I admit I was pretty surprised when I caught wind of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum speaking at a post-fight press conference on December 4th in New York following Miguel Cotto’s victory over Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden.
While people were then taken aback by the performance of Cotto, who boxed beautifully in extracting revenge over Margarito with a 10th round TKO, Arum was quick to turn some of the attention to another one of his star fighters, Manny Pacquiao.
Having then pulled out a majority-decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas three weeks earlier, Pacquiao was the recipient of a nasty cut above his right eye that Arum claimed was far more serious than many initially thought.
Arum, then entertaining talk from the media about a possible Pacquiao faceoff with Floyd Mayweather Jr., said he wasn’t sure if Pacquiao’s cut could heal in time for a fight on May 5th, the date Mayweather had on hold for the MGM Grand.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather talks haven’t ceased in the following weeks and Arum made another surprising announcement on Monday, January 9th when he pointed out that Pacquiao’s cut is indeed so severe that he was advised by plastic surgeon Jeffrey Roth, who ironically happens to date Arum’s stepdaughter, that the Filipino shouldn’t participate in sparring until April 1st.
Pacquiao’s cut is serving as one of the subplots as to why a fight between him and Mayweather can’t be made at the moment, seeing as though the 33-year old WBO welterweight champion would need to fight Floyd at a date later than the 5th of May.
Slideshow: Reliving Pacquiao-Marquez III from the early press conferences, Pacquiao’s Vegas arrival, ringside shots, and a post-fight look
Cuts typically don’t take nearly five months to heal and I decided to reach out to veteran trainer and cut man Miguel Diaz to get his take on this particular topic.
Diaz has worked with a myriad of world-class prizefighters in his day, including the likes of Mayweather, Erik Morales, Jose Luis Castillo, Jorge Arce, and others and also has been in Pacquiao’s corner dating back to his December 2008 upset over Oscar De La Hoya.
Diaz has seen a lot of blood and wounds during his time in boxing and pointed out that Pacquiao’s recent injury seemed to be as bad as any he could remember off the top of his head.
“One of the worst,” Diaz told me recently. “It was a bad cut. The doctor had to use three levels [of stitching] on the cut. The bottom, the middle, and the top.”
Diaz, often one to joke around in a carefree manner, pointed out that he tried to make light of the situation in the dressing room shortly after the fight.
“The doctor told me that it was going to take forty-five minutes to an hour [to work on the cut],” Diaz added. “And I had a joke about it afterwards. A lot of people were in the room, Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee, everybody else, and I said ‘You see? What takes the doctor an hour I can do in just thirty to forty seconds’ and everybody laughed.”
Despite it appearing that Pacquiao-Mayweather isn’t coming anytime soon, that didn’t stop Floyd from taking to his personal Twitter account recently to issue a few salvos in Manny’s direction, calling for him to take the May 5th challenge.
What did Diaz think of Floyd’s actions?
“It’s a matter of publicity,” said the Argentinean. “It’s not my opinion on what one guy is doing, what the other guy is doing. I don’t have no opinion on that. The fight has already had so much said about it that you don’t need no more promotion. But eventually, maybe more promotion will bring more money to the table.”
Bringing Cotto’s name to the forefront, Diaz has always been someone who is able to offer much insight on the Puerto Rican, having worked with him extensively throughout his early professional career all the way up to his February 2009 victory over Michael Jennings.
Exclusive interviews: Nonito Donaire weighs in on Mayweather’s Twitter call out / Mustafa Ameen fires back at Freddie Roach’s ‘libelous’ lies / Larry Merchant on the next moves of Pacquiao, Mayweather
But Diaz wasn’t as quick to pour praise on Cotto following his most recent outing, as he notes that Margarito simply may be damaged goods by this point.
“I saw the fight,” said Diaz of Cotto-Margarito II. “Margarito received more damage in [his fight with] Pacquiao and that’s what I said before the fight when people asked me. I said the guy who had less damage from Pacquiao, he’ll come out much better than the other guy and he’ll be the winner. That’s exactly what happened.”
Cotto looks to be entertaining the thought of pushing forward with his career as a free agent, which means a fight with Mayweather isn’t out of the equation. And if Cotto would end up landing such a shot, Diaz sees no reason that he wouldn’t put up a serious challenge.
“No question about it. Cotto’s competitive with everybody.”
2011 in Pictures – Reliving Manny Pacquiao’s year –Victories over Mosley and Marquez seemed to be tough to come for Pacquiao, plus bonus shots
Photo-journalist Chris Robinson – Images from Vegas Examiner Chris Robinson as he captures the likes of Pacquiao, Mayweather, Cotto, Margarito, Donaire, Martinez, Khan, and several others
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
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
A ringside view of Donaire-Narvaez – Relive Donaire’s commanding yet uneventful decision victory over Omar Narvaez in New York
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com andwww.Twitter.com/CRHarmony