RingTV.com has learned that WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto has agreed to the terms, other than resolving a few minor details, that will allow him to face Manny Pacquiao in a return bout on June 9 in Las Vegas at either the Thomas & Mack Center or the MGM Grand.
Pacquiao scored a 12th-round stoppage of Cotto in November of 2009 to win the WBO welterweight title he currently holds. Since then, Cotto has stopped three consecutive opponents, but the rematch may depend on his ability to come down to 147 pounds.
Reports earlier this week indicated Pacquiao’s likely choice to be Cotto, who was selected from among four other candidates comprised of Floyd Mayweather Jr., RING lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, IBF/WBA junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson and WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley.
Meanwhile, Marquez’s promoter, Fernando Beltran, told RingTV.com on Friday that Marquez is targeting a rise in weight to challenge Peterson following a tuneup fight on March 17 in a newly-constructed venue in Mexico City.
The Marquez-Peterson bout is being considered for The Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium, with the winner potentially getting a shot at Pacquiao, who is coming off a disputed majority decision over Marquez last November.
A victory over Peterson would make Marquez only the second Mexican fighter to win a fourth title over as many different weight divisions, a mark that was first achieved in September when Erik Morales scored a 10th-round TKO over Pablo Cesar Cano for the vacant WBC junior welterweight belt.
All of the above depends on whether or not a deal can be worked out for Pacquiao to face WBC welterweight beltholder Mayweather, a bout for which negotiations have failed repeatedly over a variety of issues.
Mayweather is slated to begin an 87-day jail sentence staring on June 1, and has targeted May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his next bout.
But Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, and Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, have dismissed that date for Mayweather-Pacquiao, citing their camp’s desire to construct a 40,000-seat, temporary outdoor venue near the Las Vegas Strip in late May or early-June to maximize revenue.
Pacquiao’s selection process began on January 10 in his native Philippines, when Koncz and Arum presented the candidates to him.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com