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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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

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