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.
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
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.
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.
plays in Peoria (and all over).
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.
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).
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
maybe, it's the same script all over again.
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.
the first edition is as good as it gets. Most of the time, it's all we really
unless it's Star Wars or Harry Potter, you really don't need sequels.
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
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
2.Mayweather-Marquez.......1.05M PPV ($52M).......($6.81M gate -crowd:13,116)
3.Pacquiao-Hatton...............850K PPV ($45M)........($8.83M gate
1.Mayweather-Mosley..........1.4M PPV ($78.3M)......($11.03M gate
2.Pacquiao-Margarito..........1.15M PPV ($64M).......($5.4M gate -crowd:40,154)
3.Pacquiao-Clottey...............700K PPV ($35.3M).....($6.36M gate
1.Pacquiao-Marquez...........1.41M PPV ($77.6M*)....($11.65M gate
2.Mayweather-Ortiz.............1.25M PPV ($78.4M)......($9M gate -crowd:14,687)
3.Pacquiao-Mosley..............1.1M~ PPV ($66M)........($8.88M gate
*1.41M PPV x $54.95...PPV gross will be more taking into account HD buys at
~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
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?...