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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Papuri sa WBO

MANILA—Magandang araw po ulit sa inyong lahat, mga minamahal kong tagasubaybay ng kolum na ito. Sana ay nasa mabuti kayong kalagayan saan man kayo naroroon sa mundo.

Noong huling linggo, sa aking huling kolum, naisulat ko na ayon sa naunang napagkasunduan namin ng kapwa naming promoter na Top Rank Inc. ni Miguel Angel Cotto, walang nasaad na title fight dahil na rin sa 145 pounds ang catch weight na napagkayarian at kulang ng dalawang pounds para sa totong welterweight limit. Ito ay ang nire-require ng lahat ng world governing bodies kasama na ang World Boxing Organization (WBO) sa pangunguna ng president nitong si Ginoong Francisco Valcarcel.

Noong sinusulat ko iyong kolum, hindi ko pa nabalitaan na ayon sa WBO, maari naman nilang i-sanction pala ang laban namin kahit na nagkasundo kami ni Ginoong Cotto sa catch weight na 145 pounds. Nang malaman ko ang magandang balita at dahil na rin sa magandang hangarin ng WBO na pagkilala sa magandang match namin ni Cotto, kaagad kong tinawagan ang aking abogado at kaibigan na si Franklin “Jeng” Gacal Jr. na makipag-ugnayan kaagad kay Ginoong Valcarcel at ang aking promoter na Top Rank Inc. sa pamumuno si Bob Arum upang tanggapin ang alok na sanction ng WBO sa aming laban sa Nov. 14 sa Las Vegas, Nevada, sa magara at malawak na MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Binibigyan ko ng papuri ang WBO sa kanilang espesyal na pagbibigay ng konsiderasyon na ang laban na ito ay para sa korona ni Cotto, ang pinakamagaling na welterweight sa mundo sa kasalukuyan.

Sa pamamagitan ng pag-sanction ng WBO sa laban namin, mangyayaring magkakaroon ako ng tsansa na maging isang seven-division champion, na hindi pa nangyayari sa kasaysayan ng boxing.

Tanging si Oscar Dela Hoya lamang ang nakakagawa pa ng ganitong record sa kasaysayan ng sport na ito at ako ay magkakaroon na ng tsansa na malampasan ang ganitong record.

Kahit na tinalo ko si Ginoong Dela Hoya sa 147 pounds na limit, wala naman siyang korona sa 147 pounds noong naglaban kami. Opo, talagang malaki ang aking handicap kapag lumalaban ako sa ganitong timbang dahil lubhang mas malalaki ang aking mga kalaban sa ganitong weight class. Sa pagtanggap ko nitong laban kontra kay Miguel Cotto, alam kong matinding pagsubok na naman ang nasa aking harapan at matinding ensayo na naman ang aking gagawin.

Inspirado ako na simulan na ang training pero marami pa rin akong mga obligasyon sa labas ng boksing gaya ng pag-shoot sa ilan pang commercial at sa pag-tape ng mga episodes ng aking mga susunod na TV shows sa GMA 7. Nitong Lunes din, sumama ako sa State of the Nation Address ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at nagpapasalamat din ako sa pagbanggit niya ng aking pangalan at ang pagkilala niya sa aking kasipagan at pagkamaka-Diyos bukod sa aking pag-train na walang puknat, matinding disiplina sa sarili, na ilan sa mga sangkap ng aking pagiging kampeon at pagiging “pinakadakilang boksidor sa kasaysayan.”

More power po sa inyong lahat.

Hanggang sa Muling Kumbinasyon. God Bless Us All.

Source: http://philboxing.com/news/columns.php?aid=1130&id=26095

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: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d29-Arrogant-Arum-waffles-Why-pay-150000-for-five-dollar-belt

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?

Vernon Forrest: Another Loss Soldier

The sport of boxing has tragically lost another soldier in the recent murder of "The Viper", Vernon Forrest. Recent months have been very tough in the world of boxing. After the stunning and sudden losses of Alexis Arguello and Arturo Gatti, it was a dreadful feeling to be awakened by a text message bearing this news. What's even more upsetting is that there's no logical reason for this. These weren't soldiers who were lost at combat, but they were soldiers lost...unfortunately, forever, under odd circumstances, and all clearly too soon. What is this world coming to? Condolences to his family, and may he rest in peace.

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?

Timothy Bradley: Snitches Get Stitches

The old adage has it that "snitches get stitches". In this case, Bradley didn't tell on someone else....what he did was tell on himself. The talented jr. welterweight was honest enough recently to reveal that after watching Nate "Galaxxy Warrior" Campbell defeat Juan Diaz a year ago, he said "I don't ever want to get in the ring with that dude"! Well, what a difference a year makes? Fast forward a few months, add a few pounds, a new belt, and a few extra dollars to the equation, and suddenly, that's exactly what he's on the brink of doing. Anyone who has seen Bradley go to work know that he brings a lot of heart and tons of talent, but never before has he stepped in with a fighter like this. He said that getting mega fights is his biggest dream. Unfortunately for him, his rite-of-passage will be going through a man that plans to give him nightmares. Is he ready?

Oh, Buddy: Tough time for Boxings Buddy McGirt

Lost in the various other topics around the sport is the fact that the recent tragic losses have been felt by one man more than any other. That man is none other than famed trainer Buddy McGirt, who once steered the careers of both Vernon Forrest and Arturo Gatti. McGirt, never known to make a lot of noise in the first place, has been fairly quiet in wake of the devastating news, but one could imagine the pain he must feel to lose two of his most coveted fighters in a three week span. A silent prayer goes out to him. Hopefully he can manifest their warrior spirit within him to carry on.

Kelly Pavlik: Any Press Is Good Press? Well, Then Again....

It seems that lately, the only time we hear about Kelly Pavlik is when there's some not-so-good news to pass. First there was rumors of issues within his camp. Then there were rumors of him being admitted to AA for alcohol related problems. Now, there's mention of an alleged bar house brawl. With all of that in the rear-view, I thought at least we would get some good news about his still up in the air showdown with Paul Williams. Unfortunately, the ticker that addressed this topic recently was in no mood to change the tone, as even that was reported to have hit a snag. I guess when it rains, it pours, and considering the last 12 months in the life of Pavlik, there's no better time than the present to usher in a little sunshine. The fight with Williams isn't quite dead in the water, and hopefully by the time this piece hits the airwaves, a deal would be struck. Arum and Team Pavlik don't appear to be in the mood to budge on their current offer, but realistically, what else is left for him?

Source: http://www.8countnews.com/news/138/ARTICLE/1788/2009-07-29.html

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: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/213335/pacquiao-may-train-canada

Miguel Cotto's deal: No golf, Oscars, lobsters, Pacquaio rematch

Miguel “I’m No Angel” Cotto has a new promotional contract with his Uncle Bob Arum, formerly known as the Parsimonious Promoter until he flip flopped and decided to pay WBO sanction fees for Cotto and Manny Pacquiao,

Arum has done more gymnastics lately than Mary Lou Retton, contorting himself on the Nov. 14 title bout issue.

But the promoter overcame his reach impediment and his alligator arms and will go into his own pocket to pay the WBO fees.

I’ve learned exclusively (no one else cares, right Bob?) that there are some neat wrinkles in Cotto’s new deal including:

1. NO GOLF CLAUSE. As fallout from his totally coincidental golf round with rival Oscar de la Hoya, Cotto is not permitted to play golf, watch golf or to even eat a sand wedge at a golf course. This ban extends to miniature golf and to hitting the plastic balls into the clown’s mouth. Cotto cannot even mention the names of Tiger Woods or Ernie Els.

