Is this Police Academy?
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Jan 25, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Police Academy
Promoter Bob Arum labeled the reports surfacing over the weekend regarding Miguel Cotto facing Manny Pacquiao on June 9th as “totally premature.” While the Puerto Rican star may take on the “Pac-Man” once again, key issues like the purse and the catchweight (because you just know there has to be one between the WBO welterweight champion and the WBA junior middleweight titlist) have to be resolved. Cotto and his representatives were at Top Rank’s offices on Monday to discuss the fight. The bottom line is, while not yet February, there is no rush at this point to consummate this deal.
From a business and promotional standpoint, Pacquiao-Cotto II seems to make the most sense (Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather notwithstanding). If you go by gate receipts and pay-per-view figures, Cotto is the biggest boxing franchise in the United States behind Pacquiao and Mayweather. His grudge rematch against Antonio Margarito this past December reportedly did around 600,000 pay-per-view purchases while playing to a sold-out house at the Madison Square Garden in New York. 
No matter what the very vocal minority will scream (or tweet or post on message boards), this return engagement will do big business. Pacquiao is a worldwide brand and nobody can market and promote an event quite like Top Rank. All the organized online boycotts in the world won’t put much of a dent into the pay-per-view numbers because the reality is when you go beyond a certain plateau, the really successful promotions aren't about the hardcore fan who purchases every pay-per-view fight or watches ESPN2 or Telefutura on a weekly basis. It’s about that casual fan or semi-casual fan who watches boxing about two or three times a year.
In other words, the general public that only knows Mayweather and/or Pacquiao (and, to a lesser degree, Cotto) will have no problems forking out its money for their fights on May 5th and June 9th, respectively (and there is a large and loyal following of Pacquiao fans who will support him regardless). Yes, there will be growing backlash over these two not stepping into the same ring and perhaps, sooner or later, the bottom will drop out but, right now, there is no tangible evidence of that as each man continues to average well over a million buys for his promotions.
Pacquiao plays in Peoria (and all over).
Pacquiao-Cotto II certainly isn't the worst fight in the world. In fact, based on recent form, where Pacquiao hasn't been all that impressive (bringing about whispers that, at age 33, he is now on the physical decline) and with Cotto having gained revenge on his nemesis in his last fight, there is some intrigue. But honestly, if you go back to their initial encounter back in November of 2009, while the first few innings were competitive and compelling, as soon as Cotto hit the canvas for the second time in the fourth round, it became a one-sided shellacking before he was mercifully stopped in the final heat.
The consensus is that the sequel of this match-up will look a lot like the original. It has a “been there, done that” feel and you get the sense that you really don't need another one (at least not now).
Speaking of sequels, no, it's not like they'd be doing another “Gigli,” “Glitter” or “Waterworld.” Maybe it's more like the “Police Academy” series, where unless you were a Steve Guttenberg fan (and I hope I'm not offending the legion of Steve Guttenberg fans out there), you really didn't need to see the further exploits of Moses Hightower, Larvell Jones, Eugene Tackleberry and their cohorts. The bottom line was that while, though not exactly “Citizen Kane,” “Police Academy” was the sixth highest grossing film in the U.S. in 1984, so it naturally had a sequel. In fact, it had six follow-up features (I gotta be honest; I lost interest after the second one) with diminishing interest as time went on.
But perhaps comparing Pacquiao-Cotto to “Police Academy” is an overstatement. I mean, it's not like they're going to fight seven times (this distinction should be reserved for really unwanted rivalries like John Ruiz-Evander Holyfield and Winky Wright-Bronco McKart) but really, as I think about it, Pacquiao-Cotto II reminds me of “The Karate Kid” series, post-Ralph Macchio ( even then, by the third film, the magic faded and Mr. Miyagi was helpless without “Daniel-san” in “The Next Karate Kid” as the franchise officially jumped the shark with Hilary Swank). Or maybe it's like the “Bad News Bears” trilogy. Yeah, the sequels where they go to the Astrodome (hey, a Bob Watson and Enos Cabell sighting!) and then to Japan all had their moments but let's be honest; much of this franchise’s magic was about Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) and their fire-balling female ace, Amanda, played by a prepubescent Tatum O'Neal. The two make a Cinderella run in the North Valley League with the help of midseason pickup Kelly Leak, a true five-tool player if there ever was one. Leak was in all three “Bears” but without the Buttermaker and Number 11, it just wasn't the same.
That said, of the quartet of choices laid out by Arum, my personal preference is Tim Bradley. Yeah, the “Desert Storm”; I said it. Hear me out, please. Yeah, I know many of you believe he “ducked” Amir Khan. In my opinion, Bradley ducked being with his TV packager Gary Shaw any longer than he had to. OK, regardless of how you feel about that, Bradley has the best résumé at 140 pounds from top to bottom, is undefeated and in his physical prime (by the way, Bradley is also listed in a lot of those mythical pound-for-pound rankings some say are so important). One of the knocks on Pacquiao's recent run is the lack of foes who are in their physical primes. Critics like Bernard Hopkins brought up the lack of African-Americans on Pacquiao’s ledger last year before he faced Shane Mosley last May. Well, Bradley is a strong, young, athletic boxer in his prime with the skills and quickness to trouble the Filipino icon. As for Bradley being a blown up junior welterweight, let's be honest; Pacquiao himself is just that- a junior welter who can basically negotiate any weight he wants on a fight-by-fight basis.
As for Lamont Peterson? Not a bad choice but Bradley defeated him soundly back a few years ago. Juan Manuel Marquez? Again, as close and competitive as this series has been, in a column where I'm calling for new, fresh fights, I don't think this is the time to endorse a fourth go-round between them.
But boxing at this level is big business before anything else. Bradley's risk/reward quotient may not add up to what Arum and Pacquiao are looking for at this particular moment. So logic dictates the opponent they are clearly targeting is the reserved man from Caguas who, if not universally beloved on his island, is greatly respected and brings his own legion of countrymen and fans.
Perhaps Cotto, riding the crest of his victory over Margarito, and his new trainer can reverse the outcome of the first meeting. Hey, how many people really gave Holyfield a chance of upending Riddick Bowe in their second meeting? As they say, there's a reason you fight the fights. Pacquiao-Marquez III was supposed to be a physical mismatch but by the end of the night, it ended in a hotly-debated decision where many observers believed the Mexican had done more than enough to get his hand raised in victory.
Or maybe, it's the same script all over again. 
The reality is that the faded version of Cotto beat an even more faded version of Margarito and what was effective versus the “Tijuana Tornado” would be rendered impotent against the far more mobile and agile Pacquiao.
Sometimes the first edition is as good as it gets. Most of the time, it's all we really want.
And unless it's Star Wars or Harry Potter, you really don't need sequels.
I got this email from Tony C., who makes the argument that Mr. Mayweather doesn't warrant anything more than an even-split in a fight with the congressman from the Philippines:
Floyd Mayweather does not deserve more than 50-50 against Manny Pacquiao. 

