Cotto Vs. Pacquiao..What Will Happen?

Jonathan YaghoubiContributor IJune 25, 2009

Big Apple Boxing Thoughts                                                                      

When Manny Pacquiao knocked Ricky Hatton out cold last month, it looked to have set him up with the fight of all fights. With a Floyd Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez fight on the horizon, Manny was all set to face the winner for a big money PPV showdown in December. However, a series of events has caused those plans to change.

Mayweather pulls out of his July fight with Juan Manuel Marquez with an injured rib, meaning those two greats will have to wait a while - possibly until September - before finally getting it on.

It has become no secret that promoter Bob Arum had Miguel Cotto firmly on his list of potential next opponents for the pound-for-pound king - even before Cotto's big win over Joshua Clottey in one of the more exciting fights of the year. With the Cotto victory and the holder of a world title, Arum is determined to get the fight made a done deal. Right after Cotto’s win over Clottey, Arum declared that was the fight is he going with.

"Cotto-Pacquiao is the fight I want to make," said Arum. "It's the fight I really want to make."

Negotiations have already begun and the date of November 14 has been picked for the mega fight between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. Reports have come out this week that Cotto’s camp is ready to go on board with it as they wait word on Pacquiao’s camp to agree. The hope for Manny and his camp is to get a 65/35 split of the purse which seems to be the only problem on the fight going forward.

Cotto, understandably, needs a vacation. But if the fight takes place on November 14th, some five months away as it is, Cotto could surely be ready for "Pac-Man" by then. There will be the not too small matter of the bout's weight to be agreed on. After the Cotto- Clottey fight, Arum said a catch-weight affair at somewhere around the 142 to 145-pound mark is what he'll shoot for. Cotto won’t go below 144 and Manny wants him a little below 147.

Now the question remains, what can we expect to happen if these two great boxers step into the ring?

The media and the fans are still arguing as to whether or not Cotto deserved the win he was awarded over the dangerous Clottey. Clottey was very impressive in his performance as he was able to hit Cotto at will during the first 8 rounds. But, Clottey was content to back-pedal his way to the final bell over the bout's last four-rounds essentially giving the fight away.

Throw in the fact that Cotto knocked Clottey down in the first round; it did not seem like the smart thing to do for Clottey. Back to Cotto, he impressed some and disappointed others. Some fans and writers I talked to have even gone as far as to suggest the Puerto Rican star may be finished and is no longer going to be the top Puerto Rican boxing star. Some are starting to give that status to Juan Manuel Lopez. But that argument is for another day and time. Although that may be going too far, it most certainly means that Pacquiao will be the fresher man in the ring on November 14th.

Manny has had his share of tough fights but none lately. He is coming off the destruction of Hatton and also handled Oscar De La Hoya over 8 easy rounds that took the Golden Boy to retirement. It seems like he has hit his stride in his career and is more than ready for another big war.

Is Cotto going to be too big for Pacquiao to handle even at the lowest possible weight of 144? When it comes to speed, the advantage is clearly on Pacquiao’s side. Power? You got to give the edge to Cotto has his body punches will certainly put Pacquiao to the test.

Aside from Pacquiao-Mayweather, Cotto-Pacquiao is the most attractive fight involving the superstar from Philippines that can be made. Pacquiao- Mosley? There just won’t be the same passion involved in that fight as a Cotto-Pacquiao fight will. Bob Arum certainly agrees with that notion as he was said in an interview the other day.

“Miguel has always done extremely well on pay per view… Cotto brings more to the table than Mosley,” he said. “Miguel brings millions of Puerto Rican fans…..those people will be coming for the fight and buy pay per view,” added Arum.

Being in Madison Square Garden the night he fought Clottey, the outpour of love and nationalism for Cotto and Puerto Rico is something that Mosley just can’t bring. The war of the words will be fun to watch between the Phillipino and Puerto Rican fans. Let the fun begin!