By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – A second fight against Manny Pacquiao is one rematch Miguel Cotto apparently won’t entertain.
Trainer Freddie Roach and promoter Bob Arum appear to be against the possibility of Cotto taking a shot at avenging his 12th-round technical knockout loss to Pacquiao in November 2009. Cotto has long complained that being forced to fight Pacquiao at a catch weight of 145 pounds, two beneath the welterweight limit, adversely affected him during their WBO welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.
Cotto technically is a middleweight, but the newly crowned WBC 160-pound champion might compete next at junior middleweight. Regardless, that’s probably too big for Pacquiao, a small welterweight Arum believes still can make 140 pounds. Roach also trains both boxers, which would complicate matters if they agreed to fight again.
“I’m kind of glad that they’re growing out of each other’s weight classes, so I don’t have to worry about it so much,” Roach said following Cotto’s surprising domination of Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KOs) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. “But he’d give Manny a lot more trouble [doing it] this way, yes.”
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) is expected to return sometime in November in Macau, China. His opponent hasn’t been chosen, but don’t expect it to be Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs), who’s likely to return Dec. 6 or Dec. 13 at Madison Square Garden or at an undetermined Las Vegas venue.
“Manny [against Cotto], I ain’t going there,” a laughing Arum said. “Manny is my fighter. I’m not going there. I don’t need the Philippine writers [calling me], keeping me from going to sleep.”
The 35-year-old Pacquiao recently signed a promotional contract extension with Arum’s Top Rank Inc. through December 2016. The 33-year-old Cotto has been promoted by Top Rank for virtually all of his 13-year pro career, but is currently working with the company on a handshake agreement that affords the marketable four-division champion maximum flexibility.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.