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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pacquiao-Cotto bout has no rematch clause

In crafting the deal that is allowing Saturday night's Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto welterweight championship bout, promoter Bob Arum provided guaranteed purses of $7.5 million to Pacquiao and $4 million to Cotto.

The contract also allowed the promoter to extend his deals with each fighter. Cotto is now under contract with Arum's Top Rank company until the end of 2011, Arum said, and Pacquiao's Top Rank deal was extended until the end of 2012.

One provision that was left out was a rematch clause that would allow either fighter to seek a rematch if they desired.

"It never came up," Arum said. "These were intense negotiations. To throw that in was an added element would've put negotiations on hold for probably two more weeks."

Privately, the Top Rank camp has expressed a desire for Saturday's bout to be a compelling bout that would allow a rematch to occur.

The alternatives to a convincing victory by either fighter could be problematic to create. If Pacquiao wins the 145-pound welterweight bout in lopsided fashion, fight fans will of course clamor for a showdown against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., a former Top Rank boxer whose relationship with Arum is strained, to put it mildly.

Should Cotto overwhelm Pacquiao, Arum is pushing for a rematch with Antonio Margarito as "a fight everyone wants to see." Margarito is currently without a license after being caught with plaster-hardened inserts in his hand wraps before a January fight against Shane Mosley. Cotto said he suspects Margarito had loaded gloves in their July 2008 bout won by Margarito via 11th-round TKO, and Cotto's father said he doesn't want a rematch to occur.

"No way," Miguel Sr. told The Times Wednesday.

The Pacquiao-Cotto rematch, thus, is a strong fallback option, but first requires a compelling duel Saturday night.

"It's all well and good to refer to me as the chessmaster, but these guys have managers and advisors, and I won't be able to do a rematch by snapping my fingers," Arum said. "I can't just make the pieces on the board fall into place."

--Lance Pugmire

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