By Ryan Burton
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, spoke to BoxingScene.com about the current status of Manny Pacquiao's December ring return.
In a recent BoxingScene article, Ronnie Nathanielsz reported that Top Rank had tentative agreements in place with Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley - and they were simply waiting to receive the terms from Miguel Cotto's camp in order for Pacquiao to make a final decision on who his opponent will be.
Arum advised BoxingScene that he has now hashed out the parameters to make a deal with Cotto.
"We have pretty well ironed everything out with his team, at least I believe that. Now the question is does Miguel want to fight Manny at this time and (his advisor) Gaby(Peñagarícano) is talking to Miguel (about that). It is no longer a money issue," Arum told BoxingScene.com
During my conversation with Arum, fellow BoxingScene scribe Chris Robinson chimed in and asked Arum if the agreed upon weight would be an issue. Earlier this year, a potential Pacquiao-Cotto rematch fell apart when the two boxers were unable to agree on a catch-weight between 147 and 154-pounds.
Arum says the weight is no longer an issue.
"That is not an issue. Remember, Manny beat the hell out of him and a fighter who gets the hell beat out of him by an opponent, if there are other options, may not want to fight the same guy," Arum stated.
I also asked Arum how realistic is a potential Cotto vs. Tim Bradley showdown - if Pacquiao decides to fight Marquez for a fourth time. In a recent BoxingScene article, Bradley said he would have no problem moving up in weight for a fight with Cotto. It appears Bradley has already agreed to face Cotto - but Arum is not sure if Cotto would feel the same.
"We've presented all the options to everybody. Bradley is totally on board to fight Cotto but Cotto may be looking for a very easy fight in December," stated Arum who pointed to Cotto's track record of taking easier fights when coming off a loss.
"Look at Cotto's career, that is what Gaby said to me (about taking easier fights after losses). After he lost to Margarito he did a transition fight against (Michael) Jennings that wasn't very competitive. After he lost to Manny he fought Yuri Foreman," he continued.
If Pacquiao decides to fight Cotto then Arum said he would likely stage Juan Manuel Marquez versus Tim Bradley on November 10th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Arum hopes to finalize the details of Pacquiao's December fight by Monday.
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