HBO vs Showtime: Pacquiao-Marquez and Cotto-Margarito Fights a Package Deal

Miguel Cotto's rematch with Antonio Margarito is being packed with Pacquiao vs Marquez III. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Dan Rafael reports that the network that lands the November 12 third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will also get the December 3 rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. Both fights will be pay-per-view events.

Rafael also has more on Margarito's eye condition from manager Sergio Diaz:

"[The doctor] told us Antonio's problem was very fixable and not a career-ending injury," Diaz said. "Antonio had pretty much accepted the fact that he would have surgery and have to retire. But they did this different kind of surgery that day, a half-hour surgery. They removed the cataract and put in a new lens. His vision is a whole lot better and will continue to get better. We have to do a minor laser surgery in a couple of weeks, but Antonio is going to be fine. He has been released to continue his career."

I do sincerely question whether or not Margarito (38-7, 27 KO) will ever be near the same fighter he used to be. Eye injuries are nothing to mess with and can have a huge impact on any fighter, no matter how tough they are. Cotto (36-2, 29 KO) will no doubt target the bad eye early and often, knowing it's vulnerable, and given Margarito's style of withstanding punishment and trying to take over late, that could really be a big factor here.

The fight will either be at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas or Madison Square Garden in New York. MSG would be, in many ways, the ideal setting for the fight, but the MGM may simply have more money to offer as they have boldly reclaimed their status as America's No. 1 boxing venue this year, hosting Pacquiao vs Mosley, Mayweather vs Ortiz (Sept. 17) and Pacquiao vs Marquez III. There's also the issue of the taxes in New York making major event boxing in the state far less prevalent in recent years.

Adding Cotto vs Margarito to the Pacquaio vs Marquez deal -- which is essentially what's going on here -- might make this a bit more of a race. Showtime may be able to come up with something bigger for Cotto vs Margarito than HBO can, which could help even out what is reported to be a monster off for Pacquiao vs Marquez from HBO.

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