Manny Pacquiao okays talks for fight with Cotto

MANILA, Philippines – Puerto Rican welterweight champ Miguel Cotto appears to be the front-runner in the Manny Pacquiao derby.

According to Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who incidentally promotes both fighters, Pacquiao himself has instructed him to start the ball rolling on talks for a possible showdown with Cotto later this year.

“Manny told me, ‘Go ahead, make that fight.’ So it will go Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Vegas,” Arum was quoted Monday in an article by Examiner.com’s Michael Marley.

The Filipino ring icon was at ringside with Arum when Cotto beat Joshua Clottey via split decision to retain his 147-lb strap, scouting a potential opponent while lending support to Rodel Mayol in his unsuccessful bid against WBO light-flyweight champ Ivan Calderon.

Although Cotto had earlier said he would not go below 147-lbs to meet IBO light-welterweight boss Pacquiao at a catch weight, Arum said the Puerto Rican might relent in the long run.

“Miguel is delighted to get a fight against Manny, trust me. Miguel very much wants this fight. It will be a sensational fight the way they attack,” Arum stated.

Cotto’s cut at the left eyebrow area, which he suffered in the Clottey fight, would not pose a problem on the projected November 14 card, Arum insisted. “It’s not that bad,” he said.

The Top Rank boss added that the Pacman likes the idea of fighting against an opponent with a solid fanbase like Cotto.

“He was impressed by Cotto’s fan support and told me it reminded him of how the British fans stand with Ricky Hatton,” Arum said.

Cotto is just one of the marquee names that have surfaced as the next rival of Pacquiao after his two-round annihilation of Hatton. The star-studded roster includes comebacking Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Sugar Shane Mosley, Edwin Valero, Michael Katsidis and Antonio Margarito.

Mayweather and Marquez were supposed to duke it out on July 18, a fight that also interests Pacquiao, but the bout was postponed due to Mayweather’s injury.

And with the Mayweather-Marquez gig to be held on a later (still-unscheduled) date, “Money Mayweather” would likely be not ready for a November fight with the “Pacman.”

The idea of bumping off Marquez in the Mayweather schedule in order to tangle with Pacquiao right away is also not on the agenda right now, Arum insisted.

“No, none, nothing along those lines,” Arum said when asked about being approached by the Mayweather camp for an immediate Pacquiao-Mayweather bout by Examiner.com. “No such indication at all from anybody.”

Pacquiao had earlier declared his readiness to take on anybody, as long as they agree on the terms of the fight, including purse split and a catch weight for the natural welterweights like Cotto. – for more news and autographed boxing gloves Click Here:


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