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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cotto won't put world title on line against Pacquiao

Bob Arum wants the world to think, hook, line and sinker, that the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto is a done deal.

Love that Bob, as Dan Goosen likes to say.

While I’m sure that come hell or high water, the bout will happen Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as scheduled, there is some drama going on behind the scenes.

Here are some bothersome details which the Top Rank Top Dog may not appreciate a public airing of.

Not that I’m worried about my Uncle Roberto as I work for you, the reader, and not for him.

Promoters sometimes mix that up with fight scribes although I won’t name names now. You shills can look at the shill in the mirror.

I am mixing metaphors all over the place, I know, but there are flies in the ointment as to Pacman-Cotto.

They are:

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

2. Realizing that Pacquiao got “extra sugar” poured on to his financial package by Arum for conceding on the 145 pound limit, it is now Cotto that is demanding that Tio Roberto sweeten his pot.

3. Arum very much wants to include the historic seventh world title angle in the promotional package and milk it for all it’s worth.

4. Obviously, that can’t be done if Cotto does not put his WBO 147 pound title on the line and it is just a 12 round non-title bout.

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

6. Penagaricano, whose father was a longtime WBC honcho and legal adviser, is in a bit of a conflict of interest as he is a WBC secretary himself, duly appointed by WBC kingpin Don Jose Sulaiman. (Note that Andre Berto is the WBC champion and Luis Collazo is the top contender so this may not be significant.)

7. It’s hard to believe Penagaricano Jr. would not be advocating what his client Cotto wants so wise heads see the holdup as just that, an unarmed holdup to squeeze extra money out of Arum.

8. Valcarcel, for his part, won’t talk now but sources inside the WBO tell me that Arum has twice told him Pacquaio is keen on battling for the belt.

9. Although Valcarcel is biting his lawyerly tongue for now, the same sources in San Juan tell me the situation, if not resolved soon, could lead to Manny being able to “win” the title against Cotto. What organization would not want a revenue producer like Pacquiao on their roster?

10. Bad possible news for Cotto, if he doesn’t agree to a title defense and pay sanctioning fees, is that he can beat Pacman in the ring and have his title vacated by the WBO regardless.

This telenovela is far from finished. Sensing an opening here, one of the lesser regarded and non Big Four (WBO, WBC, WBA, IBF) groups, particularly the several who have flexible kind of pay what you want sanctioning fees, might get involved if this impasse is not solved.

In the current (July) WBO rankings, Manny is the No. 1 contender ahead of just failed against Cotto Joshua Clottey.

From the WBO website, here are those rankings. Pickings are slim below Clottey.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d22-Cotto-balks-at-putting-world-title-on-line-against-Pacquaio

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