By Rick Reeno
Gaby Penagaricano, the legal adviser to WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, spoke to BoxingScene.com about the issue of weight - which in the end was the breaking point in a possible rematch with Manny Pacquiao. On Wednesday, Floyd Mayweather Jr. officially announced that he was fighting Cotto on May 5th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather, unlike Pacquiao, was willing to fight Cotto at the full junior middleweight limit.
"Mayweather agreed, from the first day of negotiations, to go up to 154. That was never an issue," Penagaricano told BoxingScene.com.
However, Pacquiao, who wanted to face Cotto on June 9th, also at the MGM Grand, was demanding the rematch take place at the welterweight limit of 147. Back in 2009, Cotto fought Pacquiao at a catch-weight of 145-pounds.
However, the situation was much different this time around. Cotto's promotional contract with Top Rank expired on December 31st. Because of his free agent status, he was able to freely negotiate for any possible fight. And because he was being pursued for a May date by Mayweather, there was no reason for Cotto to accept anything that made him feel uncomfortable.
"We had a good meeting in Las Vegas [to discuss a Pacquiao rematch], but the weight was an issue. I don't think we got that far ahead in the negotiations, mainly because of the weight," Penagaricano said.
"The situation was different [back then], in 2009, when he agreed to come down to 145. Today, the situation is much different. The overall situation [this time around] was very different. If [the rematch] happened....great, but he didn't need it."
In a recent interview with BoxingScene, Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, said a catch-weight of 148 would have likely been accepted to finalize the rematch .
Cotto, however, was not going to accept anything below 150-pounds.
"It would have absolutely not mattered. Miguel would have never fought at 148," Penagaricano said.
Should Cotto prevail on May 5th, the next obvious target is Pacquiao - provided the Filipino star is victorious in June - with Timothy Bradley as the probable opponent. Last December, Cotto avenged one of the two losses on his record, when he stopped Antonio Margarito at New York's Madison Square Garden. If he gets past Mayweather, Cotto would like to avenge his remaining blemish, a twelfth round TKO loss to Pacquiao.
"Yeah, that would be beautiful. Everybody would like to see that," Penagaricano said.