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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


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

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