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Lampley: Pacquiao will likely fight Cotto

Manny Pacquiao Miguel Cotto Cotto vs. Pacquiao Cotto-PacquiaoBy Dan Ambrose: HBO analyst Jim Lampley sees Manny Pacquiao facing WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto next in a move down to keep Cotto happy with Top Rank Promotions.

Lampley is saying what a lot of people are saying right now in picking Cotto at the guy that gets the Pacquiao payday fight.

Lampley told “Top Rank at this moment needs economic incentives to keep Miguel Cotto in its ranks. They need to give Cotto some big reward for new a new contract to stay with Top Rank. What’s the obvious reward they have for anybody at that position? A rematch with Manny Pacquiao.”

This is what I was afraid of. Top Rank CEO Bob Arum convincing Pacquiao to fight Cotto instead of someone new, and then boxing fans will be stuck watching a rerun of the 2009 fight between Cotto and Pacquiao where Cotto gets steamrollered by Pacquiao in a slaughter.

What I don’t understand is why Pacquiao would take a lesser fight against Cotto that will probably make much less than what he would get for a bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. It doesn’t make any sense. I think Pacquiao would make the fight with Mayweather but Arum has a lot of pull with the Filipino star and can probably convince him to fight whoever he wants; in this case Cotto.

It’s pretty clear that Arum is going to need to put Cotto in big fights from now on in order to keep him with Top Rank, since his contract with them expired last month. That means if Cotto wants Pacquaio, he’s probably going to get him.

If Cotto wants WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr,. then he’ll likely get that fight too. It’ll start to look really sickening is if Cotto tries for a 3rd fight with Pacquiao after he gets wiped out this time. I’d really hate to see Arum talking Pacquiao into a third bout with Cotto after the first two ended up as terrible mismatches.

But that’s the thing; if you’ve got a fighter that brings in big money like Cotto, you’re going to try and do whatever it takes to keep him within your company. It’s not good for casual boxing fans to have to see Cotto get destroyed again by Pacquiao in a one-sided fight. But it’s good for Arum to make the fight to keep Cotto happy and to keep him from straying from Top Rank.

Cotto’s loyal fans will be ecstatic with the news that he’s getting a second fight with Pacquiao. They want to see this fight and think he can win it.

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