Monday, September 14, 2009
LOS ANGELES – Without really looking ahead of the Miguel Cotto fight, Manny Pacquiao yesterday said what seems to be his inevitable dream fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is looming on the horizon.
Once the fight pushes through, Pacquiao could earn from $25 million to $30 million or roughly P1.5 billion.
But Pacquiao said it would all depend on the outcome of his fight with Cotto, the reigning WBO welterweight champion, in November, and Mayweather’s own match with Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday.
Both Pacquiao and Mayweather are favored to prevail, and should no one spoil the fun, they could end up facing each other for what could be the fight of the decade or even greater than that, later next year.
“Kapag nanalo kami pareho ni Mayweather, kami na yan (If me and Mayweather prevail, then it should be us),” said Pacquiao on board the Gulfstream G200 eight-seater plane that took him out of San Francisco.
“Nag-uusap na. Basta. Nag-uusap na (Talks are on),” said Pacquiao who was joined in the 50-minute flight to Burbank in LA by trainer Freddie Roach, top-ranked publicist Fred Sternburg, Mike Koncz, Geng Gacal and Roger Fernandez.
Cotto took a separate plane, a private one as well, to Los Angeles and was joined by his father, Miguel Sr., lawyer Gabriel Penagaricano, coach Phil Landman, Top Rank big boss Bob Arum and his dynamic duo of Lee Samuels and Ricardo Jimenez.
Arum said Pacquiao stands to earn as much as $20 million for the Cotto fight, and while he has yet to confirm that there are indeed talks with the Mayweather camp, he’d rather have Pacquiao focusing on the coming fight.
At the AT&T Park in San Francisco earlier in the day, Pacquiao and Cotto came to watch the San Francisco Giants clobber the LA Dodgers, and for the fourth straight day the two boxers stood close to one another.
They were together up inside a VIP box, enjoying some cold drinks and hotdogs. They seem to like each other’s company but when they part in a couple of days, they should start training, thinking of ways how to beat each other.
After the match, played before a sell-out crowd of 40,000, Pacquiao and Cotto took over, holding a conference just off the Giants dugout, in front of some 3,000 fans who came to see the two world champions in the flesh, and not necessarily the ballgame.
A cold afternoon drizzle was not enough to shoo the crowd away as Pacquiao, Cotto and Arum fielded questions from the media and some of the fans, which occupied eight sections of the lower stands, as well.
Pacquiao hardly talked about his plans for the fight, and instead invited the fans to come to Las Vegas in November because “I’m going to hold a concert at Mandalay Bay after the fight.”
Cotto was bolder this time, saying he’d train as hard as he can because “it’s going to be war” out there at the MGM Grand.
Pacquiao played basketball with friends in San Francisco at noon before leaving for LA.
From the airport, Pacquiao was taken straight to his $2 million home at the plush Hancock Park, took some rest and enjoyed dinner of grilled angus beef and steamed rice.
Roach was asked about Pacquiao’s training, and said they will be ready to go 12 rounds against Cotto. But boxing’s hottest trainer today may have something else in mind when he said training will be held in “Boracay.”
He was quick in making the correction that it should be Baguio. Later on, before boarding the private plane, he had a good laugh about having mentioned Boracay, which he fondly remembers as the island paradise in the Philippines.
Notes: Tickets to the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto “Firepower” in November are moving so fast that it you still don’t have one, chances are you’d end up watching the fight on pay-per-view or closed circuit or buying one for an incredible price on the black market. Of the close to 17,000 seats at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, only a few hundreds are left, those pegged at $1,000 and $750. “The $300s are gone,” said Top Rank’s Ricardo Jimenez. The tickets to the Pacquiao-Cotto fight are doing so great that Ringside A, Row A seats, where the stars belong, are being peddled on the Internet for $8,645 each or roughly P414,960, probably equivalent to a year’s salary of a bank manager in Manila. “It just shows how big this fight is and how the fans are looking forward to it,” said Pacquiao’s adviser, Mike Koncz. “For some fights, hotels in Las Vegas are on a discounted price, but for this fight, for Pacquiao fights, they’re jacking them up,” he said.