By Nick Giongco
Manny Pacquiao deserves the juicier and bigger slice of the pie in his proposed No. 14 showdown with Miguel Cotto, trainer Freddie Roach told Fightnews and Manila Bulletin early Monday evening (Tuesday morning in Manila). “70-30,” said Roach when told about Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal’s insistence that the Filipino deserves not less than 65-35 in the revenue split with Cotto. Roach noted that Cotto doesn’t have a strong pay-per-view history unlike Pacquiao, who is a certified box-office hit. Cotto posted 450,000 buys when he faced Antonio Margarito of Mexico in July last year, while Pacquiao has generated record-breaking numbers in his last two outings—1.25 million buys against Oscar De La Hoya and close to a million versus Ricky Hatton. Pacquiao got a guarantee of over $12 million against Hatton and the 48-year-old corner man believes there’s no other way but up as far as the purse is concerned. “We’re not supposed to be going backwards.”
The weighty issue of the catchweight has apparently been resolved with Roach agreeing to a 144-145 catch weight. “One pound wouldn’t make any difference,” said Roach, who has been calling the shots in Pacquiao’s corner since mid-2001.
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said the MGM Grand will host the fight and that accommodating Pacquiao’s request that the fight be held much earlier–Oct. 17–is not a good idea, business-wise.
“We’ve told Manny about fighting on that date, and not on Oct. 17, because of the World Series,” Arum said. “You can’t compete with free TV and baseball is big among Puerto Ricans. We’ll be charging $50 for them to watch us and we can’t compete with free television.”
Arum has given Pacquiao associate Mike Koncz the proposal for Pacquiao and Gacal to review next week. Arum said the proposal is “very fair” to both parties.
Arum plans to finalize the deal in two weeks time, or by the end of the month, so he could immediately set the timeline for the megabout. If everything turns out well, Arum would bring Pacquiao and Cotto to New York and Puerto Rico for the promotional tour. Another stop would either be Los Angeles or San Francisco. Cotto is a huge star both in the Big Apple and in Puerto Rico.