter or promoter, but no one can convince me that it has meaning to 99% of boxing fans.

It's not worthless, but it is meaningless. -- JL, San Diego

That’s a good way to look at the title belt debate, JL. I’d rather stay out of it because at the end of the day, I just don’t give a s__t. When I think of boxing, I don’t think of belts.

I’m happy to give the Golden Bossman a call with some suggestions about a tournament in a hot division but I think he and his company already have the right idea with the ‘Lightweight Lightening’ card. I think Golden Boy Promotions needs to distribute the four fights that made up that entertaining PPV card to networks or even on the internet, so fans who missed them can get excited, and then I think they need to sit down with Top Rank and work out a ‘Lightweight Lightning II and III and IV’. The series can easily run through 2010 and there’s no way the fights won’t deliver. Top Rank has Edwin Valero, Anthony Peterson, Urbano Antillon and Humberto Soto (who is about to step up to 135 pounds). GBP has the champ Juan Manuel Marquez, Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz, Michael Katsidis, Jorge Barrios and Vicente Escobedo. Any way you mix and match these fighters you come out with a compelling fight. The trick is moving the series from the small PPV format to HBO and if the right fights are made that shouldn’t be too hard.

I think Cotto typically puts on 10 pounds from the weighin to fight night. Making 145 pounds won’t be easy for him but it won’t be impossible, and like you, I hope it won’t be debilitating. If Cotto does have a to starve himself a bit to make the contracted weight it will just be another reason for him to punish Pacquiao come fight night.

Source: ringtv.com