By Chris Robinson
While all signs were pointing to an inevitable rematch taking place between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, it now appears that the fight may have a roadblock.
Pacquiao, the sport’s reigning WBO welterweight champion, defeated Cotto via a twelfth round TKO in November of 2009 in a fight held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao’s side had requested a 145-pound catch-weight for that duel and again had plans of making Cotto come down to the welterweight limit of 147 pounds for the rematch despite the Puerto Rican currently laying claim to the WBA junior middleweight strap.
Many expected Cotto to bend to Team Pacquiao’s demands but a report by BoxingScene.com earlier today quoted the 31-year old champion as saying he will not give in to the situation and that Pacquiao must come in at a higher weight.
The fight is now up in the air and there are some who honestly could care less.
Former lightweight champion Brandon Rios knows Pacquiao and Cotto fairly well, as his friend and stable mate Antonio Margarito just finished up a back-to-back campaign against them, losing a lopsided and punishing points loss to Pacquiao in November of 2010 and falling to Cotto via 10th round TKO last month in a grudge rematch.
Cotto has restored some of his luster following his own loss to Pacquiao with a three-fight winning streak and a new title in a higher weight class yet Rios seems far convinced.
“No, it doesn’t interest me,” Rios said of a Pacquiao-Cotto rematch after his training on Monday afternoon in Oxnard, California. “Because it kind of sucks. Cotto’s done. I think Cotto’s done. He’s looking for another payday before he can get out. Pretty much, he’s done. Manny Pacquiao’s still one of the best. He showed it.”
And while Cotto was able to put some of his demons to rest on December 3rd after getting revenge on Margarito, who handed him his first loss in July of 2008, Rios feels the stoppage was premature simply because Margarito was still pressing forward despite the severity of his bruised right eye that had worried ringside officials.
“You know, I thought the stoppage was stupid, because [Margarito] was doing good, I thought he was doing great,” stated Rios. “Margarito was getting him out of there. I think in the tenth round he hurt him and I think in the eleventh or twelfth I think he probably would have stopped him. That’s my thing, what I’ve seen.”
Pacquiao is coming off of another hotly-contested decision against Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12th, the third go-round between the two men, and in that fight he didn’t look terrible effective early on and absorbed several flush shots along the way.
Many felt that Marquez deserved to win the bout and a fourth meeting is the fight Rios likes best.
“I’d like to see the Marquez fight again, because I thought Marquez beat him the third time,” Rios added. “Honestly, I thought Marquez really did beat him. Pacquiao was saying it in his face. It’s one of those things that kind of sucks, but we’ll see.”
Less interested was Rios in a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., as the two sides have apparently stalled yet again in efforts towards making the alleged dream fight a reality. Perhaps it’s better that way for Pacquiao, if you ask Rios.
“If Pacquiao fights Floyd, I say Floyd beats him,” Rios stated.
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