By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao will relinquish his super welterweight crown as a prelude to his clash against Shane Mosley in May and as a formal sign that the ring icon will no longer risk fighting above the welterweight ranks.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz said that the pound-for-pound king reached the decision in response to a query from WBC president Jose Sulaiman asking the Filipino whether he intended to defend his 154 pound belt or not.
Sulaiman posed the question after Top Rank announced that Pacquiao’s next fight would be against Mosley and it would be for the WBO welterweight title the Pacman won against Cotto in 2009.
Pacquiao and Mosley square off at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 7.
Pacquiao pulverized Antonio Margarito to win the 154 pound title by a lopsided twelve round decision at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas last Nov. 13, but Koncz said the Filipino’s team learned a valuable lesson from the bout.
Margarito entered the ring with a 17-pound advantage and and managed to inflict damage on Pacquiao.
“We learned from experience in the Margarito fight that giving away 10 to 15 pounds during fight night is very detrimental to the safety of Manny,” Koncz told BoxingScene.com/Inquirer. “Because of those basic concerns we have no intention for Manny to fight at 154. From this day forward the maximum weight would be 147 lb (welterweight).”
Koncz said he would send a “thank [you] letter” stating how much they “appreciate what the WBC has done and that Manny wants to free the belt so that others have the opportunity to proudly wear the WBC belt.”
On the issue of outstanding sanction fees broken down as $30,000 for the rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15, 2008 and the $50,000 due on the fight against Oscar De La Hoya on Dec. 6, 2008, Koncz said “I am going to send an e-mail to Top Rank instructing them to pay $50,000 for the De La Hoya fight because that was [the] agreement.”
“We should honor it.”
For the Marquez rematch sanction fee, Koncz claimed “Top Rank would deduct whatever the sanction fee was from Manny’s purse and pay it directly without any consultation, without any guidance. So if there is or isn’t a percent due that’s a problem between Top Rank and the WBC.”