By Rick Reeno
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, spoke with BoxingScene.com to give us an update on the current status of the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito pay-per-view undercard.
In an earlier report on BoxingScene, promoter Dan Goossen made it clear that WBA super bantamweight champion Rico Ramos (20-0, 11 KOs) was not going to face mandatory challenger Guillermo Rigondeaux (8-0, 6KOs) on the Cotto-Margarito card, which takes place on December 3rd at New York's Madison Square Garden.
After reaching a handshake agreement, a problem arose over the monetary budget for that fight. This past Friday, Goossen sent a letter to the WBA, requesting the sanctioning body to order a purse bid.
"I had a handshake deal with Bob," said Goossen to BoxingScene.com. "I made the request yesterday [for the purse bid], and we are going to try to put that fight on one of our shows."
According to Arum, there may have been a misunderstanding on the terms, but the veteran promoter states that he was very clear with Goossen on the monetary split. The fight had a budget of $225,000, with a 55-45 split in favor of Rigondeaux. After receiving the contract, Goossen turned the offer down and made a request for the entire $225,000.
"We had deal. I said that we had $225,000 for the fight, and we would give him 45%. When we sent him the contract, he said 'no' and wanted the whole $225,000. Maybe it was a misunderstanding or maybe [manager] Al Haymon made him change his mind....I don't know. All I know is that our budget for that fight was $225,000. Based on my conversation with Goossen, I spoke with [Top Rank VP] Carl Morretti and his notes reflect the same thing. If Goossen's understanding was different, I really can't dispute that, but I can't see how because I was really plain when I made the deal with him. The idea that we would promise him $225,000 and send him a contract for $105,000 is ludicrous. I really believe that he misunderstood, but I thought I was crystal clear with him," Arum told BoxingScene.com.
With Ramos-Rigondeaux falling through, an opportunity opened up for WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios. Initially, Rios was being positioned for a Showtime televised date of December 10. As BoxingScene reported late Friday night, Showtime pulled Rios off the date, and now the rescheduled super middleweight clash between Carl Froch and Andre Ward may land in his place.
Also reported late Friday night, which Arum confirms, Rios will be added to the Cotto-Margarito pay-per-view in place of Ramos-Rigondeaux.
"Rios will be on that card. Showtime was considering using Rios in December. They told us 'no' yesterday. So, that frees Rios up from the Showtime deal and now he doesn't belong to any network and it gives us a great opportunity to use him on the pay-per-view show, because he's very popular. I think he really enhances the pay-per-view. Next year we're free to make a deal [for Rios] with HBO," Arum said.
Rios' opponent is up in the air, but names like Kevin Mitchell, Roman Martinez and John Molina Jr. have all been mentioned during the last few weeks.