A press conference held to hype Top Rank’s Latin Fury X card quickly changed cue cards to: Who will fight Manny Pacquiao?
All of the principles for the upcoming fight card were upstaged by a more important battle to determine who fights the man considered Pound for Pound champion Pacquiao. On one side is Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto. On the other side is California’s Sugar Shane Mosley.
Bob Arum, who heads Top Rank the company that promotes Pacquiao, wants Cotto.
“It would be a terrific fight,” said Arum to the dozens of journalists gathered at the Mexican restaurant on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles.
Mosley doesn’t think so.
“Pacquiao doesn’t want to fight Cotto, he wants to give me a deal,” said Mosley by telephone on Friday afternoon. “He will make a whole lot of money fighting me in the Staples Center. A lot of Filipinos live in California and they will go to the fight to see if the Mexican Assassin can be beat. A lot of people say basically I’m half Mexican cause I’m from California anyway.”
It seems to be a regional battle with many boxing fans in the east pulling for Cotto and boxing fans in the west pulling for Mosley.
Mosley says a survey should be constructed to prove his point. He believes boxing fans, especially Filipino boxing fans, would rather see their hero Pacquiao tested against Mosley.
Though trainer Freddie Roach had told TSS that he preferred his charge Pacquiao to fight in December, the Filipino superstar fighter apparently has plans to run for government office again in his country.
“Manny is running for office and needs to fight in November,” said Arum, adding that Pacquiao has not signed any contract to fight Cotto at the moment. “After he fights in November he can run for president if he wants.”
The last time anyone heard from Pacquiao he told a reporter in the Philippines that he would accept Mosley’s challenge if negotiations went well. But Arum wants to place Cotto and Pacquiao together, especially since both fight under Top Rank’s banner.
Mosley says more money can be made if he fights Pacquiao.
“It’s almost a no brainer. I don’t know how people can dispute it,” said Mosley who is currently in Big Bear. “He might as well go out with a bang against the number one welterweight champion, me.”
Arum, who is a genius of a boxing promoter, suggested that Clottey and Mosley would be a good fight. Most of the boxing writers think it would too, but would it fill the Staples Center?
Arum honestly agreed it would not.
Mosley says he will not fight anyone except Pacquiao or now injured Floyd Mayweather. He also is adamant that Cotto should not be among those considered to fight the Pound for Pound champion.
“I would say you can give a case for Mayweather, but not for Cotto. He still doesn’t deserve the position or that match,” Mosley said. “Cotto still needs to figure out if it was Margarito or the hand wraps that beat him. Personally, I think Margarito beats him again in a rematch. They should fight each other again.”
Mosley the matchmaker says a Margarito-Cotto rematch is intriguing.
“People want to see if Margarito’s win was real or not. I want to see it,” confessed Mosley. “Cotto’s people blew it up (the possibility that Margarito used loaded gloves in their fight last summer) so big, so why don’t they fight each other early next year. That’s a pay-per-view fight.”
Simply put, Mosley says the battle for pound for pound supremacy belongs to those considered among the best. That means Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao who is number one and Mosley who is ranked as high as number four on some Pound for Pound lists.
“Let's get this ball rolling so I can go to camp and he can go to camp. Let's get this show on the road and stop playing around,” said Mosley. “Everybody knows Manny is a warrior like me. He wants the best.”