Arum claims $15M offer to Cotto to fight Pacquiao
But says Cotto is not to blame for turning down rematch
MANILA, Philippines – Boxing promoter Bob Arum has claimed that he offered Miguel Cotto as much as $15 million to lure the Puerto Rican boxer into a rematch with Manny Pacquiao.
In an interview with ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Arum denied offering Cotto the same amount he was given in the 2009 fight against Pacquiao.
Cotto reportedly received $6.5 million plus a share of pay-per-view revenues when he fought Pacquiao in 2009 at a 145-pound catchweight.
Arum said that during his talks with Cotto’s adviser Gaby Penagaricano, he first asked if the Puerto Rican is amenable to fight the Filipino boxer at a catchweight of 150 pounds.
“And the word came back that if we could agree on the [financial] numbers, he would agree to 150,” said the boxing promoter.
Arum claimed he proposed a deal guaranteeing Cotto $9 million. He said the Puerto Rican will get another $4 million if the rematch generates the same number of pay-per-view buys as the 2009 fight.
Arum added that Cotto stands to receive $2 million more if the pay-per-view buys goes past the 1.25 million mark set by the first fight.
“And then we figured out that if we were able to raise that number by a couple of hundred thousand homes, which was not out of the question, that he would then make about $15 million," he narrated.
Cotto refused the fight despite the reported offer.
He decided to take on challenge junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout on December 1 for a lesser amount of pay.
Arum said he doesn’t blame Cotto for rejecting the Pacquiao rematch.
He instead blamed the Puerto Rican’s adviser Penagaricano for not fully relaying the offer to Cotto.
"I think Cotto is an honest guy, totally honest; I think Gaby was playing games," Arum said.
"I think Gaby wanted to do the Garden thing because it would be his entree into what he considered big-time promotion. I think that's what happened. I don't trust Penagaricano. I think he has another agenda. I trust Miguel."
Penagaricano denied Arum's claim.
"It's not true," he said. "As I have always done for the last seven or eight years in Miguel's career, I conveyed to my client every single piece of information I got from Top Rank about a potential Pacquiao fight and it was ultimately Miguel's decision not to take it.”
"Miguel is in a different position. He can make a lot of money fighting other people as well. He can constantly say no to a Pacquiao or Mayweather if the deal is not structured how he wants it," added Penagaricano.