By Mark Vester

It's looking more and more likely that Floyd Mayweather Jr. [should he beat Juan Manuel Marquez] will have to wait until 2010 to get a crack at Manny Pacquiao. The Filipino icon's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, prefers WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto [also promoted by Top Rank]. Cotto faces Joshua Clottey on June 13 in New York's Madison Square Garden. Pacquiao plans to be at ringside.

Wakee Salud, Pacquiao's adviser from Cebu, agrees with Arum and says the fighter should go for Cotto instead of Mayweather. Cotto still has to get past Clottey and that will be no easy task.

“Manny should go for Cotto. It’s the wise fight. It’s the better fight,” said Salud to The Philippine Star. “For one, he’s a straight-up fighter. He’ll come in. And that’s what Manny wants, someone like Ricky Hatton. I think we have a better chance against Cotto than Mayweather who will run away from Manny inside the ring. Not a beautiful fight."

Salud repeats the past statement of Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach, who says the clash of styles will make for an ugly fight.

“Mayweather can dance the whole fight and beat Manny on points. And even if Manny wins, he may not look good," Salud said. "So why fight Mayweather this year and maybe affect your chances in the elections. Manny should take on Cotto, beat him, then run for Congress, and face Mayweather later on."

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