[PHOTO AT LEFT - Miguel Cotto MANILA, Philippines]

MANILA, JULY 26, 2009 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Unless he changes his mind, Miguel Cotto won’t put his belt on the line against Manny Pacquiao.

“No,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum told The STAR when asked if Cotto would stake his WBO welterweight crown for his fight with the Filipino pound-for-pound champion on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

Cotto will face Pacquiao at a catchweight of 145 lb but can put his 147 lb title at stake if he wants to.

But the champion from Puerto Rico, at the moment, is not thinking about it.

“He doesn’t want to pay the sanction fee. So, no, Miguel Cotto will not stake his crown against Manny Pacquiao,” said Arum over the phone.

However, WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel insisted yesterday it should be a title fight.

Arum said sanction fees if it becomes a title fight could amount to as much as $400,000.

However, the legendary promoter from Top Rank who has both Pacquiao and Cotto in his stable said it’s going to be a huge fight – with or without the title.

Arum said he doesn’t even care if there’ll be no title at stake. What’s important, he said, is for the people to see a great fight between the two great fighters.

“Nobody in the US cares about the title,” said Arum, adding that it’s going to be a 12-round battle just the same at the 17,000-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

There are no signatures on the fight contract yet, but Arum said there’s nothing to worry about, even as Shane Mosley, the other welterweight champion from the WBA, has dangled everything but the kitchen sink for Pacquiao to fight him instead.

“There’s no contract yet but everything’s been agreed upon. We’re finalizing everything and maybe we can get it done this week or early on next week,” said Arum.

Understandably, Pacquiao, the reigning pound-for-pound king and IBO light-welterweight champion, will get the lion’s share and that could mean 65 pecent of everything.

Pacquiao got a guaranteed purse of $12 million for facing Ricky Hatton last May and his take for this one, only his second and last fight this year, should be just around the vicinity if not bigger.

Mosley is hot in pursuit of Pacquiao, saying he deserves the right to face the Filipino icon, and not Cotto. The native of Pomona, California, said he’s willing to face the southpaw from Saranggani in his own weight of 140 lb for 40 percent of the purse.

Yesterday, reports came out about Mosley’s latest offer.

“What does Manny want? Mosley was quoted by Michael Marley. “He can have all my old title belts. They just sit in my garage and gather dust as it is. I’ve got an old pool table I never use. I’ve got some great old music on those eight track things. I could also wash and wax Manny’s cars if he likes.

“Manny can have it all if he wants it...hell, Manny can even have cutman Cassius Greene’s sailor’s cap. Do you know what you could get for that on Ebay?” said the 38-year-old champion.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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