MANILA, JULY 5, 2009
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao will have to use his bargaining powers once he gets hold of the proposed fight contract for his Nov. 14 showdown with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, has given Mike Koncz, the boxer’s adviser, a copy of the contract during a recent meeting in Las Vegas, and should be in Pacquiao’s hands soon.

Fight scribe Dan Rafael of ESPN wrote that Koncz is flying back to Manila this weekend, and that the latter was “pleasantly surprised with the offer” and that very little changes have to be made.

“I’ll relay the offer to Manny when I get to the Philippines, but we’re in the same ballpark with [Arum],” Koncz was quoted by Rafael as saying.

“But it’s a negotiation, so we probably won’t accept the first offer, but we’re not far off. The talks I had with Bob were good. So I will bring Manny the offer. We’ll probably counter, but I think it will get worked out,” Koncz added.

Pacquiao should receive no less than $12 million in guaranteed purse if he gets to fight Cotto, another Top Rank fighter. On top of it should be the bigger piece of the pie concerning the pay-per-view, tickets and merchandise sales.

Koncz hinted that what was written in Arum’s proposal should put the fight closer to being sealed.

“We’re really not that far off. I can’t say for sure, though, because Manny makes that decision, but I think it looks good. This is the fight Manny says he wants,” said the Canadian ring adviser to the Filipino icon.

And it could be just a matter of time before the contract is sealed, signed and delivered – just right after Arum returns from a European vacation.

Pacquiao’s lawyer, Franklin Gacal, said recently that it’s just normal for negotiations for such a big fight like this to take a little time before it gets both camps to agree.

“We haven’t seen it but if we don’t like it we make a counter-proposal,” said Gacal, adding that initial proposals are normally designed to trigger the negotiations regarding issues like the weight and purse split.

“It’s Manny who will make the final decision. He will decide on the weight but regarding the purse it shouldn’t be lower than 65 percent for Manny,” said Gacal.

He added that they will push for a catch weight lower than 145 lb even if Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said he’s fine with it and that he doesn’t even care if Cotto weighs 200 lb for the fight.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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