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Mayweather vs Cotto: Floyd Sizes Up Cotto, Dismisses Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather is ready to go against Miguel Cotto on May 5. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather is ready to go against Miguel Cotto on May 5. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Floyd Mayweather Jr is going full steam ahead with his May 5 fight against Miguel Cotto, and spoke with media immediately following the announcement today in Nevada.

"I think Miguel Cotto is a hell of a fighter, a strong solid 154-pounder. Pacquiao was trying to fight him at 147. I would never want to put a fighter in a position where he's not comfortable. I want a guy when he's at his best. If he's at his best at 154 and he's strong and he's solid, then that's the fight we're fighting at. I walk around at 150, but the end of the day - skills pays the bills."

Mayweather notes that he also fought De La Hoya at 154 pounds, and that Pacquiao fought Cotto and De La Hoya at catchweights. This is only kind of true, and unfortunately the De La Hoya comparison comes back pretty easily to bite Floyd in the ass if you bother to think much about it, and I think about a lot of meaningless stuff, so let's lay that out.

De La Hoya and Pacquiao fought with a 147-pound limit in December 2008. This happened because Pacquiao had been fighting at 130 and had one fight at 135 before taking that fight. De La Hoya had not made the welterweight limit since 2001.

147 is not a catchweight. It's just the welterweight division's limit. De La Hoya came down in weight to face Pacquiao, but had also come down in weight to a 150-pound catchweight against Steve Forbes in May 2008.

Why was De La Hoya coming down in weight? Because he was booking a big 147-pound fight for himself ... against Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather pulled out, had one of his fake retirements, and De La Hoya sought out Pacquiao. That De La Hoya boiled himself all the way down to 145 was a mistake in training and conditioning, not an actual catchweight. People were stunned when Oscar came in at 145.

Pacquiao fought Oscar because Floyd bailed on the fight and "retired." Floyd can take some credit in helping make Manny a star in that respect, I guess, but it's because Floyd chose not to fight.

As for the other thing, look, Pacquiao has fought exactly two catchweight fights: Cotto at 145 and Margarito at 150. After the 150 experiment he said he wouldn't go north of 147 anymore. So his stance that Cotto had to come back to 147 to fight him in June wasn't a surprise. The only mild surprise is that Cotto said no and meant it, so he moved on.

Note: This is inaccurate, as of course Pacquiao-Marquez III was a catchweight (144) fight, but the difference there is it was Pacquiao going down, not the other guy. I should have noted that originally.

Mayweather will probably come in close to 150 for the Cotto fight, same as he did for De La Hoya in 2007.

On Mayweather-Pacquiao not happening yet again, since this seems to have come as a shock to some today, Mayweather offered this:

"Pacquiao is blowing a lot of smoke up everybody's ass. He doesn’t really want to fight. I tried to get him to step up to the plate. We're talking about a $10 million dollar fighter that I tried to give $40 million dollars to, and we didn't even talk about the backend. Everything that everybody is hearing is a bunch of lies. I got proof."

If Mayweather's proof are the Nevada State Athletic Commission sheets, then I have proof, too, and the "shocking revelation" that Pacquiao isn't paid a pure $20 million purse isn't really all that shocking. There's also no evidence telling me that Mayweather made $40 million for the Ortiz fight last September, which was the claim at the time. His purse was $25 million on the Nevada sheet. A lot more than the $6M or $7M Pacquiao has listed on those sheets, but then no one is claiming that Pacquiao makes as much per fight as Floyd does.

Mayweather believes Miguel Cotto will make more on May 5 than he has for any fight to date. That's not just possible, it's probable, since the only time Cotto has been involved in a million-plus pay-per-view seller was against Manny Pacquiao. And while Mayweather vs Cotto might be a few years later than most wanted, so was Mayweather vs Mosley. Mosley had a fairly hot name going in and the fight sold. Cotto is, as we've said before, pretty much boxing's hottest property right now given that he just had Mayweather and Top Rank fighting to lock him in for a bout. Turns out that Bob Arum's claim that Cotto negotiating with Mayweather is a "waste of time" wasn't quite true.

The fight's on. Now we wait to see what Manny does (likely Timothy Bradley) and what Arum has to say about all of this, because no matter how you slice it, having Cotto fight Mayweather has to sting him. Arum has promoted Miguel Cotto since he turned pro.

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