2. NO MALIGNING THE CRIMINAL HABITS OF ANTONIO MARGOCHEATO. While Harper Valley Hypocrite Arum demands a lifetime boxing ban for caught cheating trainer Panama Lewis, he seeks justice tempered with mercy for his Mexican clinet and Cotto victor, Antonio Margarito. Under his new TR deal,
Cotto can only say kind and wonderful things about the Plaster of Paris handwraps cheater. One suggestion was this, “Margarito has done more for the great Mexican people than Pancho Villa ever did.”

3. HANDWRAPPING IN WELL LIT ROOMS ONLY. Since Arum will throw Cotto in, after Pacquiao is done with him, into a revenge rematch against Tone Loc, it is specified that Antonio cannot come to the arena after having his cement handwraps put in place in a dark alley next to the Chicago Club in Tijuana. His wraps must be put on in a totally floodlit room with 10 SWAT cops and their Uzis carefully trained a few feet away from the surely nervous hand wrapper. This special place will be called “The Honesty Room” but has no connection to the CD of the same name by great singer Dar Williams. (Attention: Lucinda “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road“ Williams, I love you just as much as I do Dar!)

4. OSCAR BAN EXTENDS TO TELEVISION. Cotto promises in the contract that he will never use the expression “but Oscar says” in conversation, especially in media interviews. This ban on anything related to Oscar extends to the Academy Awards which Cotto promises not to attend or to even watch on TV. Cotto can only make reference to the movie honors by calling the famed awards “those little statuettes.”

5. OSCAR BAN EXTENDS TO EATING. I can now "re veal" that Cotto is not permitted to order Veal Oscar from any menu.

6. NO REMATCH CLAUSE WITH PACMAN. Even though he will put up a fearsome fight, Cotto knows Arum is using him for Pacman cannon fodder and thus has insisted on a No Rematch clause. There was no mention of any other claws, including those from lobsters or stone crabs. In the same vein, Cotto is prohibited from ever referring to the smaller Pacquiao as “that little shrimp from GenSan.”

Arum is investing heavily in shrimp distribution companies in Packy’s hometown although the highly religious promoter will steer clear of crustaceans as he considers them “treyf” meaning trash and cockroaches of the sea. “Lobsters are not kosher, they are losers,” Arum said. “I can’t sanction or stomach lobsters. I thought they were born red but it turns out they only get that way after a killer steam bath. Same thing happen to me. At my age, my skin has more wrinkles than Kim Kardashian’s backside. I’m so glad Reggie Bush finally dumped her! Now Matt Stolow, Dallas bachelor of the moment, has a real shot at being her next beau and I don’t mean Bo Belinsky.”

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d29-Cottos-deal-with-Arum-No-golf-Oscars-lobsters-Pacquaio-rematch

Who’s Currently the Most Overrated Boxer?

Critics and haters around the world often look at Joe Calzaghe’s record and instead of looking at the highlights in his career they always look at the fights that he missed.

As a fan I often support Joe against his critics and believe he was a great champion and a future hall of famer. I admit pulling out of fights against Glen Johnson and giving boxers like Peter Manfredo Jr title shots can easily be criticised but he still beat some big names including, Chris Eubank, Mikkel Kessler and Jeff Lacy and he also retired undefeated.

You compare this to the American boxer Kelly Pavlik who fights in a similar weight class Joe Calzaghe doesn’t look all that overrated. When Calzaghe chose to fight Roy Jones Jr there was a big list of boxers coming out of the woodwork who could beat Joe and who Joe was apparently “running away from”.

Kelly Pavlik was one of these boxers Joe never fought and at the time Kelly Pavlik had an unbeaten record and many said he was unbeatable. With his record Pavlik was similar to Joe in the fact that he was unbeaten and had beaten 2 top class fighters in Edison Miranda and Jermain Taylor. The real difference came when Pavlik stepped up and faced the aging Bernard Hopkins who had lost 3 of his last 5 fights including his latest loss to Joe Calzaghe. As soon as the bout was over and Hopkins had dominated Pavlik who looked awful, Calzaghe was quick to say “I said all along Kelly Pavlik was overrated, overhyped and hadn’t done anything in his career to warrant a fight with me. This was evident Saturday night when Hopkins destroyed and exposed him for what he is.”

Now you quickly need to realise that Hopkins is a true great and still shows greatness in his performances but what I’m suggesting is perhaps Pavlik is overrated. I think the true test will be if the Paul Williams-Kelly Pavlik fight happens.

The next man I am going to mention is going to be very controversial as he is currently listed as the Pound for Pound King. You guessed it I am going to bring Manny Pacquiao into this debate. Most recently Pacquiao has hit the top spot in the P4P rankings after two unexpected stoppages against Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya. I think perhaps the Ricky Hatton fight should be seen as a good victory for Pacquiao as he was impressive, showing great speed and power. However, many believe Hatton was a shot fighter who was lucky to beat Juan Lazcano a year before the Pacquiao fight and seemed to learn nothing from the Mayweather fight chasing Pacquiao around the ring. The De La Hoya fight in my opinion was a no contest because it wasn’t the real De La Hoya there. The De La Hoya that turned up was a drained fighter just so he could make the weight. At the starting bell De La Hoya didn’t even look a well man never mind a man ready for a boxing match. Even Roach said he saw IV marks on De La Hoya’s arm, pointing out that he needed to be rehydrated surgically as a last result. Another name that appears when Pacquiao gets criticized for being overrated is the respected Mexican counter puncher, Juan Manuel Marquez. The first match between Marquez and Pacquiao could have gone either way but the second match was a horrendous decision. Marquez should have been given the victory in the fight as he seemed to win most of the rounds after the knockdowns in the 1st.

Like Pavlik, Pacquiao can once and for all prove himself as he is going to fight a tough opponent in Miguel Cotto and then possibly face Floyd Mayweather or for a 3rd time Juan Manuel Marquez.

Other possible overrated fighters that should be included are:

* Amir Khan – Been hurt by poor opponents and KO’d in under a minute against Breidis Prescott, he is clearly very talented but has a Glass Jaw.

* Edwin Valero – He is calling out big names because of his perfect 25 win record all by KO but he is yet to fight a good opponent and backed out of a fight against Breidis Prescott.

* Nicolai Valuev – He is only the champ because of his height and weight. He is slow and not overly powerful and he lost to Ruslan Chagaev who in turn got dominated by Wladimir Klitschko.

If you can think of some more overrated boxers I’d like to see some comments and reasons for picking them.

Arum's miscalculation: Not understanding magnitude of Manny

In the avalanche of almost 18,000 emails I received in support of the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto bout being for the WBO welterweight title, a reader named Anibus thankfully changed the topic.

As the dust settles, as promoter Bob Arum should be scribbling a brief apology to Pinoys in particular and to fight fans in general (but he won’t), Anibus wonders if the sly, old dog was just milking the title bout sanction situation to bury his own opponent.

In case you’ve been stuck in a cave in Nobodycaresistan or have amnesia, Top Rank’s archival remains Golden Boy.

Anibus wonders if Arum first misspoke or just spoked in a brain freeze “senior moment” but then let the controversy play out to bury the Goldens Sept. 19 Juan Manuel Marquez-Floyd Mayweather Jr. card.

It’s tempting to say the usually canny Arum lit the fire and then tossed a can of gasoline on it to pump up his Nov. 14 PPV megabout and, at the same time, to hamper the sagging, once postponed JMM-PBF card.

In the Top Rank Top Dog’s treacherous mind, that would be a win win situation for him and a double loser for Oscar de la Hoya and staff.

No, I can’t sign on to that tantalizing theory.

