BOB ARUM: We’re really getting close to the fight. Todd duBoef told me yesterday it really feels like this week is fight week and I know that Manny and Miguel would just as soon have it this week. Both guys are fit and ready to go. Miguel worked out in LA on Tuesday and in a Las Vegas gym for some writers on Monday and believe me, he is fit and ready. We have Miguel on the phone, the welterweight champion of the world, who will be able to tell you how his preparations have been going.
MIGUEL COTTO: The camp is running very good, first in Puerto Rico and then in Tampa. Now we move to Vegas for this week and the next one. Right now, we are just getting ready for the night of the 14th.
What do you think about the history of Puerto Rican boxers and how you fit in?
MIGUEL COTTO: Puerto Rico has a good boxing tradition with Wilfredo Gomez and Benitez, Carlos Ortiz and Felix Trinidad. People in Puerto Rico are very interested in boxing. I am very happy and very proud to be a part of this Puerto Rican history. First of all, I have to make good work of Manny Pacquiao on the 14th and then I have to go back to Puerto Rico. I don’t know how the people are going to receive me there, but I hope it is going to be good.
How do you think Puerto Rican boxing fans look at your accomplishments?
MIGUEL COTTO: I never pay to much attention about the commentators in Puerto Rico. But I know that some people are happy with my accomplishments in boxing. Some others do not believe in me but I have to do my work whether the people believe in me or not. I am here for me, my family and the people that want to follow Miguel Cotto. For those who want to follow me, they are more than welcome.
How important is it to you that you get credit from the people on the island?
MIGUEL COTTO: I do not pay too much attention to that. If I am happy with the work and my family is proud of me..they are the real people that stay beside me. The people will disband when things go bad. The real people that are taking care of me, I am here listening to what they say about me.
If you win, where do you think that would put you in the heart of the Puerto Rican fans?
MIGUEL COTTO: Like I said before, I am going to be wherever the fans put me. I am never going to claim something that the people won’t give me or where they want to put me. Wherever they are going to put Miguel Cotto, I am going to be happy.
Pacquiao’s trainer has been talking a lot about knocking out in 1st round…do you hear about that?
MIGUEL COTTO: Forget about Freddie Roach. The only thing Freddie can do is train Manny. He can’t go over the ropes and into the ring to fight against Miguel Cotto. He can only train Manny the best he can. He may say and think Manny will knock me out but at the end of the day, it is just Manny and Miguel Cotto in the ring. No matter what kind of things Freddie Roach says before the fight…I have a very strong mind. The psyche game? I’m not going to follow that game.
You are just ignoring it?
MIGUEL COTTO: Yes.
What kind of accomplishment do you think it is to win seven title is seven weight divisions?
MIGUEL COTTO: I can only try to reach the goals I have in boxing. If he thinks he is going to win seven titles in seven weight divisions now, he has picked the wrong moment, the wrong fighter and the wrong opponent. If he thinks he is going to win the seventh title against Miguel Cotto, he is very wrong.
Where do you think you are now compared to pre-Margarito fight?
MIGUEL COTTO: That is the problem here in sports. Wherever you stand, there are ten or twenty people that know about boxing. I am not going to go to a doctor and tell him how to do his work. He knows how to do his work and I know how to do my work. I am pretty recovered from the Margarito defeat. I showed the world with my last two victories and I don’t have anything else to say about that.
What did you learn in the Clottey fight?
MIGUEL COTTO: If you ever saw somebody who fought with a huge cut over his eye and had to deal with the cut and an opponent in front of him and win the fight – it is all the things I had to deal with. I had a huge cut over my eye, a strong opponent in front of me and I was the winner of the fight. I learned how to deal with huge problems in a title fight.
Pacquiao is talking about dates and opponents – how do you feel about that?
MIGUEL COTTO: What they say and what they do does not concern me. They know what they have in front of him. He better be focused on what they will have in front of him in Miguel Cotto.
Bob, do you want to tell up what you have planned for the 14th?
