By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Filipino boxing hero and world pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao says he would be “very happy” to fight for the World Boxing Council’s newly-minted “Diamond Belt” and “appreciates the offer” which was made by WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman.

Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz spoke to Sulaiman early Friday after the WBC confirmed what Sulaiman told,, Standard Today and Viva Sports earlier this week about the WBC plan to institute the “Diamond Belt” for elite fighters at catch-weights.

Koncz who was with Pacquiao when we called said Pacquiao was “pleased and honored” to fight for the “Diamond Belt” since he has been a longtime WBC champion in different weight divisions and has proudly worn the WBC belt in the past.

Koncz said he would meet with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum next week in the US and inform him that Pacquiao wishes to fight WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto for the WBC “Diamond Belt.”

Koncz and Sulaiman had a telephone conversation after which Sulaiman told us that he had “a very nice conversation” and that he was “very, very happy and I will wait for Arum to call me.” 

Sulaiman told us early this week from his home in Mexico that he believes the WBC had a significant role in the “projection of Manny (Pacquiao) from a simple champion to a very popular, famous and great champion that he is today.” He also mentioned the fact that he “always thought Manny was “a good friend of mine, proud and happy to be a WBC champion.”

 Sulaiman said the WBC Board of Governors had voted unanimously to implement the “Diamond Belt” concept which they said will help promoters and television networks “looking f or highly interesting and passionate battles for the benefit of boxing fans around the world.”

In a press statement the WBC said “it believes this belt will play a very important role in modern boxing as the fights between elite boxers c alled ‘catch weight’ fights have not been a complete success due to the fact that nothing is at stake.”

Under the proposal the WBC wants promotions to “render homage to the two greatest fighters of such division who will be showcased in the battle for the belt.” Sulaiman told us the belt will use the same design as the famous  WBC green and gold belt but the material will include 18 karat gold fusion and will be encrusted with 598  diamonds, 196 emeralds,  6 rubies and 150 other semi-precious stones.

The WBO had earlier demanded that both Pacquiao and Cotto pay the organization $150,000 each in order for their catch-weight showdown to be sanctioned as a world title fight which provided an opening for both fighters, Arum and the WBC itself to try and work out an agreement to fight for the “Diamond Belt” without paying such a huge sanction fee which would amount to almost P7.5 million for each fighter.