Manny Pacquiao has been the PPV king 2 of the past 3 years going head to head with Floyd Mayweather, and 3 of the past 4 years if you include 2008 where Pacquiao shared top billing in his fight with Oscar De La Hoya.

Pacquiao's fights generated more money than Floyd Mayweather's, more people bought his Pay Per Views, more people paid at the gate to watch him live.

Pay Per View

1.Pacquiao-Cotto................1.25M PPV ($70M).......($8.85M gate -crowd:15,930)
2.Mayweather-Marquez.......1.05M PPV ($52M).......($6.81M gate -crowd:13,116)
3.Pacquiao-Hatton...............850K PPV ($45M)........($8.83M gate -crowd:16,262)

1.Mayweather-Mosley..........1.4M PPV ($78.3M)......($11.03M gate -crowd:15,117)
2.Pacquiao-Margarito..........1.15M PPV ($64M).......($5.4M gate -crowd:40,154)
3.Pacquiao-Clottey...............700K PPV ($35.3M).....($6.36M gate -crowd:41,843)

1.Pacquiao-Marquez...........1.41M PPV ($77.6M*)....($11.65M gate -crowd:16,389)
2.Mayweather-Ortiz.............1.25M PPV ($78.4M)......($9M gate -crowd:14,687)
3.Pacquiao-Mosley..............1.1M~ PPV ($66M)........($8.88M gate -crowd:16,412)

*1.41M PPV x $54.95...PPV gross will be more taking into account HD buys at $64.95
~some reports have Pac-Mosley doing 1.3M PPV buys, including on the Ring website & Wikipedia


Pacquiao v Mosley.............16,412 (MGM Grand, Las Vegas)
Pacquiao v Marquez..........16,389 (MGM Grand, Las Vegas)
Mayweather v Ortiz............14,687 (MGM Grand, Las Vegas)

Pacquiao v Clottey.............41,843 (Cowboys Stadium, Texas)
Pacquiao v Margarito.........40,154 (Cowboys Stadium, Texas)
Mayweather v Mosley.........15,117 (MGM Grand, Las Vegas)

Pacquiao v Hatton.............16,262 (MGM Grand, Las Vegas)
Pacquiao v Cotto...............15,930 (MGM Grand, Las Vegas)
Mayweather v Marquez......13,116 (MGM Grand, Las Vegas)

Floyd Mayweather has no claim to more than a 50-50 split, none whatsoever

Tony, thanks for the email. Honestly, I thought we were making progress to having these guys meet in November but with Floyd's email where he stated that an even split with Pacquiao was out of the question, I went back to my original skepticism of this bout ever taking place.

I just wonder if this will be another edition of the debate between Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins, who argued over purse splits throughout much of 2002, effectively keeping their rematch from taking place till 2010- loooong after the sell-buy date.


Teddy Atlas made it clear to me that his deal with WBA heavyweight beltholder Alexander Povetkin calls for him to come and train in the United States while Atlas has his duties for ESPN2's “Friday Night Fights.” I don't expect Atlas to budge...Chris Arreola will take on Eric Molina on Feb. 18th in Corpus Christi, Texas. Not sure if it will make the Showtime broadcast (featuring Paul Williams vs. Nobu Ishida and Tavoris Cloud vs. Gabriel Campillo) that night...Was “Chico's Bail Bonds” the greatest sponsor ever?...The part where lil' Tanner talks about the ethnic and racial make-up of the Bears is among the greatest movie scenes ever. Let's be honest; that type of talk was nothing out of the norm back when we played youth league sports. That movie was very authentic in many ways...Anyone that supported the remakes of “The Bad News Bears” and “The Karate Kid” should be flogged…This Lakers team is hard to watch, isn't it; just seeing Kobe going one-on-five over and over again?...Does Peyton Manning see the writing on the wall in Indy?...

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