What happened here is that, for all the lip service he pays to the Pinoy Idol and despite his trips to the Philippines to see Mannymania up close and person, is that Arum made a serious misjudgment.

It reminds me of when Reggie Jackson, the egomaniac who can strut while sitting down, was blathering about just how awesome a person he is/

The Yankee slugger called himself “the straw that stirs the drink” when he came to New York. If you had a candy bar named after you, you might also have such a massive ego.

My other favorite Reggie back pat was the day he uttered this classic, “Sometimes, I don’t even understand the magnitude of me.”

Yes, Jackson went to Arizona State but he did his postgrad work at IGMU, I’ve Got Mine University.

It was all about Reggie 24 hours a day.

I remember that “Mr. October” carried a hand mirror. I think he used to gaze deeply into it and sing, “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”

Arum misunderstood the magnitude of Pacman, the world’s most popular athlete.

Arum never thought I would keep pounding away here, backed by your emails from all over the US, the country which he said did not care about the title, and from Singapore, from Moscow, from Dubai, from London, from New Zealand, from South Africa and of course thousands from the Philippines.

This was no contrived cause celebre. Devoted Pacquiao loyalists exploded in reaction to Arum’s snide, cavalier remark.

I know Arum is no racist but the statement also smacked of patronizing, “Great White Father” attitude.

That, as much as the content of his statement, is what set the alarms off in Pacman World.

No way Arum schemed this out just for a tsunami of publicity. But he got it anyway because the boxing public certainly knows now who is fighting Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand and, now finally, they know what is at stake as Megamanny tries to make ring history.

Major miscalculation by Arum, a legendary promoter.

Uncle Bob just didn’t comprehend the full magnitude of Manny.

It’s Pacquiao’s world, Mr. Arum, we’re just living in it.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d28-Arums-miscalculation-Not-understanding-magnitude-of-Manny

Cotto/Pacquiao: Many questions, no answers, no title....no fight?

After all the punch and grab over whether or not this fight would actually happen, finally a deal was struck and the announcement was made. Bob Arum stated that the fight was agreed upon by both parties and that November 14th would be the defining moment in the careers of two of the sports most prominent warriors.

After all the celebration for the official announcement, there seems to be a few key issues that stand in the way, and some close to the situation have began to wonder whether or not we actually have a fight.

It's hard to believe that we don't until you stumble across one major detail......Neither signature has touched the contracts yet!

When Bob Arum was quoted last week as saying that "it should be done this week or early next", I knew there was more to the mix than what we were being told. It's one thing to have a verbal agreement over the phone from thousands of miles away (Cotto in Puerto Rico and Pacquiao in the Philippines) but it's another story when guys get to see things face to face and learn that some of the details were not completely addressed.

Seems there wasn't a complete understanding for whether or not the title would be on the line, and apparently, all the issues surrounding the economics have yet to be hashed out as well.

Arum was recently quoted as saying that sanctioning fees could tally up to $400K, however, research has revealed that $340K is the magic number, with both fighters forking over $150K a piece, and Arum contributing $40K as the promoter.

Many have jumped on Cotto's back for failing to pay his portion of the sanctioning fees, but few have stopped to notice that Pacquiao has yet to pay his either, and there is no clear indication that he will. Sounds odd in theory, but the only reason I would think he has failed to do so is because other aspects of the contract have yet to be resolved, as we know that he's more than game to carry out his end of the bargain.

The next few days will be very pivotal, but I guess Major League Baseball's World series being in October was a good thing. That's the reason Arum wanted to push the fight back to November as opposed to Pacquiao's October 17th request. Looks like now that extra month will be spent entirely on re-negotiating a fight that we were told was already complete.

Whatever the case may be....fellas....get 'er done!

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-845-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d28-CottoPacquiao-Many-questions-no-answers-no-titleno-fight

High praise for Manny Pacquiao; none for Miguel Cotto

Knowing my history, you would never believe I would agree with Bob Arum on anything. I have walked on the other side of the street from him for years.

But a weird "Axis of Evil" exists between Arum, WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel and myself.

The three of us believe WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto should defend his title against Manny Pacquiao and should pay the sanctioning fee he is responsible for when he accepted his title.

This not a novel idea. It's standard operating procedure.

Note: A usually accurate but unconfirmed source tells me that this has all been resolved now and Cotto will defend the WBO title and the sanctioning fee will be paid by someone other than Cotto or Team Cotto and afterwords everyone will go to a camp fire and sing "Kumbayah."

This is about business. Honor, national pride, glory and all are nice, but not the point.

Read the interviews with Arum and Valcarcel. They are not concerned either way. These are two secure, confident men that know their businesses.

Arum can either have "WBO Title" splashed across posters, or he can't. Valcarcel either gets his sanctioning fee from Cotto, or he strips him of the title.

Basically, while an incovenience and a waste of their time. neither Arum nor Valcarcel care if Cotto is there or not.

In fact, just a couple of days ago the world thought this was a good deal for Cotto at $400,000!

This is really Pacquiao's fight anyway. Cotto is the opponent. Publicly Arum and Valcarcel want to show Cotto the respect a world champion and national hero deserves and $5 million large goes a long way toward that.

But Cotto has made a non-issue very difficult, and nobody wants to be negative publicly until it's a virtual lost cause.

The three other major sanctioning groups are pretty much in agreement with Valcarcel. If a fighter is in a situation where he is champion and is defending his title(s) it is understood by written agreement or otherwise that the fighter, promoter and sanctioning body will do whatever is necessary to bring prestige to the event.

What possible reason does Cotto have to believe he can arbitrarily chose to make the maximum amount of dollars with no risk? Wouldn't Valcarcel be better off giving a belt to another candidate more worthy than Cotto? I mean at least the WBO would get paid.

Name a champion who doesn't want to defend his title?

There are situations where a champion makes a non-title defense and pays a negotiated fee. He does this because he understands he can carry the belt into the ring and press conferences and he can call himself the world champion and hold his head high. That is what it is all about.

Valcarcel will certainly take the high road like a gentleman and say Cotto can decide not to defend the title but can drape the belt around him but he has to pay the sanctioning fee.

It's like paying rent even if you're on summer vacation. You just have to do it.

Arum won't like it but what choice does he have? He's out front going along with a non-title fight but won't be the bad guy if an argument between Cotto and Valcarcel boils over.

Valcarcel says the amount owed by Cotto to the WBO is $150,000. That's is three cents on the dollar of what Cotto is supposed to make for this fight.

It's probable someone other than Cotto pays his $150,000 fee and Arum would to save the show I guess. But Cotto should be ashamed of himself if he even takes personal responsibility.

While Arum could have "calibrated" his words differently, don't blame him. This is all Cotto's doing.

And remember, this was a vacant title. Cotto was coming off a loss and the WBO and Arum miraculously gave him a vacant title for beating Michael Jennings.

Vacant is even worse than interim in this case! That's how low Cotto has sunk here.

I remember 20 years ago when a friend helped me out of a jam and when I for some reason didn't return the favor when I could have, well let's just say I feel bad I was obviously selfish to this day and I lost the friend forever. This is the predicament Cotto is in. Look what Arum and Valcarcel have done for him.

Cotto's "people" can't say they chose not to discuss this through the media because they drew first blood. They accepted the best offer. Did they believe the subject wasn't going to come up? That if they ignore it, it would go away?

If Cotto were to win November 14, the best he could ever hope for is to rematch Pacquiao, so why pull this nonsense? I'm on record as saying both the Margarito and Clottey fights have taken it all out of him and he is prematurely shot at age 28.

I think just on instinct he can be in the fight for five rounds but than it is all Pacquiao.

