Notes (and video) from Pacquiao-Cotto Vegas scene
Not since 1999 has boxing produced two fights in a year that generated 1 million pay-per-view buys.
Back then, Oscar De La Hoya's controversial loss to Felix Trinidad and Lennox Lewis' highly suspect draw with Evander Holyfield pulled off the feat.
Now, on the heels of September's million-selling victory by Floyd Mayweather Jr. over Juan Manuel Marquez, Saturday night's Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas is well-positioned to surpass 1 million buys, HBO pay-per-view executive Mark Taffet said.
"The fight is of the highest quality, and the numbers that are tracking because of it are magnificent," Taffet said.
-- The fighters issued late prepared statements Friday after the weigh-in, of which we have video:
Afterward, Pacquiao said among other things that he's excited about the possible unprecedented feat of winning seven world titles in seven divisions: "Speed conquers all but I also have the power. The second Marquez fight made me think. I never looked at my opponents' tapes before that fight but now I do. At this level, hard gym workouts are not enough. I need to go to school for every opponent. I need to study them. I consider myself a student of boxing now, not just a fighter.
"Cotto's size and power need to be respected, but I will leverage his size against him. We have numerous plans to do this depending on the style of fight he presents on Saturday night. We are prepared. As important as it is to have advantages, knowing how to use them is even more crucial."
Said Cotto: "I began boxing when I was a little boy, just 11 years old. I always dreamed of fighting for the world championship. I have fought in world title fights, won championships, but this fight is very special. I want to tell all of my fans that I am ready to fight. We have a great game plan and we will win."
--For those attending the fight, a new 360-degree video board will be unveiled inside the arena.
--New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs riled up the weigh-in crowd by urging them to exude their national pride. See this video:
-- What’s in a name? If unbeaten super welterweight Yuri Foreman beats Daniel Santos in the only world title bout on the Cotto-Pacquiao undercard. he’ll become the first Israeli to win a world boxing championship.
But he’d be the second George Foreman to own a title.
Yuri Foreman (27-0, 8 knockouts), who was born in Belarus but spent much of his life in Haifa, Israel, said Yuri is a Russian form of the name George.
When he e-mailed the third son of the other George Foreman, the former heavyweight champion who named all five of his sons George, Yuri says the family immediately moved to adopt him.
“I told him, ‘George, how funny, I just Googled my name. I’m actually George Foreman,' ” Yuri Foreman said. “And he went ‘oh wow. That makes you No. 7’.”
Foreman won’t be the only Israeli fighting on an eight-bout undercard that features five unbeaten boxers.
Elion Kedem (9-1-4, 6 knockouts), a former sailor in the Israeli Navy now fighting out of New York, will meet Filipino Eden Sonsona (13-3, 3 KOs) in a six-round bantamweight match.
“I’m not fighting only for myself. I’m fighting also for Israel,” Kedem said. “And this is why I’m going to fight my heart out and I’m going to leave nothing behind.”
-- Lance Pugmire and Kevin Baxter