It matters little to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum that Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto are each regarded as among the world's 10 finest boxers. Arum is simply thrilled that the fight between them that he finalized last week while on vacation in Israel and Italy will, in fact, be a fight.
Arum said Monday that Pacquiao and Cotto will meet in a fight with a 145-pound weight limit on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on HBO Pay Per View. Pacquiao is a unanimous No. 1 in the Yahoo! Sports poll of the world's top boxing writers. Cotto is sixth and that alone should make for an intriguing matchup.
Arum, though, likes the style mix between them.
"The significance of this fight is if you know the body of work of these two fighters," Arum said. "When these guys get into the ring, there will be a confrontation. People who watch know they'll be entertained. This will sort of be an edge-of-your-seat kind of a fight. It's an all-action, all-out battle where guys are going to demonstrate toughness, courage and resilience.
"It's definitely not going to be a boxing exhibition where two guys are running circles around each other. There are some fights that should properly be called boxing matches, but this is one where it's totally accurate to call it a fight."
The bout and the date had been long rumored, but the hang-up was getting the men to agree on a weight. Cotto holds the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt and has difficulty going much below 147.
Pacquiao, who still has only had three of his 54 bouts above 130 pounds, preferred it to be as low as possible and no higher than 144. Cotto's physical trainer said he couldn't safely fight below 145 pounds and Pacquiao ultimately agreed to the weight.
Arum expects the fight to perform as well at the gate as Pacquiao's dominating second-round stoppage of Ricky Hatton, which produced $8.9 million in ticket revenue at the MGM Grand Garden, but he's hopeful it will exceed it in pay-per-view sales.
Pacquiao-Hatton did 850,000 on pay-per-view and Arum believes Pacquiao-Cotto has the potential to surpass that.
"With all due respect to Ricky, I think Cotto, as a great Puerto Rican star, brings a larger fan base in the U.S. audience," Arum said. "I really think we'll be able to do north of 850,000 with this one."