Arum and Valcarcel took the high road.

Manny Pacquiao smartly stayed out of it and in my opinion deserves the highest marks of praise.

I want to be on the other side of the street anyway,

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-11372-Dallas-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d28-High-praise-for-Manny-Pacquiao-none-for-Miguel-Cotto

Is Cotto Damaged Goods?

The question on whether or not Miguel Cotto is damaged goods or not has been echoed throughout many boxing talks lately. You pick up the latest Ring Magazine and Cotto's bloody face is on the cover with the look of a beaten fighter there for the taking. You go to the message boards and the writings are all there, everyone seems to think that Cotto is a damaged fighter.

In Cotto's next fight he will take on the quickest deadliest storm of them all, Manny Pacquiao. No doubt about it that going into this fight, Cotto has way too many negatives on his side. We have that nasty gash that must stay closed but we all know that Pac-Man will be right there to jab at it, we have the wear and tear from all his tough battles, I mean outside the ring Cotto is younger than Pacquiao but inside the ring Cotto is the much older fighter, and the biggest negative of them all is the fact that Cotto will be going into a war with a trainer that is way too green for a fight of this magnitude.

You can bet that Pacquiao is going to be looking to take fully advantage of the three negatives mentioned. Now do those three negatives mean that Cotto is expired? In my opinion, I say NO. If Cotto was damaged goods like they say he is then this fight would be taking place at 147 and not 145. I also feel that Cotto is a way better fighter now than he was when he fought Judah. Cotto to me is alot more well rounded now.

Anytime that a banger can add some boxing skills to his weaponry, sky's the limit. I will say that all Cotto needs to be a real force is to be able to learn to punch on the go. When Cotto boxed Margarito, early on Cotto was blasting him from every angle. Cotto's fault was not going to the body to slow down the Terminator. The reason for that was because in order for Cotto to go to the body he would have to have planted his feet right to be able to dig in. If Cotto would have been taught to punch on the go it wouldn't have been a problem.

That skill on being able to punch on the go can be taught, now is Joe Santiago the right man to teach him this important skill? Only time will tell, but to me the answer is NO. The importance of having an experience trainer in Cotto's corner in a fight this big is a huge reason and come to think about it the only reason why I am having trouble picking Cotto in this fight. Some say Pacquiao's speed is enough reason alone to pick the Pac-Man over Cotto, I disagree. Cotto has dealt with speed before when he faced Judah and Mosley, Cotto was able to time them and came out on top, so though the speed will be helpfull to have, it sure will not be the main reason for victory.

So when you see images of that bloody beaten faced fighter on the cover, be sure to remind yourself that the nasty cut was there since the 3rd round and even though the fighter was fighting the Margarito demons in his head, the fighter still hung on to take the victory over a very game Clottey. Also remind yourself that Pacquiao had that same beaten up look on his face after his first battle with Morales and his battles with Marquez, now how dumb would we feel had we then labeled Pacquiao a damaged fighter?

Do not judge a book by it's cover, it's what's on the inside that matters most, the question should not be if it's damaged, it should be what does he have left? If the instructions coming from Cotto's corner seem puzzled at times, Maybe just maybe the fire inside Miguel Cotto may be enough to push him to his biggest victory and put to rest this damaged goods question.

Source: http://www.diamondboxing.com/newsstory.php?list=8859

WBO: Cotto can be forced to stake his belt

EVEN IF MIGUEL COTTO DOESN’T want to, he’d likely be forced to stake his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt against Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

This was the opinion of WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, who’s batting for the megabuck bout to be a title fight.

In a talk with Dr. Allan Recto of Philboxing on Tuesday, Valcarcel noted that the first thing Pacquiao needs to do is write the WBO a letter requesting that he and Cotto fight for the title and then tell chief promoter Bob Arum to inform the WBO about it.

Together, they can pressure Cotto to stake his title even if the fight is going to be at a catch weight of 145 lb.

Valcarcel also said in a separate interview with Jose Manuel Martino of Boxeo Mundial that Cotto still would have to pay the WBO $150,000 whether or not he risks the title or not.

Valcarcel said the catch weight poses no problem to a possible title bout. Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins also disputed the middleweight (160 lb) belt at a catch weight of 158 lb on Sept. 14, 2004.

Though Pacquiao is willing to fight Cotto even if the title is not at stake, fight fans are pushing for a title bout because if the Filipino icon wins he’d become the only boxer to win titles in seven different weight classes, including the Ring featherweight belt.

Source: http://sports.inquirer.net/professional/professional/view/20090728-217700/WBO-Cotto-can-be-forced-to-stake-his-belt

Manny and Miguel, just say no

Pacland Public Enemy #1 reporting from an undisclosed location while smoking a beef brisket, along with enjoying a few Shiner Bocks.

Seems as if some card carrying members of Pacquiao Nation have taken offense to my recent columns regarding their star, again. My life has been threatened, my intelligence insulted, and my so-called expertise in all things boxing questioned because I dared to argue that no championships are needed to make Pacquiao's bout with Miguel Cotto a battle for the ages and that Puerto Ricans are not enamoured with Cotto as much as Filipinos are with Pacquiao. Of course mentioning that Erik Morales' first fight with Manny Pacquiao is one of my all-time favorite scraps had many of Manny's Maniacs going wild and thirsty for violence.

Now a week following the official announcement of Cotto - Pacquiao, the loudest buzz surrounding the fight is that pesky WBO welterweight championship which is NOT at stake. Yes fight fans, the title is NOT at stake for now and it really should not matter to any of us.

First of all, in the current boxing scene sanctioned world championships are a joke. The organizations which control these trinkets twist and turn the rankings at the drop of an unmarked envelope with an undisclosed sum of money bursting at its seams. At their illogical discretion they make a championship, a super champion, an interim champion, a North American champion, and a Ricardo Lois' Backyard championship.

We should worry about the best fighters fighting the best available competition on a consistent basis, which is something both Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto have done all of their careers. The reason why Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto is a joy for boxing fans, is based that these two warriors will leave every ounce of their soul in between the ropes before taking a defeat. On November 15 boxing fans are in store for one of the best fights in the history of boxing, not just recent years.

So Miguel Cotto does not want to pay a $150,000 UDS sanctioning fee to defend a title. Can you blame him? Would you like to pay a single penny to step inside of a ring and put your life at stake? As far as I am concerned, the WBO and all other boxing organizations should be paying Cotto, Pacquiao, and other for being their champions. Why should they line the bank accounts of their "non-profit" boxing organisms on the blood of men?

And just to be clear, if Miguel Cotto is to put a welterweight title on the line, the weight limit should be the full 147 pounds.

Now the popular sentiment among some segments is that Pacquiao should have the opportunity to fight for his seventh championship. Now dear fans and pundits, when Manny Pacquiao is enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame at the end of his career, will we remember him for championships or the thrilling moments he gave us against Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, and others?

Just say no to sanctioning fees and bogus organizations and ask for the best fights from our fighters. Remember, even John Ruiz held a sanctioned world championship - twice.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-2850-LA-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d28-Manny-and-Miguel-just-say-no

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: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=491103&publicationSubCategoryId=69

Sponge Bob Arum corrects worst career gaffe on Pacquiao

"I am filipino and I need to see Manny Pacquiao fight in Vegas for he is my generation's Flash Elorde, Elvis, The Beatles, King Rameses II, Genghis Khan, maybe even Seabiscuit."--MANNY PACQUIAO'S ARDENT FAN, FRANCIS V, WHO LIVES IN CALIFORNIA AND WHO DREAMS OF ATTENDING PACMAN VS. COTTO.

