Pacquiao-Cotto showdown set for November in Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, July 25, 2009 (AFP) - Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao and three-time world champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico will meet in Las Vegas on November 14, promoter Bob Arum announced on Monday.

Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao, considered the pound-for-pound world champion after flattening England's Ricky Hatton in the second round in May, will meet Cotto after failed overtures from US veterans Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Jnr. "Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto have reached an agreement to fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on November 14," said Arum, the promoter for both fighters.

Cotto agreed to contesting the fight at a weight limit of 145 pounds, two pounds below the welterweight maximum.
Pacquiao, 49-3 with two drawn and 37 knockouts, has won world titles in a record-tying six weight classes from 112 to 140 pounds.

Last year, the flashy Filipino defeated Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz and Oscar de la Hoya. Pacquiao then continued his win streak to 10 fights by stopping Hatton in the second round.

Cotto, 34-1 with 27 knockouts, has defeated a host of top fighters including Mosley, Zab Judah and Joshua Clottey. Cotto's only loss came last year to Mexico's Antonio Margarito.

The announcement comes as a disappointment for World Boxing Association welterweight champion Mosley, 46-5 with 39 knockouts.

Mosley said he was willing to take only 40 percent of the purse and would agree to fight at the light-welterweight limit in order to strike a deal with Pacquiao.

Mayweather, 39-0 with 25 knockouts, will make his return from a 21-month layoff in September when he fights Mexico's Marquez. The fight was delayed from last weekend after Mayweather suffered a rib injury.
A Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown is the mega-fight most boxing fans would want to see, matching the past and current pound-for-pound ring kings, but now both men must overcome a difficult opponent simply to set the stage for such a bout.

Mayweather said last week it was unlikely he would fight Pacquiao because both camps were insistent on the lion's share of a 60-40 fight purse split. Mayweather also has bitter feelings toward Arum, his former promoter.

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