What Did Pacquiao do to be Ranked #1 in the WBO?
By Manuel Perez: I’m still wondering how Manny Pacquiao was suddenly pushed to the number #1 status in the World Boxing Organization welterweight division. It happened almost over night and it pushed Pacquiao over fighters like former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey. I know the WBO really wants WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto to have his title on the line for his November 14th bout with Pacquiao, but this is kind of ridiculous.
I frankly don’t see anything that Pacquiao has done to warrant him being pushed ahead of Clottey or other welterweights in the division for that matter. Pacquiao beats an old and shot Oscar De La Hoya last year and then a light welterweight Ricky Hatton. But, how are these victories enough for Pacquiao to be pushed to the number #1 status.
I know Pacquiao is totally into trying to win a 7th title belt, but the problem is he isn’t interesting in fighting at the full 147 pound limit in order to get the title and wants the title to be on the line at a 145 pound catch weight. Naturally, Cotto hasn’t been happy about that because it sets a limit on his weight, while at the same time still having his title be on the line.
In a way, it’s like having a fighter who’s really good at fighting three round bouts changing the rules so that a title will be on the line for shorter fight rather than for the entire 12 rounds. Obviously, it would benefit that fighter rather than the champion. In this case, Pacquiao benefits because he only has to gain weight whereas Cotto has to lose weight, which isn’t easy to do without being weakened in the process.
However, my main gripe is what did Pacquiao do to be suddenly pushed to the number #1 spot by the WBO. Did they do this in order to force Cotto in a situation where if he decided he didn’t want to put his title on the line, it would be on the line anyway because Pacquiao was the number #1 fighter?
It looks that way. Even if Cotto doesn’t want to put his title on the line, it will be anyway by virtue of Pacquiao being the number #1 challenger. Cotto will either have to vacate the title or be stripped of it by the WBO. What really is really bad is that the vacate title would be on the line for the fight but only could be won by Pacquiao.
As you can see, Cotto is backed into a corner with little choice. Either he puts his title on the line or it will be taken from him and will be on the line anyway. He could walk away from the fight but he probably won’t do it because this is the biggest fight of his career and he stands to make a ton of money.
Promoter Bob Arum, the promoter for both Pacquiao and Cotto, says that the WBO title will be on the line on November 14th. He hardly needed to say this because obviously it will be because Cotto really has no choice in the matter aside from backing out on the fight and he won’t do that.
The weird thing is probably few people really care about Pacquiao winning a 7th world title. It’s just some silly statistic that people throw around as if it gives a fighter more clout. That’s likely not what people will remember Pacquiao for after his career is finished, believe me. They’ll be looking at his fights against Juan Manuel Marquez and wonder about those bouts, and look at how Pacquiao winded down his career facing the likes of David Diaz, an older, weight drained Oscar De La Hoya and an overrated, defenseless Hatton.
And now on top of this, they’ll look at Pacquiao’s bouts against Cotto at a catch weight instead of at the normal weight for the welterweight division. If they’re like me, they’ll wonder how could the title have been on the line when Cotto was prevented from fighting at the upper limit of the welterweight division.