I can’t remember when savvy Bob Arum so badly misjudged a boxing situation.

This one goes down as the worst gaffe of his legendary career.

“Nobody cares in the US” about the WBO welterweight title being on the line Nov. 14 when Manny Pacquaio fights Miguel Cotto.

Then came the immediate worldwide backlash, including 17, 489 names who joined my protest here at Examiner.com.

Arum was getting ripped all over the place and our Indianapolis based scribe, Dennis Guillermo, chimed in with his thoughts on the matter.

Now, the always flexible, always versatile, promoter has folded up like a $5 umbrella in a windstorm.

Now, according to Arum, the title being on the line and Pacquiao having a chance to make history by being the first fighter to win seven weight division world titles.

Now Arum is schmoozing and not cursing WBO leader Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel.

And, in speaking to Filipino scribe Ronnie Nathanielsz, both Arum and Valcarcel have shifted the onus to champion Cotto.

Folks, there is no way out for the Boricua Bomber. Not when Arum has even gone so far as to publicly proclaim that he will pay the sanctioning fees, $150,000 each, for both fighters.

The only exit for Cotto would be for him to resign the title and you know he’s not going to do that. That would be like an admission that he can’t beat Pacman.

Common sense has prevailed.

I hope Arum, turning 78 in December, has learned something about Pinoys as exemplified by the massive, loyal fan base that Pacquiao enjoys.

They are not docile. They are not chumps who pay their money and demand nothing.

Arum found this out the hard way.

Arum disregarded their feelings and disrespected their amazing support of Manny and of Arum’s Top Rank Promotions.

In four decades, I can’t recall Arum ever misreading something so completely.

His remarks were the height of arrogance.

But, give him credit now.

Arum was wrong, you Pacman fans made that loud and clear immediately, and Arum has taken corrective action.

It will be a snowy July day in steamy Las Vegas before Arum ever blows off the Pinoy fight fans again.

Arum cares because you care.

You threatened to lessen Sponge Bob’s bottom line and he knew it.

But, in this case the why doesn’t matter as much as the what does.

Pacquiao versus Cotto is on and the Puerto Rican will bring that belt into the ring with him.

Then it’s up to Pacquiao to take possession.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d28-Sponge-Bob-Arum-corrects--worst-career-gaffe-on-Pacquiao

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: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/213214/bahamas-and-us-training-pacquiao

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: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=490983&publicationSubCategoryId=200


It’s been close to a week since the Manny Pacquaio – Miguel Cotto bout was agreed upon by both camps and officially announced to the world. As most people know by now the fight is set to take place on the 14th of November at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada, with an agreed upon weight limit of 145 pounds, and no title on the line. On paper the bout is everything that makes boxing great; two skillful warriors who have shown a willingness to give it their all inside the ring, in the prime of their careers facing off against each other with the pride of their countries resting heavily on their shoulders. For many the fight has all the ingredients necessary for a thrilling night of boxing.

However, in recent days a debate has risen as to whether or not, Cotto should defend his WBO welterweight title when he steps in the ring to face Manny Pacquaio. So far Cotto and his team have seemed reluctant to do so, leading many to speculate as to why. Some are citing the dollar amount that would have to be paid in sanctioning fees, while others have theorized that Cotto is using his belt as a negotiating chip to an even bigger purse. Cotto himself has been quiet about the topic and has left the discussion to his legal advisor, Gabriel Peñagarícano. Thus far Peñagarícano has kept his comments short and to the point in this matter.

“This fight will be without a title”, Peñagarícano was quoted as saying in the Puerto Rican news paper EL Vocero.
“We will not be defending it, and we’re not going to get into debates with the WBO about it”

Cotto’s team may not wish to debate the WBO, but they may have little choice in the matter after statements were released by the organization stating that even if Cotto choose not to defend his title against Manny Pacquaio, he will still be required to pay the sanctioning fees.

Francisco “Paco” Valcárcel, president of the WBO spoke to our assistant editor Wilfredo Acevedo and had the following comments on the matter.

“Any of our champions that wants to defend one of our title needs our authorization… to defend our title or fight. It doesn’t matter if the fight is for 10 or 12 rounds. They need still our authorization and most pay our sanctioning fees.

When asked about the possibility of Cotto being stripped if he didn’t pay the sanctioning fees, Paco deflected the question and instead proceeded to make it clear that the situation was not about money being paid for a title, but about the responsibility of WBO champions to seek approval for any fight they take and to pay the fees for them regardless of whether or not a title was involved.

“This is not about him paying or not. The point is we have to authorize his fight. This is not about whether we take his title or not, because that’s not the main issue. The issue is that we have to authorize any fight one of our champions makes, be it for a title or not. And in this case, Cotto’s fight will be for a title.”

Valcárcel would go on to note that Paul Williams had paid sanctioning fees for non title bouts and that Marquez would be doing so in his upcoming fight against Floyd Mayweather.

In upcoming days the boxing world will continue to watch as word is released from both camps and this story continues to unfold, however the WBO has already made its stance clear, they intend to collect their sanctioning fees even if Cotto chooses not to defend his title.

Carita Lopez to face Marvin Sonsona in another Puerto Rico vs Philippines championship bout

Today it was officially announced that Puerto Rican champion José “Carita” López will be making the first defense of his super flyweight title against Marvin Sonsona of the Philippines. The fight will be held at Casino Rama in Ontario, Canadá on the 4th of September. This will be the 3rd time that a Puerto Rican and a Filipino face off in a title match this year. Junior featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez beat Gerry Penalosa this past April, and light flyweight champion Ivan Calderon was awarded a controversial draw a few weeks later when he faced Rodel Mayol. A few months back I had written about the possibility of a rivalry emerging between the two countries LOPEZ-PENALOSA, THE OPENING SHOT IN A NEW BOXING RIVALRY?

and with Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquaio facing each other in November we may be close to one emerging. It is still my belief that it can be a healthy one for the sport so to all my Filipino friends I say let’s enjoy the battles and keep it a friendly rivalry based on mutual respect.

Source: http://www.boxeomundial.net/boxeo.php?category=english&id=12953


Laredo, Texas (July 27, 2009) – On the way (driving) to the office this morning, this boxing writer (ringside physician) had a chat with highly respected WBO President, Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, regarding the upcoming Pacquiao – Cotto fight in November 14, 2009 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. For my contribution to the Philippine boxing community, I tried to convince Team (Manny) Pacquiao to make this fight a title fight for the WBO World Championship Welterweight Crown of Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto. If it will be of interest to the readers of philboxing.com, here is my conversation today with current WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel:

Dr. Recto – Hello, Good morning Sir!

WBO President Valcarcel– Hey Doc, it’s Paco, How have you been?

Dr. Recto – Good, how are you?

WBO President Valcarcel – I’m fine, Doctor. I received your text message, what’s the name of the lawyer of Manny Pacquiao? I couldn’t read it well.

Dr. Recto – His name is Atty. Jeng Gacal, Sir.

WBO President Valcarcel – Okay…

Dr. Recto – Well, Atty. Jeng Gacal told me that Manny is not happy if this is not a title fight and he (Manny) wants it to be a title fight.

WBO President Valcarcel – OK, perfect!

Dr. Recto – They did not know how to contact you so I gave Atty. Gacal your phone number so he could call you up. It is already very late at night in the Philippines so he might call you tomorrow.

WBO President Valcarcel – Good. Let him know that I could call him tomorrow too or tonight. How many hours ahead is the Philippines?

Dr. Recto – Since you are in Puerto Rico, the time should be like in New York…they are ahead by 12 hours but it is the opposite, it’s night time over there.

WBO President Valcarcel – We have the same time in New York, it’s Eastern Standard Time.

