Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pacquiao stakes WBO title vs Floyd

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight crown will be on the line against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

This means that the fight, set on March 13, 2010, will be at 147 lb and nothing more as reports came out yesterday that Mayweather wants the fight held at 154 lb, and with 10 ounce gloves, not 8 ounce.

“That (154) is unrealistic because we agreed at 147. Manny’s title will be at stake,” said Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser Mike Koncz, the only other guy in the room when Pacquiao sat down with his promoter, Bob Arum, the other day.

During that meeting, the Filipino pound-for-pound champion agreed to face Mayweather on March 13, or barely 120 days after he destroyed Miguel Cotto in 12 rounds and won a record seventh world title in seven different weight divisions.

Reports also said Pacquiao agreed to a 50-50 split with Mayweather. But Koncz did not comment on this, saying it’s “confidential.” It’s not yet clear if both fighters have signed the fight contract.

Pacquiao agreed to the fight despite the May 10, 2010 elections. And it’s not a bad decision because the campaign period for local positions won’t begin until March 26 up to May 8. The fight is over before the campaign period starts.

Pacquiao will seek a congressional seat in his home province of Sarangani in the May 10 elections but whether he could translate a victory against Mayweather into votes remains a very serious question.

In 2007, Pacquiao knocked out Jorge Solis in San Antonio, Texas in April, and the following month came the elections where he ran as congressman in Gen. Santos City, and lost to Darlene Custodio.

But against Mayweather, he’ll be a sure winner -- money-wise.

Koncz said Pacquiao and Mayweather could earn from $30 million to $50 million each for this fight which may be considered as “the fight of the century” in terms of the attention and the money it could generate, especially in the pay-per-view aspect.

The fight could easily surpass the 2.44 million buys of the Mayweather vs Oscar dela Hoya of 2007, and if it does then there’s more than a hundred million dollars to divide among HBO and the two camps.

There should be a rematch clause in the contract as well, and fight fans may be looking at the start of a trilogy that could rank with the best there is – Ali vs Frazier, Leonard vs Duran and Barrera vs Morales among others.

Pacquiao weighed in at 144 lb when he fought Cotto while Mayweather, the undefeated ex-pound-for-pound champion, weighed in at 146 lb when he went up against Juan Manuel Marquez last September. Making 147 shouldn’t be a problem for both.

Koncz said Pacquiao will start taking it easy as he gears up for the fight, despite the fact that his birthday’s coming up on Dec. 17, then the Christmas holidays and the birthday of his wife, Jinkee, on the first week of January.

“He’s got to put his mind into it and start getting in shape. There can be some late nights playing billiards but nothing outrageous. Then eight weeks before the fight he can start training. Maybe in Baguio,” said Koncz.

Pacquiao, the Canadian adviser said, is bound for Abu Dahbi in the coming days to meet with the Royal families. He should be doing a mini-concert there, but a visit should be enough now considering that there’s a fight being made.

Then a family vacation might come before Christmas, but where the Pacquiaos would spend it remains in the drawing board.

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