BOB ARUM: We are going to do something very unique on the night of the 14th. We are going to feed the part of the undercard that is not on pay-per-view which features so many aspiring young fighters who are looking to make their mark on boxing and we are going to put it on various channels on inDemand, cable systems, on DirecTV and on Dish Network and that will run from 7 – 8:30 PM ET and it will feature fighters like Matt Korobov, the young Russian sensation; Rodrigo Garcia from Los Angeles, a real future prospect. Then at 8:30 PM ET, a half hour prior to the pay-per-view, we are doing a special 30-minute show which is very exciting and that leads into the pay-per-view telecast which begins at 9 PM ET.
There is a lot of talk about who Manny will fight next and when…
MIGUEL COTTO: It’s really not important to me what the boxing world wants to see. Once I beat many Pacquiao they can continue their plans and do what they want but I am not going home without winning this fight.
Are you ready to surprise the world by dealing with the speed of Pacquiao?
MIGUEL COTTO: You know what? That’s why we prepare ourselves. He’s a fast fighter. We know he has speed. We know he has a style and we are prepared to beat it. You’ll find out on the 14th how I am going to deal with his speed. It’s not going to be a factor even though everyone thinks it is.
Oscar couldn’t fight at the lower weight as well as he thought.
MIGUEL COTTO: The last fight I spent more than 24 hours doing nothing. Just waiting for the weigh-in. My weight was 145. All I have to do is add a half hour to my work every day and I am going to reach 145 with no problem.
Do you think Manny is too small to beat you?
MIGUEL COTTO: He is coming from a lower weight division and if he thinks he is going to have the same power as Miguel Cotto, his thinking is very wrong.
Manny is the star in this fight. Do you feel you have been overlooked by the international media?
MIGUEL COTTO: I am here to do my work. I am not an artist. I am just a boxer and I have to be focused on the things I am going to do on the 14th and that is the reason I am here.
Bob, because of the typhoons, will everyone be able to see the fight in the Philippines?
BOB ARUM: Probably not. There were two areas that were badly hit. One was certain low-lying areas of Manila. The flooding is gone but some people are still without power. The spot that was really hit hard was a town up from Manila toward Bagiao to the north, where there were landslides, etc. I think most of these people have been relocated to other areas so I think viewership will be as big as it has always been for Pacquiao fights.
Do you think his speed is going to be the main factor you will have to contend with?
MIGUEL COTTO: I am prepared for anything he can bring me that night. He has a lot of things beside his speed. I have to be prepared for all he can show me.
Do you think a Mayweather fight would complete your career?
MIGUEL COTTO: You never can push someone to face you. My career has to continue no matter who wants to fight or not to fight Miguel Cotto. I am here for the big names and ready for the hot opponents. That’s what boxing needs for the guys at the top to fight other guys at the top, like it was 20 years ago. Make the fights that fans want to watch. I am here for any boxer that wants to fight Miguel Cotto. They have to start with my company and I am more than ready to fight the biggest names in boxing.
Bob, compare this fight to the Mayweather – Marquez fight…
BOB ARUM: This fight for me is a much more intriguing fight, a fight that is getting a lot more attention because it is a much more competitive fight than the Mayweather–Marquez fight. Most journalists did not give Marquez any chance, and rightly so, against Mayweather and in this fight the journalists are split in their views as to who is going to win. And even those making a prediction say they really don’t know who is going to win this fight. This is a much more competitive fight and one of the most competitive fights of the year and that’s what is intriguing a lot of people besides the fact that both fighters are exemplary athletes and are a credit to the sport of boxing and they epitomize the best of what athletes should be.
Was there any trepidation about putting these two stars against each other?
BOB ARUM: You’ve got to understand when we have a fighter like Miguel who has fought all of his fights with Top Rank and Pacquiao who has done so over the last 4 or 5 years, my job is to put them in fights where they can make the most money. Where they can get the biggest platforms, so sure it is tough to see one of my fighters beating up on another one of my fighters, but I am confident in this fight these two guys are going to give a great account of themselves. They are on the biggest stage that boxing can offer and they are going to make a lot of money. So in that regard, I have done my job.
