STEP aside, Floyd Mayweather Jr., it’s Antonio Margarito’s turn to have a date with Manny Pacquiao for the vacant WBC 154-pound title.
Bob Arum chose Margarito over Miguel Cotto for Pacquiao’s Nov. 13 fight, which could either be in Las Vegas or Mexico.
“Cotto was beaten and even with (Hall of Fame trainer) Emanuel Steward with him, I don’t think people believe that it’s enough to make a difference and I’m not sure they would buy the fight as competitive,” Arum told Yahoo Sports.
The 29-year-old Cotto, who is currently the World Boxing Association light middleweight champion, lost to Pacquiao after being stopped in the final round of their 12-round world title fight last year.
Pacquiao and Margarito will be fighting for the vacant World Boxing Council light middleweight crown possibly in Monterrey, Mexico or in Las Vegas if Margarito gets a US license.
“But putting aside the controversy about the wraps, the one thing you know for sure with a Margarito fight is that it will be a hell of a fight for however long it lasts,” said the veteran American promoter.
The 32-year-old Mexican’s license was revoked after he was found to have an illegal substance on his wraps during his world title bout with Shane Mosley last year.
If Margarito can get a license, his fight with Pacquiao will be at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. However, aside from the 22,000-seat arena in Mexico, the Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates is bent on hosting the upcoming mega bout.
And it will be a megafight.
With already seven division titles—a record—Pacquiao could claim an eighth if he wins against Margarito.
Pacquiao is set to train in Manila for his Nov. 13 fight so he will be able to attend the sessions in Congress. He is expected to train at the Wild Card Gym in Parañaque, which is owned by his former business manager, the late Rod Nazario.
“Margarito knows only one way to fight and that’s coming forward. They’re going to get in there and fight. That’s what people want to see,” Arum said.