Cotto now top choice as next Pacquiao foe

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MANILA -- Consider Miguel Cotto the new leader in the race for Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent in November.


The Puerto Rican vaulted to the top of the candidates’ list following his 10th-round stoppage of Argentinian Sergio Martinez on Saturday in their fight for the World Boxing Council middleweight crown.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum had earlier told that Pacquiao wanted to face the winner of Cotto-Martinez and seek his ninth division world crown.

“Manny has agreed to fight the winner (of Cotto versus Martinez),” Arum said then.


Arum, however, has yet to talk with Cotto on whether he would like to avenge the 12th-round technical knockout he suffered against Pacquiao in their battle for the WBO welterweight title on Nov. 14, 2009.

That bout was at a catchweight of 145 pounds. Cotto told recently that after fighting at 160 lb, he’s not going back to 147.

The WBC put the middleweight catch-weight limit at 155 lb, which was what Cotto’s weight during the official weigh-in for the Martinez fight.

Pacquiao was at his heaviest at 148 lb when he dominated Antonio Margarito for the WBO super welterweight (154 lb) title on Nov. 10, 2010.

According to latest reports, Arum is now considering pitting Cotto, who trains under Pacquiao’s longtime mentor Freddie Roach, against the winner of the Canelo Alvarez-Erislandly Lara showdown on July 12.


Before Cotto’s impressive victory, Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez was considered the pacesetter among Pacquiao’s would-be opponents on Nov. 23 in Macau.

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