Valcarcel: “If a Fight is Going to be inside the Welterweight Limit, then It has to be for the Title”
By Giancarlo Malinconico: As reported by columnist Mark Vestor, WBO president Francisco Valcarcel told El Nuevo Dia that he believes the Cotto bout ought to have the WBO Title at stake: “With one or two pounds less, you are still inside the limit. We (The WBO) have the responsibility… that if a fight is going to be inside the welterweight limit, then it has to be for the title.”
There has been much fuss on the internet over the agreed upon catch-weight of a 145 pounds for the Pacquiao/Cotto match in November. In my opinion, most the fuss has been blown out of proportion. It is only 145 pounds; one pound less than Cotto weighed in his last fight against Clottey. Cotto’s nutritionist, moreover, has given Miguel the green light to proceed with the fight under this catch weight.
The fact that Pacquiao only weighed 142 pounds against De La Hoya, and is not a “walk-around” welterweight is the real problem I have with criticisms about this catch weight. Critics of catch weights (or just Pacquiao in general) seem to neglect Pacquiao is sacrificing a division, while Cotto is sacrificing just two pounds. In my opinion, the catch weight still favors Cotto; he will come in heavier. Weight is obviously at least somewhat of an advantage in boxing; otherwise why would we have so many weight classes in the first place?
If you want to see the best possible pound-for-pound match ups, then you cannot complain about catch weights being a part of it. You cannot expect to have it both ways in every case. If a fighter clearly cannot make a catch weight, he should not sign to fight.
I say the belt ought to be on the line because Pacquiao is fighting arguably the first or second best 147-pounder in the world. Instead of criticized, Pacquiao ought to be commended for taking this fight with Cotto, and if he is victorious he should be glorified as a world champion in seven different weight classes. Boxing analysts and fans have historically criticized boxers for moving up in weight to win “alphabet” titles from subpar champions. If Pacquiao is victorious, we can say he did not just move up various weight divisions collecting belts from “cab-driver” opponents. More importantly, we can truly say, Pacquiao won his seventh world title against a real champion.