After what seems like weeks of haggling back and forth on silly terms, Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto have finally agreed to fight on November 14, at the MGM Grand. The biggest of the sticking points was the catchweight for the fight, which will be at 145 pounds. That means that Cotto's welterweight title will be on the line, but Pacquiao's light welterweight championship will not.
This is excellent news. While it may not be THE fight that everyone wanted, it undeniably should be a solid, all-action fight between two top 10 pound for pound boxers. As with Pacquiao's last few fights, there will be a number of plotlines to watch out for. Will Pacquiao be able to take Cotto's punch? Will Cotto have full energy if he has to boil down below 147? Will the press be able to coax a negative word out of the mouth of either fighter for the entire press tour?
In my estimation, Pacquiao has very little to lose but a whole lot to gain out of this fight. If he wins, he will have either been champion or held an alphabet belt at seven different weight classes, which is completely unheard of. In addition, his star probably becomes even bigger, being in another megafight against someone who's no slouch at the box office himself. If he loses, he does have the excuse of fighting well above his best weight, although after his destructions of De La Hoya and Hatton, that excuse won't hold a ton of water. Still, even taking on a prime, top 10 pound for pound fighter at a weight that's only 1 pound less than his last fight is a gutsy move.
The other good news is that this will hopefully end the standstill for other major fights getting made. Pacquiao and Cotto becoming unavailable forces Shane Mosley's hand, which in turn affects Paul Williams, which in turn affects Kelly Pavlik. Now that the suspense is over, don't be too surprised to see all three of them sign for fights (probably not against each other, unfortunately) in rapid succession.