MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao’s opponent on Nov. 13 should be known by Monday, and it’s got nothing to do with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Bob Arum yesterday told boxingscene.com that he has gotten in touch with the camps of Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, and hinted that things went well during the initial talks.
The Top Rank chief, the guru of boxing promotions, said two sets of proposals are coming Pacquiao’s way, probably to be hand-carried by the boxer’s Canadian adviser, Michael Koncz.
“Probably by Monday we should have a decision. I spoke with both parties. The two proposals are going to Pacquiao,” said Arum, a week after the second round of negotiations with Mayweather came to a screeching halt.
“Now it all depends on what (Pacquiao) decides. (Mayweather) says he is on vacation. We cannot wait for him,” added Arum of the undefeated American who can’t seem to decide when he’d fight Pacquiao.
Or if ever he wants the fight.
Cotto, who failed to last the distance when he faced Pacquiao last November, is now the new WBO light-middleweight champion, and said he’s open to a second shot at the Filipino champion.
Pacquiao, the reigning WBO welterweight champion, will have to climb a notch higher to face Cotto at a catchweight of around 150 lb, and shoot for an eighth world title in different weight classes.
Taking on Margarito, the former WBA, IBF and WBO in the 147 lb division, will also give Pacquiao a crack at his “Eighth Wonder” since they will have to fight for the vacant WBC light-middleweight (154 lb) crown.
Pacquiao, now busy with his new role as congressman of Sarangani, told sports commentator Dyan Castillejo yesterday he has no problem facing Margarito in Mexico in November.
Just a couple of years ago, Margarito was nowhere in Pacquiao’s radar because the Mexican was just too big for the Filipino who started out at 106 lb, and climbed all the way to the top of seven weight classes.
“Huwag ‘yan. Masyado malaki ‘yan (Not him. He’s too big),” Pacquiao said.
But that was then, and this is now.
Pacquiao said he’s ready for the Margarito challenge, sounding like he prefers this fight more than the one against Cotto, bigger and heavier but definitely slower.
“Maganda ‘yun (That’s good). Lalabanan ko siya sa 150-147 pounds. Mga ganoon (I’ll probably fight him at 150-147 pounds. Around that weight),” Pacquiao said of Margarito.
The reigning pound-for-pound champion said he wouldn’t mind going to Mexico to face Margarito, who doesn’t carry a license to fight in the United States
following a case involving illegal handwraps.
“Walang problema. Excited din ako lumaban sa Mexico, first time ako lalaban doon (No problem. I’m excited to fight in Mexico, it will be the first time I’d fight there),” said Pacquiao.
Aside from Mexico, other venues being considered for Pacquiao’s next fight are Abu Dhabi, and of course, Las Vegas.
Abac Cordero, Philippine Star