Dr. Recto – How much is the sanction fee for the Team Pacquiao?

WBO President Valcarcel – The total amount is going to be $ 150,000 for Manny. Bob Arum told me before that he was willing to pay the whole amount … for everybody.

Dr. Recto – So, what does Manny Pacquiao have to do to make this fight with Miguel Cotto a WBO welterweight championship title fight?

WBO President Valcarcel – Manny has to write the WBO a letter of request. Then he talks to Bob Arum and Bob will inform me. Arum is willing to do it, you know. Now after that, we can push Miguel Cotto to do it. I talked to Arum before in New York and he wants to do it. I will talk to Arum again and we will tell Cotto to do it.

Dr. Recto – What about the statement of Bob Arum recently – “No one cares in the U.S. about the belt!” – did you read it?

WBO President Valcarcel – Who said that?

Dr. Recto – Bob Arum was quoted by boxing writer Michael Marley and the article was posted in philboxing.com last Friday. It came as a surprise to me.

WBO President Valcarcel – Bob Arum sometimes say some things that he doesn’t really mean…he is now in his 70’s…if Manny forces him to do it, he will do it…if Manny tells him, “I want to fight for the title!” – he will force Miguel Cotto to do it. We can both pressure Miguel Cotto to do it.

Dr. Recto – What happens if Miguel Cotto doesn’t want to put the belt on the line? Can you do something about it?

WBO President Valcarcel – Let Manny fight for the title and if he wins, he will get the title as WBO Welterweight Champion of the World.

Dr. Recto – Can you tell us the significance of the WBO title?

WBO President Valcarcel – It is quite important…but first, Bob Arum and me should talk, okay… Before, he said he was waiting for Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao to sign the contracts then we will proceed.

Dr. Recto – There is a clamor in the boxing world that this should be a title fight…not only in the Philippines but also all over the world.

WBO President Valcarcel – And it will be a title fight!…De La Hoya now got six titles in different divisions…and Manny will have seven if he wins against Cotto…

Dr. Recto – Sir, do you remember that fight of Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins? Hopkins fought De La Hoya for the undisputed middleweight championship on September 18, 2004, in Las Vegas. The fight was done at a catch weight of 158 lbs, two pounds below the limit of 160 lbs for middleweight division.

WBO President Valcarcel – Yes, I remember that fight. It was also for a WBO Middleweight Division title even though it was a catch weight bout. They fought for a title, yeah, I was there!

Dr. Recto – So, it means that there is a precedent…. even though the fight of Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto is at a catch weight of 145 lbs., it still belongs to the welterweight division, right? He (Manny) can still challenge for Miguel Cotto’s WBO Welterweight championship belt?

WBO President Valcarcel – That’s right!

Dr. Recto – Sir, is it okay if I write up our phone conversation and send it to PHILBOXING.COM?

WBO President Valcarcel – Yeah…yeah…that’s no problem…you’ve been a big help and I thank you for that!

Dr. Recto - Thank you also Sir and have a nice day! Oh by the way, is Rodel Mayol fighting Ivan Calderon in a re-match?

WBO President Valcarcel – Yes, it is being arranged…maybe, in September…When you are in Puerto Rico in September 12, let me know of Manny’s (Team Pacquiao) itinerary ‘cause I’d like to invite you all … for a meal or something.

Dr. Recto - Okay, I will let Manny and Team Pacquiao know…Bye!

Like the millions of Filipinos and other boxing fans/ aficionados worldwide, I will watch this fight LIVE. It will be shown on HBO PPV and promoted by Top Rank. Tickets will be on Sale in August and press conferences are scheduled for September 2009 in Los Angeles, New York and Puerto Rico. It will be a major event in boxing history especially if this were a title fight…. after all, how many times in boxing events has it happened that one of the protagonist (a Filipino fighter) will be vying for a Seventh title in Seven different divisions and a great World Champion (from Puerto Rico) will have the honor to defend his title?

I am very positive, whatever the outcome will be, both fighters will be remembered for these honors (you bet, no matter who the winner will be)…of course, in this kind of super fight, the boxing fans and media will be the winners too!

Follow up punches: After my conversation this morning, I made a follow up call to WBO President Valcarcel after lunch and he informed me that he had spoken with Atty. Jeng Gacal (Team Pacquiao lawyer).... and they were going to call Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum. A Team Pacquiao insider stated - All that Manny has to do is call Bob Arum and say, "Hey Bob, I want this to be a title fight...tapos ang boxing! (Translation – it will be a done deal!)"

Source: http://philboxing.com/news/story-26053.html

Bob Arum sending the wrong message by staging beltless mega-fight

When Bob Arum went on the record saying “nobody in the US” cares whether the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto bout on Nov. 14 is for a world title or not, I couldn't help but shake my head for so many reasons.

First of all, Bob Arum is wrong in more ways than one by saying such a statement that I can't figure out where to even begin.

How can you sell this fight as the fight of the year and yet dismiss the importance of the recognition and prestige that a seventh divisional title can bring for Pacquiao and boxing? Come on now, tell me who doesn't want to be part of history?

There's a reason why boxing announcers enumerate a fighter's accomplishments during ring introductions. The same reason why golf fans come out of the woodwork whenever Tiger Woods is going for a Grand Slam and why people are already talking about him surpassing Jack Nicklaus' 18 major title victories one day. Do you remember how basketball fans obsessively followed the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls when they were about to break the most wins in a single season record? How about telling the NFL's 1972 Miami Dolphins that their perfect season means nothing? I can go on forever with this but to make a long story short, titles may seem petty at times but they are indeed significant.

Fans care about history. I don't care whether they are in the United States, The United Kingdom or the United Aram Emirates. Fans that care about their sport will follow an athlete who is pursuing a level of greatness nobody else before him has ever gone before.

And what does it say about US boxing fans not caring about the Pacquiao-Cotto mega-fight now being a title fight? It's almost saying that belts absolutely mean nothing anymore in the world of boxing. Why in the world do we call and consider certain fighters as champions then if that's the case? I get that the belts are not what they used to be but still, saying the US does not care about the biggest fight in boxing being a non-title fight when it can very well be one and there's a nice piece of history waiting as an incentive on the side is just like saying America doesn't care about boxing as a sport period. All they want to see is two people beat the crap out of each other. Championships and the honor and glory behind it are no longer relevant to American fight fans. False, false and false.

With his statement, Arum is only emphasizing that at the end of the day, it's truly his best interest that matters most. Perhaps fellow Examiner Michael Marley knows more about Pacquiao's Filipino fans than Arum currently understands. Matter of fact, Marley has already started a campaign for Pacquiao fans to petition that his fight against Cotto be for Cotto's belt. If there's one thing that Filipinos know other than Pacquiao's punching power, it's the strength of "People Power". If Arum insists, he might very well feel the wrath of Pacquiao fans and have this fight plummet in sales together with every other Filipino flavored card such as "Pinoy Power 2" on August 15.

How much money does Arum really need to make? A few hundred G's is pocket change for him but by pinching pennies by not wanting to pay the sanctioning fees and protecting Cotto's belt for Cotto's future marketability just says blatantly how much his fighter's legacies and boxing history for that matter, mean to him.

Bob Arum is a promoter and a brilliant one at that, but even the great ones falter at times, and in this case, Bob should do the right thing and realize or at least admit that the world does care for Pacquiao-Cotto being a title fight- even if he himself obviously does not.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-10947-Indianapolis-Fight-Sports-Examiner~y2009m7d27-Bob-Arum-sending-the-wrong-message-by-staging-beltless-megafight

Pacquiao Vs Cotto: Non Title Bout?!!!

