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Thursday, October 29, 2009

IBO calls on Pacquiao to defend boxing title

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CORAL GABLES, Florida — The International Boxing Organization has issued a challenge to Manny Pacquiao to defend his junior welterweight title or risk being stripped of the crown.

The IBO said Thursday that the 32-year-old Filipino has 10 weeks to decide whether to defend the title he won in May from Ricky Hatton.

Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Miguel Cotto in a mega welterweight bout in Las Vegas on November 14. The IBO title is the only current belt Pacquiao holds.

"Manny Pacquiao was notified that he will be given time to decide whether to defend his championship at 140 pounds or vacate the title," said IBO president Ed Levine said. "He is still well within his time requirements to make a title defence in the weight class. So, we'll allow him a chance to decide and notify us."

Pacquiao, of General Santos City, is 49-3-2 with 37 knockouts and is unbeaten since a losing to Erik Morales in 2005.

According to IBO rules, "all champions, with the exception of the heavyweight champion, shall defend their title at least once every nine months unless medically excused for valid cause and/or at the sole and absolute discretion of the IBO."

Pacquiao has one previous fight at welterweight, scoring a technical knockout win over Oscar De La Hoya last year. Since turning pro 14 years ago he has competed at least once in every weight class from junior flyweight (108 pounds) to lightweight (135 pounds),

Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5irCP17Ka7DmmQwkIwy_2jnECrZXA

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