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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Arum: It's up to Cotto to seal deal

MANILA, Philippines - It’s now up to Miguel Cotto if he wants to fight Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 14.

It all depends on whether the vacationing WBO welterweight champion from Puerto Rico would agree to the terms soon to be laid down on the table in front of him.

“I hope to put it together this week, to get an agreement on terms,” Bob Arum of Top Rank, which promotes both Pacquiao and Cotto, told fighthype.com yesterday.

Pacquiao, who has given Arum the go-signal to put up the fight, flew home from New York Monday evening, and went to Bohol yesterday afternoon to join the family vacation. He should be in Gen. Santos City today for the birthday party of his brother, Roel.

The main issue in the negotiations will be the purse split – how much Cotto would be willing to get against the reigning pound-for-pound champion from the Philippines.

After Pacquiao demolished Ricky Hatton last month, Arum announced that Pacquiao is now the greatest fighter out there, the new face of boxing, the sport’s main attraction.

The Top Rank president said anybody who fights Pacquiao next should be treated like all the fighters Oscar dela Hoya faced when the American Olympic champion was still the main draw.

And that means getting 30 to 35 percent of the purse, just as much as Pacquiao got when he fought Dela Hoya last December. In short, Cotto should be open to that.

Then there’s the weight issue.

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said a month ago they’d fight Cotto if he comes down to 142 lb, but the 28-year-old champion, who’s never fought under 145 lb since 2006, said no.

Cotto said he can’t make it lower than 145. But the prospects of fighting Pacquiao and earning a paycheck that’s quite hard to find these days, should make Cotto change his mind.

Because if he doesn’t, there’s Sugar Shane Mosley, the 38-year-old WBA welterweight champion who’s willing to sacrifice everything just to earn a date with Pacquiao.

In fact, Mosley’s handlers, led by Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, feel that the pride of Pomona in California should be Pacquiao’s next opponent, and not Cotto, on vacation after his close, bloody win over Josh Clottey last Sunday.

“Cotto has a deep cut; Shane’s ready to go.’Sugar’ Shane Mosley is the best fighter in that division. He can punch more, he has more speed. Shane really wants this fight and is willing to make concessions,” Schaefer pitched.

“This is the fight people want,” said Schaefer, a master negotiator.

Mosley said he’s willing to go down in weight, anything in between 142 and 147, and get 40 percent of everything. He has also dangled his WBA belt.

But Arum, of course, wants Cotto vs Pacquiao, saying only if, and that’s a big if, they don’t come to terms shall they consider Mosley.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=478380&publicationSubCategoryId=69

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