On November 14th, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto will meet at a catchweight limit of 145 pounds in what will no doubt be one of the biggest boxing attraction for year 2009.

Since the weight limit for a welterweight bout’s official weight-in is 147lbs, then 145lbs is very well within the welterweight limit. Hence this fight is in the welterweight division.

Since Miguel Cotto is supposedly the WBO welterweight champion, then the WBO welterweight belt is supposedly on the line for this fight right?

Well…not quite... yet. Until they pay…

Recently there are some articles that were published mentioning that the Cotto vs. Pacquiao fight may not be a championship bout because they didn’t want to pay the WBO sanctioning fees.

While we agree that it is easier from the avid die-hard fans’ perspective to recognize an individual champion, with the frequency of title defenses, this is not a model that allows worthy contenders to fight for a title in a timely manner. But for the casual boxing fans, this makes them more confused…If you ask a casual fan who is the heavyweight champion of the world is, they’ll have no clue. Because there are three of them!

In recent years, and increasing number of ludicrous title fights have taken place; regular champions, interim championships, title eliminators, final eliminators, and Inter-continental, Oriental-Pacific and other a-b-c-d-e-f-g title fights. Today, many weight divisions suffer from the Alphabet Syndrome. There has not been a real champion. A number of factors have kept the division in turmoil, because there are forces that contribute to that confusion. A tournament might not settle every question; it does not always happen whenever an elimination bout took place. Nor the champ always fights the top contender or the best opponents out there.

More sanctioning bodies mean more opportunities for boxers, which is why we rarely hear the boxers themselves complaining about too many sanctioning bodies.

But it is the likes of the alphabet soup titles that are milking the sport by raking in sanctioning fees. Individual boxer's views on sanctioning bodies would certainly vary depending on whose opinion you were seeking. The chance for a lower ranked fighter to proclaim himself a world champion would supposedly give a certain appeal, and hopefully potential financial benefits.

Some group of dudes can group together, form a sanctioning body, and call themselves “Intergalactic Pugilistic Council” or something to that effect; recognize a certain guy as their “Champion of the whole galaxy” (which could sound more prestigious than champion of the world right? à Not!) and then ask that recognized champion, his opponents and the promoters to pay them “sanctioning fees” whenever their champion fights because he should be defending the title, for the championship of the galaxy! If they don’t pay sanctioning fees, they’ll strip off the title from their champ! They’d say “Pay up or you’re no longer champion!” Sounds like good business eh?

Casual boxing fans or even people that have slight idea about boxing championship, think that a champion should lose his championship if he was beaten by a better fighter.

That may be happening with the Ring Magazine’s Lineal Championships, but with regards to these alphabet titles (WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA, etc., etc.,)…That’s not always the case...

Amidst the politics, the money and multiple sanctioning bodies giving out this title and that… make casual boxing fans more confused. What more when a certain champion is no longer champion and his title is no longer on the line for his up and coming fight simply because they didn’t pay? Wouldn’t that make casual fans even more confused? Would the fact that the champion is stripped off his title because of not paying sanctioning fees create more interest and attract more boxing fans or quite the opposite?

Remember, boxing is a good business if and only if there are more boxing fans!

And championships are held supposedly to attract more followers of the sport. Ever wonder why more people watch the NBA finals than the regular games? Or the Superbowl Finals? Or the World Cup Finals? Or the event for the gold medal? Why? Simply because it’s the CHAMPIONSHIP being participated supposedly by the best in the sport!

What does a championship bout could mean to Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao?

Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao will be scheduled to fight 12rounds anyways, and they will surely get their millions too even without the title on the line. These are two real warriors who don’t need belts to prove their worth. They have proven time and again that they are real champions. It’s just so happens that the titles are there up for grabs, and it doesn’t hurt to have those shiny things around the waist.

Do you really think the pound for pound best fighter in the world need the WBO welterweight belt to prove he is the best? He is already the best! Manny Pacquiao already captured 4 lineal titles in 4 different weight divisions! And nobody in history has ever done anything like that!

Would Miguel Cotto’s stock be lessening if he was striped off the WBO title because of not paying the sanction fee? Not at all! He is still Miguel Cotto, the champ who has beaten Carlos Quintana, Zab Judah, Paulile Malignaggi, Joshuah Clottey, Ricardo Torres and many other really tough guys! And now people wonder if Margarito could’ve really beaten him without that hardening plaster in his gloves?

And what does a WBO welterweight championship between Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquio mean to boxing? Or better yet, what could this mean to Mr. Bob Arum, the sole promoter of this fight?

Well... a lot! For boxing fans, this is about history. This is about watching Manny Pacquiao attempt something that seemed to be impossible back then, a record breaking 7 world titles in 7 different weight divisions. Millions of fighters in the world would not even have 1 world title in their lifetime, how great can a person be if he person can capture seven! And that’s not all…in seven different weight divisions! This is about witnessing Manny Pacquiao, a little guy who started boxing at 106lbs, would face yet again, a bigger, stronger guy, trying to capture a title at 147lbs.

This is about Miguel Cotto defending his championship title against the pound for pound best fighter in the world! This is about the champ fighting the champ!

And it would be a boxing fans’ dream to witness something like that and tell the story for the next generations to come of the momentous championship that was Cotto vs. Pacquiao.

If this will be a championship bout…

For Bob Arum, this is about sparking people’s interest in boxing. This is about attracting more boxing fans to witness history in the making, which could mean more pay-per-view sales! This is about getting more customers and keeping those customers so they can come back for more.

This is about attracting more advertisers, putting in more sponsorship, and more millions in this sport of boxing. Heck! A championship event is the advertisers’ dream event!

This is about making more extra millions of dollars out of this mega event!

That could also mean bigger income for Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao from their revenue split!

Again, if this is a championship bout...

Therefore, why can’t they make it into one?!

C’mon! Put some sweet and some spice in this event! Pay the sanctioning fees and make everybody happy!

Source: http://www.8countnews.com/news/125/ARTICLE/1786/2009-07-27.html

Manny Pacquiao v Henry Armstrong?

No matter what happens from this point forward, Manny Pacquiao will be a first ballot inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF). The IBHOF member to whom Manny is most often compared to is Henry Armstrong (Class of 1990).
My personal view is that Pacquiao has no interest in the comparison. In fact, there is no real comparison that can or should be made other than who would have won if the two fought.

Manny Pacquiao cannot and will never compare with respect to the number of fights won. According to the IBHOF, Armstrong stepped into the professional ring 181times and stepped out of the ring a winner 151 times. The fight with Miguel Cotto will be number 55 for Manny, and we'll be lucky if we get to see Manny hit the 60 professional fights mark.

Another way the two fighters will always fail to compare is that when Armstrong earned a title he held onto it. At the high water mark of his career, Armstrong owned the welterweight, lightweight, and featherweight titles simultaneously. Pacquiao has been a champion at lightweight and featherweight and has fought at close to the welterweight limit; however, Manny also captured titles at flyweight, super bantamweight, super featherweight, and Ricky Hatton's unrecognized IBO belt at junior welterweight. As such, Pacquiao is not the modern day Henry Armstrong and he never will be.

Conversely, Henry Armstrong was not Manny Pacquiao. Armstrong began his boxing quest as a 120-pounder and ended it as a welterweight. Pacquiao started his journey as a 106-pounder and will fight Miguel Cotto at catch weight of 145 pounds. In other words, Armstrong and Pacquiao wrecked havoc on the some of the same weight divisions, but Manny has had to cover a greater distance on the scales. Manny is not Henry, Henry is not Manny, and both men will eventually arrive at the same place--Canastota, New York.