Are you surprised you are such a big underdog for this fight as much as 3:1 odds?
BOB ARUM: Before Miguel answers that question, you have to understand odds. Odds are a reflection of how people are betting. The money that’s been coming into the sports book is Philippine money coming heavy on many Pacquiao and that has no reflection at all on how close this fight is or who is the better fighter. In other words, if some millionaires from Puerto Rico got on a plane tonight and bet big sums of money on Miguel, he would be the favorite.
MIGUEL COTTO: I don’t know anything about the betting business you. I am just here to try and bring my best every day in the gym and in training camp and I am working to beat Manny. If the people bet for Manny it is all right with me. I am here for myself and not any kind of bet. All the people that are betting for Manny Pacquiao are not going to change the result of this fight.
Do you see yourself knocking him out or claiming a decision?
MIGUEL COTTO: I never come in to knock any guy out. I just try to do my work in the ring. If I hit the guy with a good punch or a combination, I will go for it. Or if I can get a decision. I go to do my work and if I hit him with a good punch, I am going for it.
What do you think Manny’s best attributes are?
MIGUEL COTTO: I don’t pay attention to his details but there are some things in particular that we worked on in training camp. I try to put myself in the best condition I can and I will try to capitalize on any kind of mistake my opponent will make. If Manny makes any kind of mistake I am going to capitalize on that.
Do you think the two pounds will have any affect on you?
MIGUEL COTTO: When we took this fight we decided that we were fine with 145. We knew we could do it and we knew we would be at our best the next night. We would not have taken this fight if we didn’t think I was going to be at my best the next night after the weigh-in.
What do you think about the difficult times Pacquiao has had with the Mexican fighters?
MIGUEL COTTO: Different fighters and different styles, they had their moments with him. It is going to be totally different with me. I am going in there and I have prepared myself for anything and everything that he brings. No matter who talks, trainer or whoever says he is going to win, I know that I am very confident that I am going to come out with a victory that night.
BOB ARUM: I want to thank everyone for coming and we’ll see you all in Las Vegas and as you heard today Miguel is very confident because when someone prepares for a fight as well as he has it gives him reason to be confident.
MIGUEL COTTO: I want to thank everyone for being here today and I am prepared. I have done the right things in my camp to make a great fight on Saturday the 14th. I have no doubt I am going to be the winner of this fight. It is going to be a great fight for me and the fans and all the people in the boxing world.
The Pacquiao vs. Cotto pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $54.95, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Pacquiao vs. Cotto fight week updates, log on to www.pacmancotto.com, www.hbo.com or www.toprank.com.
HBO’s fast-moving reality series “24/7 Pacquiao/Cotto” returns with the premiere of the finale This Friday! Nov. 13 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT. HBO will replay episodes No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 consecutively prior to the premiere of episode No. 4. The replays begin at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Nov. 13. Episodes Nos. 1-3 are also available on HBO ON DEMAND.
Seven of the MGM MIRAGE properties along The Strip will host closed circuit viewing in conjunction with Pacquiao vs. Cotto. The resorts include MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, Luxor, Circus Circus and Excalibur. Remaining tickets for the closed circuit telecast at all venues are priced at $50, not including applicable service charges and handling fees. All seats will be general admission and will be available at each individual property’s box office outlets and at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, or visit www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Ticket sales are limited to 20 per person.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena is home to concerts, championship boxing and premier sporting and special events. The Arena offers comfortable seating for as many as 16,800 with excellent sightlines and state-of-the-art acoustics, lighting and sound. Prominent events to date have included world championship fights between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson as well as Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather and George Foreman vs. Michael Moorer; and concerts by The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, U2, ‘N Sync, Sting, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Jimmy Buffett and the Barbra Streisand Millennium Concert. The MGM Grand Garden Arena also is home to the annual Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMA), Frozen Fury NHL pre-season game and the U.S. Open of Motocross.