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News – Cotto Willing to Fight Pacquiao at 145, But Nothing Lower Than That

Manny Pacquiao Miguel CottoBy Manuel Perez: According to an article from Primera Hora, World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (33-1, 27 KOs) is willing to go no lower than 145 pounds to fight Manny Pacquiao, who is said wants Cotto to have to move down possibly as low as 142 if he’s interested in fighting Pacquiao.

In other words, if Cotto is interested in fighting Pacquiao he’ll have to drain himself of weight to the point where he’s weakened to fight Pacquiao.

Cotto, 28, said that he’s not about to go and possibly risk his health in order to satisfy Pacquiao and fight Pacquiao at 142. The nearest that Cotto has gotten to 142 is back in 2006 in a fight with Paulie Malignaggi. Back then, Cotto was fighting as a light welterweight (140 pounds), but he was finding it harder and harder to make the weight.

By the time that Cotto fought Malignaggi, Cotto was being forced to drain a lot of water weight just to make the weight class and it was leaving him looking weak.

Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach have been interested in fighting Shane Mosley and Cotto, but have put conditions ahead of setting up a potential fight, asking both Mosley and Cotto to come in at a weight closer to 140 rather than the 147 that they’re both now fighting at.

The problem with this move is that if Cotto or Mosley take the fight and agree to strip down to whatever catch weight that Roach and Pacquiao agree upon, it will likely leave Cotto and Mosley much weaker than they normally are and make them vulnerable to Pacquiao’s punches. I don’t what kind of game that Pacquiao and team are playing, but it’s hardly fair to either Cotto or Mosley.

They’re the ones that have their reputations tarnished if they lose to Pacquiao, and the public won’t be seeing it as a weight issue. They’ll actually believe that Pacquiao beat them fair and square and will be clueless about how Mosley or Cotto was forced to drain themselves of water weight and fight Pacquiao in a weakened state.

There won’t be an asterisk next to Pacquiao’s win over them to show the handicap he was able to receive in fighting them, although there really should in my view. If you force a fighter to strip down well below their weight guaranteeing that they’ll come in weaker than usual, then it should be something that the boxing public should know about.

Pacquiao has already had the benefit of having Oscar De La Hoya come in at a lower weight to fight him in December 2008, and De La Hoya was badly weight drained and fought poorly because of it. Pacquiao still got credit for the victory and boxing fans to this day feel that De La Hoya was a shot fighter when in reality De La Hoya’s poor performance had a lot to do with him having to take off so much weight to fight Pacquiao.

Frankly, I’m proud of Cotto for sticking to his guns and telling Pacquiao that he won’t go lower than 145. That takes a lot of balls to do what Cotto did by saying that, because if Pacquiao decides that he doesn’t want to fight Cotto, then Miguel will be losing out on his biggest payday of his career by far.

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