Lem Satterfield

Cotto-Margarito II headed for HBO, says Arum

The rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito is headed to HBO Pay Per View from New York’s Madison Square Garden on Dec.3, Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum confirmed to RingTV.com on Wednesday.

The move was first reported by BoxingScene.com.

Arum said that the deal was struck between Top Rank Inc. President Todd duBoef and HBO Pay Per View executive Mark Taffet following Tuesday’s New York press conference promoting the third bout between WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 knockouts) and WBO and WBA lightweight beltholder Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) on Nov. 12.

“The deal was talked about in general last week. But it was finalized in a meeting yesterday after the press conference between Todd and Mark Taffet,” said Arum.

“We’re looking forward to working with HBO on the Cotto-Margarito card, and HBO has devoted its considerable assets to the promotion of that fight.”

HBO won Cotto-Margarito II over Showtime’s Pay Per View, which  involved its parent company CBS as well as other assets when it televised Pacquiao’s unanimous decision over Shane Mosley in May — the first time either fighter had been on the rival network.

As a counter, HBO’s parent company, Time Warner, involved itself in the promotion of  Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0, 25 KOs) on Pay Per View challenging of WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) on Sept. 17 at the MGM.

Mayweather-Ortiz includes a 24/7 series that is partially being televised on CNN and an appearance by Ortiz and Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.”

The move influenced Arum to return to HBO with Pacquiao-Marquez, which will likewise feature a 24/7 series and appearances by Arum and Pacquiao on “Piers Morgan Tonight” and stories in its various online print media.

Cotto-Margarito II will be using a shorter, two to three-part version of the 24/7 series, said Arum.

“They’re going to do the 24/7 series, yes, and there are some other similarities to the Pacquiao-Marquez promotion,” said Arum. “But again, since you have a Puerto Rican against a Mexican, it leans very heavily toward the hispanic.”

Cotto-Margarito II will be contested at a catchweight of 153 — one pound below the limit for the junior middleweight division.

The fight is a return bout of one that ended with the 33-year-old Margarito (38-7, 27 knockouts) handing Cotto (36-2, 29KOs) the first loss of his professional career with an 11th-round stoppage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July of 2008.

A former two-time welterweight and one-time junior welterweight champion, the 30-year-old Cotto’s fights have been arguably the most popular of any present-day boxer’s at Madison Square Garden, where he often has fought in June on the eve of New York’s City’s annual Puerto Rican Day parade.

Cotto is 8-0, with three knockouts when fighting in New York, and he is 6-0 at Madison Square Garden, where four of those contests have taken place on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Cotto has scored consecutive knockouts over Yuri Foreman and three-time beltholder Ricard Mayorga, respectively, in the ninth and 12th rounds in June of last year and in March.

Before dethroning Foreman, Cotto, himself, was dethroned as WBO welterweight titleholder by Pacquiao via 12th-round knockout in November of 2009.

Margarito has not been in the ring since losing by unanimous decision to Pacquiao in a match up that earned Pacquiao the WBC’s vacant junior middleweight belt in November of last year.

Although Pacquiao-Margarito was contested at a catchweight of 150 pounds, Pacquiao faced a 17-pound weight disadvantage (165 pounds to 148 in favor of Margarito) by the time the two fighters entered the ring.

Margarito, nevertheless, suffered a fractured right orbital bone resulting from the damage he absorbed from Pacquiao’s fists, comprised of a massive cut and swelling beneath his right eye socket.

Margarito underwent 75 minutes of surgery to repair the damage, and was cleared this past spring to return to training and to the ring.

Pacquiao has since vacated the WBC’s title.

A media tour is planned for that will begin in late September, according to Cotto’s legal adviser Gaby Penagaricano.

The Cotto-Margarito II press tour will “begin in Miguel Cotto’s backyard of Puerto Rico,” Cotto’s adviser, Gaby Penagaricano, told RingTV.com.

Panigaricano said that the promoters were “shooting for the week of Sept. 19 for a launching date from Puerto Rico, and the tour will cover Puerto Rico, New York, Mexico and Los Angeles.”


Lem Satterfield can be reached at lem.satterfield@gmail.com

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