MGM could land Pacquiao-Cotto

Manny Pacquiao appears headed back to the MGM Grand Garden, the site of his two most recent victories.

The man considered boxing’s pound-for-pound champion is looking at a Nov. 14 return against Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas. Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao and Cotto, said if the fight is signed, it likely will be at the MGM.

Arum said he also talked to Thomas & Mack Center director Daren Libonati about his facility hosting the fight.

“I wanted to give everybody a shot,” Arum said Friday. “When I checked with the other casinos to see if they wanted it at the Thomas & Mack, they said it would be difficult for them. So we’re going to the MGM.”

Arum said negotiations are under way with the Cotto and Pacquiao camps, and he’s going to take his time to make sure both fighters get what they want.

“What’s the rush?” he said. “There’s going to be some haggling, like there always is. But, eventually, we’ll get it worked out, and by early July, everything should be set for what will be a great fight.”

NEW MAYWEATHER DATE? — Assuming Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s injured ribs heal quickly, his welterweight fight with Juan Manuel Marquez might be rescheduled for Sept. 19 at the MGM.

The original July 18 date was scratched after Mayweather was injured last week in training.

Richard Schaefer, chief executive officer for Golden Boy Promotions, said that date is available for the arena and for HBO, which is scheduled to present the fight on pay per view. Golden Boy promotes Marquez

“Right now, we’re waiting to see what the doctor says,” Schaefer said. “But I can tell you Floyd and Marquez will fight sometime this year. Whether it’s September, October, November, I don’t know.”

Schaefer also said reports that advance ticket sales were sluggish for the original date were erroneous.

“I have the reports right in front of me, and there have been $5.5 million in sales already,” Schaefer said. “That’s ahead of the pace that Pacquiao and (Ricky) Hatton did at the same time frame. So all that talk (that) the fight isn’t selling is a lot of bull. It’s all the Floyd haters making stuff up.”

SOUTH POINT CARD — The South Point will hold a boxing show July 3, promoted by American Boxing, with Las Vegas’ Layla McCarter defending her WBA and Global Boxing Union female lightweight titles against Fujin Raika in the main event.

McCarter and Raika fought seven years ago in Tokyo, with McCarter winning an eight-round majority decision.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913.

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