Boxing fans and commentators have this weird fascination with past meets present scenarios. We simply cannot help ourselves. To compare Manny Pacquiao to Henry Armstrong is fair game because there are some similarities, but to say one must be like the other is unnecessary. Boxing is a different animal today than it was when Armstrong owned the sport. Some will say better, others worse. Regardless, the sport has evolved and will continue to do so.

By way of example, the Rocky Marciano 49-0 record is still a recognizable milestone, but realistically not something that will be achieved again during our lifetime. The simple reason being that boxers do not fight as much today as they did in Marciano's era. Marciano fought seven times within a 13 month span (1951-1952), which included wins over Joe Louis and Jersey Joe Walcott. He fought 6 times in 1950, 13 times in 1949, and 11 times in 1948. Most people don’t realize this, but Marciano fought 49 times from March 1947 to September 1955. By my rudimentary math skills, this is about 5.7647 times per year. I digress.

The bottom line is that what was accomplished in boxing yesterday can be compared to today in realistic terms. The era sets the rules for each fighter. It is more interesting to me to examine what fighters might have been able to do against each other. If we get to the point where we start to speculate Pacquiao v. Armstrong, red corner-blue corner, like we do with Ali v. Marciano, then this means that both men are bigger than the eras that define them, which my friends is the text book definition as to what it takes to be considered among the greatest of all time.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-8370-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d27-Manny-Pacquiao-v-Henry-Armstrong

Monday, July 27, 2009

But Filipinos Care About the Title, Bob!

Bob Arum has a sound basis in saying that whether or not the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight is for the WBO welterweight championship, "nobody in the US cares". Neither fighter represents the US.

But why aren’t you sensitive to the Filipinos’ feelings Bob?

To Filipinos this is not just another Manny Pacquiao fight. Manny is about to set a new world boxing record. Winning his 7th world title in 7 weight divisions would place Manny atop boxing’s all time greats.

"Nobody in the US cares" is a general statement. There are many boxing fans who are still Filipinos and former Filipinos who are in the US who care. And I read with amusement Boxing Examiner Michael Marley’s observation that US citizen Oscar dela Hoya cares, albeit, from the adversarial point of view.

In taking Ricky Hatton’s 140-lb titles last May, Manny equalled Oscars 6 division world titles record. Oscar is no longer alone relishing the accolade. And Oscar shares the rare distinction with the fighter who is responsible for his retirement. And while Manny has the chance to win #7, Oscar had lost it.

And I think US citizen Michael Marley cares as Filipinos do. His articles say no less.

And Bob? He speaks for the rest in the US and as one of them who don’t care.

But look beyond the US Bob. You’ve been to the Philippines and you know how significant Manny’s accomplishments are to Filipinos. Do something to make Cotto’s title on the line.

Winning the WBO 147-lb belt would also equal Manny’s 2008 feat. Manny won the 130-lb and the 135-lb WBC belts last year. He already has annexed the IBO and Ring Magazine 140-lb titles early this year. Winning two division titles in a year and doing it in two consecutive years would also be a record of sort.

Winning a record 7th division title is a new boxing record long to stay in the books. This is too big a source of joy and sense of pride for Filipinos not only in this generation but also in many more to come.

Yes Bob, Filipinos Care About the Title.

Source: http://philboxing.com/news/story-26048.html

Bob Arum is a quote machine

"Nobody in the U.S. cares," might not make it to the Quote Hall of Fame in Wilkes-Barre, PA, but if promoter Bob Arum turns this seeming malaise-like situation around it should get consideration for at least a bumper sticker like "Don't taze me bro."

Arum's words are the worst quote I can remember since late U.S. President Gerald R. Ford told New York City to simply "Drop Dead" back in the mid 1970's during a much more serious heated financial crisis.

Boxing history, the Manny Pacquiao legacy and the intangible fanaticism of his worldwide appeal are what Bob Arum uses the Monday morning after each Pacquiao fight to create the interest in his next fight and generate millions of dollars.

I believe the loyal Pinoy fans and most worldwide media caught up in this believe Top Rank seems to be arrogant so far in getting behind this Pacquiao - Cotto fight.

That the opponent (Cotto) actually wants to dictate terms of the fight is downright insulting to Pinoy fans and Pinoy media. They want to know why Arum didn't cut short his vacation and handle this assault to their senses, national pride and Pacquiao himself.

Like most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Whatever Arum is doing is working.

Nobody is paying attention to that other fight.

Do the media and fans just have too much time on their respective hands?

Pacquiao is a warrior and he wants to fight the best available opponents before winding down his storied Hall of Fame career.

So why are Arum and Miguel Cotto even having a say in this?

Take the fight at reasonable Pacquiao terms or get out of the way. Is somebody vacationing in a clear conflict of interest here? I don't think so. I have previously said someone is getting bad advice from an outsider.

Cotto is clinging to the WBO welterweight title. It was a vacant title. Cotto was even coming off of a knockout loss. The belt was handed to him after beating one Michael Jennings. The title was vacant because Paul Williams gave it up to move up in weight to fight for the junior middleweight title against Winky Wright.

This is like Lennox Lewis picking the WBC belt out of the trash can after Riddick Bowe dumped it there after he refused to fight him. Lewis made something of himself.

What will Cotto do?

I assume Arum had a hand in this knowing he'd eventually get Pacquiao to move up in weight and fight Cotto at the same time locking up the title and weight division for his Top Rank company for a number of years by the time all the mandatory fights, unifications, and rematch clauses are exhausted.

This scenario can be seen in virtually all 17 legitimate weight divisions and the four worldwide recognized sanctioning bodies dating back to Cain-Abel I.

However, when you have a superstar, one who transcends the sport such as Manny Pacquiao, it can't be business as usual.

Business can't be done by a cookie-cutter in this situation.

World Boxing Council president Jose Sulaiman understands this and for the upcoming Super Middleweight Tournament being promoted by Showtime Network, he is making a positive adjustment.

Sulaiman is letting the tournament run it's course and WBC Champion Carl Froch can freely fight in the tournament without worrying about his mandatory defense and top contenders Andre Berto and Andre Dirrell can also compete freely of their WBC obligations during the expected 18 month tournament.

Cotto is a warrior himself, but I'm not interested in what he has to say. This title wasn't handed down by the Greek Gods to a glorious champion in this case. This was a cigar smoke-filled back room chop shop where promoters were wheeling and dealing.

Cotto is lucky a payday like Pacquiao has come along in his lfetime. And he won't defend a bogus title while being handed a minimum $5 million.

Cotto has had a fantastic career and is to be respected, but he has to pick his political fights better than it appears he has here by balking at putting his belt up against Cotto.

Five years from now Cotto wants to be remembered as a proud champ, who always had time for his fans and in his prime battled the legendary Pacquiao.

Not that he held the vacant WBO welterweight title but for unclear reasons wouldn't put the belt up against the Hall of Famer Pacquiao.

Professionally, how could Arum top or duplicate the effort and results from what he did with Oscar De La Hoya? At age 78, what he has done so far for a naturally light fighter, who speaks very broken English and has three losses and two draws on his record is the equivalent of Ted Williams hitting a home run in his last at bat.

Arum certainly has this event under control. He hasn't lost any sleep. He knows what he's doing.

Who's coming with the next great quote?

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-11372-Dallas-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d27-Bob-Arum-is-a-quote-machine

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: http://insidefights.com/2009/07/27/cotto-pacquiao-no-title-no-problem/

How will the Pacquiao-Cotto match will end?

Fighters' Statistics

Manny Pacquiao Profiles, Statistics and Records
Miguel Cotto Profiles, Statistics and Records