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Thursday, November 12, 2009


By Alex P. Vidal
Fri, 13 Nov 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- A World Boxing Council (WBC) show in a World Boxing Organization (WBO) affair. This apparently what transpired during the final press conference for the “Pacquiao vs Cotto: Firepower” at the Hollywood Theater in MGM Grand, here, November 11 afternoon.

It happened after WBO president Paco Valcarcel, who was supposed to join the presidential table as originally scheduled, did not show up.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum said Valcarcel, Cotto’s compatriot, is expected to plane in November 12 and will be the one to award the WBO championship welterweight belt for the winner on Saturday.

In a stroke of fate, WBC executive director Mauricio Sulaiman, whose name was listed as “vice president of WBC" in the original “final press conference running order”, surfaced toting a WBC championship belt laced with 600 diamonds.

Sulaiman, son of WBC top honco Don Jose Chagnon, handed the belt to HBO pay-per-view chief Mark Taffet, to be displayed on the table but Manny Pacquiao grabbed it in jest and placed in front of his table.

“This WBC diamond championship belt will be awarded to the winner (between Pacquiao and WBO welterweight ruler Miguel Angel Cotto),” beamed Sulaiman. “That means that whoever will get it, he can give 600 diamonds to 600 girls.”

Sulaiman later allowed Cotto, who was proudly displaying his WBO belt, to touch the WBC diamond strap.

When both Cotto and Pacquiao posed for press photographers, Pacquiao carried the WBC diamond belt while Cotto raised his own belt vertically.

Sulaiman said it was a perfect occasion to announce the awarding of the belt, the first time in the annals of world boxing championships, although Cotto’s belt is the one up for grabs in a 12-round duel on November 14.

It was part of the WBC project dubbed “WBC Asia Relief Fund—Philippine Disaster”, the WBC’s “modest support to the great people of this extraordinary boxing country (Philippines)”, which was recently slammed by deadly typhoon “Ketsana” that killed hundreds of people and rendered thousands of families homeless.

It is selling commemorative key-rings of the first WBC Diamond Belt to raise funds.

Source: http://philboxing.com/news/story-29493.html

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