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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


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

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