While all signs were pointing to an inevitable rematch taking place between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, it now appears that the fight may have a roadblock.
Pacquiao, the sport’s reigning WBO welterweight champion, defeated Cotto via a twelfth round TKO in November of 2009 in a fight held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao’s side had requested a 145-pound catch-weight for that duel and again had plans of making Cotto come down to the welterweight limit of 147 pounds for the rematch despite the Puerto Rican currently laying claim to the WBA junior middleweight strap.
<— Exclusive images: One of boxing’s hottest stars, Brandon Rios, trains at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, California
Many expected Cotto to bend to Team Pacquiao’s demands but a report by BoxingScene.com earlier today quoted the 31-year old champion as saying he will not give in to the situation and that Pacquiao must come in at a higher weight.
The fight is now up in the air and there are some who honestly could care less.
Former lightweight champion Brandon Rios knows Pacquiao and Cotto fairly well, as his friend and stable mate Antonio Margarito just finished up a back-to-back campaign against them, losing a lopsided and punishing points loss to Pacquiao in November of 2010 and falling to Cotto via 10th round TKO last month in a grudge rematch.
Cotto has restored some of his luster following his own loss to Pacquiao with a three-fight winning streak and a new title in a higher weight class yet Rios seems far convinced.
“No, it doesn’t interest me,” Rios said of a Pacquiao-Cotto rematch after his training on Monday afternoon in Oxnard, California. “Because it kind of sucks. Cotto’s done. I think Cotto’s done. He’s looking for another payday before he can get out. Pretty much, he’s done. Manny Pacquiao’s still one of the best. He showed it.”
And while Cotto was able to put some of his demons to rest on December 3rd after getting revenge on Margarito, who handed him his first loss in July of 2008, Rios feels the stoppage was premature simply because Margarito was still pressing forward despite the severity of his bruised right eye that had worried ringside officials.
“You know, I thought the stoppage was stupid, because [Margarito] was doing good, I thought he was doing great,” stated Rios. “Margarito was getting him out of there. I think in the tenth round he hurt him and I think in the eleventh or twelfth I think he probably would have stopped him. That’s my thing, what I’ve seen.”
Pacquiao is coming off of another hotly-contested decision against Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12th, the third go-round between the two men, and in that fight he didn’t look terrible effective early on and absorbed several flush shots along the way.
Bonus slideshow: Andre Berto showing off explosiveness despite criticism from Victor Ortiz
Many felt that Marquez deserved to win the bout and a fourth meeting is the fight Rios likes best.
“I’d like to see the Marquez fight again, because I thought Marquez beat him the third time,” Rios added. “Honestly, I thought Marquez really did beat him. Pacquiao was saying it in his face. It’s one of those things that kind of sucks, but we’ll see.”
Less interested was Rios in a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., as the two sides have apparently stalled yet again in efforts towards making the alleged dream fight a reality. Perhaps it’s better that way for Pacquiao, if you ask Rios.
“If Pacquiao fights Floyd, I say Floyd beats him,” Rios stated.
Andre Berto training like a beast despite knocks from Ortiz – Andre Berto trains in Van Nuys, California amidst criticism from his February 11th rival Victor Ortiz
Mercito Gesta trains in Ceba plus bonus shots – Images of lightweight star Mercito Gesta training in Cebu in the Philippines plus bonus
Brandon Rios’ intense training and call out of Gamboa –Former WBA lightwegiht champion Brnadon Rios sparred in Oxnard, California and had some choice words for Yuriorkis Gamboa
Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. ripped for Donaire – Images of Puerto Rico’s former champ as he is cut and focused for his Feb. 4th duel with Nonito Donaire, plus bonus images from Donaire’s Vegas camp
Rigondeaux stops Ramos; Mayweather, Julaton, Ward attend – Images from Guillermo Rigondeaux’s 6th round knockout over Rico Ramos plus bonus shots of Mayweather, Ana Julaton, and others ringside
Mayweather Jr. calls out Manny Pacquiao – Images from the Mayweather Boxing Club as Floyd Jr. hosts the media and calls for a May 5th date with Manny Pacquiao
Photo journalist Chris Robinson – Behind the scenes in Las Vegas with the Mayweathers, Pacquiao, Donaire, Cotto, Marcos Maidana, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Brandon Rios and several other stars
Guillermo Rigondeaux preps for Ramos – Candid shots of the Cuban star working out days after hitting Vegas and eyeing his Friday night duel with WBA champ Rico Ramos
Ringside with the Tecate Girls – Visit the slideshow for a look at the Tecate Girls on the scene in Las Vegas, entertaining at the fights, and in personal photo shoots
A look inside the Wild Card – Step up inside of the famous gym with the likes of Pacquiao, Khan, Chavez Jr., Shawn Porter, Alex Ariza, Alfredo Angulo, Freddie Roach, and several other boxing luminaries
Intense sparring with Nonito Donaire – Go inside the camp of the ‘Filipino Flash’ as he goes heads up with Russian featherweight prospect Evgeny Gradovich at the Top Rank Gym in Vegas
Rico Ramos returns fire to Rigondeaux – Catch up with WBA junior feather champ Rico Ramos as he trains at the Mayweather Boxing Club for his bout with Rigondeaux
Reliving Pacquiao-Marquez III – A look back at the trilogy bout, including the opening pressers, Pacquiao’s Vegas arrival, ringisde shots, and a look at the post-fight presser
Behind the scenes at the Mayweather-Ortiz ‘Star Power’ event – Images of Mayweather’s fiance’ Shantel Jackson plus ringside shots of Floyd’s victory and a look at the pre and post-fight pressers
2011 in Pictures – Juan Manuel Marquez – The Mexico City star defies the odds yet again / Manny Pacquiao – The Filipino icon wins over Mosley, Marquez but leaves much to be desired / Nonito Donaire – The Filipino stars knocks out Montiel and hits the fight scene / Victor Ortiz – The young champion’s dramatic bouts with Berto, Mayweather
Nonito Donaire’s first day of camp in Vegas – Take a look at Donaire’s first day of camp in Las Vegas as he starts off sparring and dives right in
Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II: Cotto carves up Margarito for 10th round TKO – a ringside view of Cotto’s TKO over Margarito / Inside the Cotto-Margarito II weigh-in-Both men ripped and ready but Brandon Rios loses title on scales / Inside the final, tense Cotto-Margarito II presser/Inside Miguel Cotto’s media workout in New York /Antonio Margarito and Brandon Rios hit up New York
Images from the 49th annual WBC Convention in Las Vegas – Opening ceremonies with Roy Jones Jr., Miguel Cotto, Roberto Duran, George Foreman, Saul Alvarez, Sugar Ray Leonard, and others / Bonus pics of Mike Tyson, Ricky Hatton, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the Mayweathers
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com andwww.Twitter.com/CRHarmony