Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Floyd Mayweather Jr. eyes May 5 fight
By Dan Rafael
Floyd Mayweather Jr. does not plan on taking another 16-month vacation from the boxing ring, like he did after easily outpointing Shane Mosley in May 2010.
Instead, Mayweather, who knocked out Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17, will make a relatively hasty return: May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, adviser Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN.com on Wednesday night.
Mayweather's opponent has not been determined but Ellerbe said, "We're looking to make the biggest fight possible and everyone knows what that fight is, the little fella."
Ellerbe was, of course, referring to Manny Pacquiao. The welterweight champions and the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the world have been on a collision course for years. However, negotiations have fallen apart over drug testing protocol.
Pacquiao fights Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand and is a heavy favorite.
"Floyd made it very clear that he wants to give the fans the biggest fights that are out there. He wants to stay active," Ellerbe said. "We're going to do everything in our power to make the biggest fight out there for the fans and we all know what the fight is."
Mayweather, a five-division champion, has fought only five times since 2007.
Ellerbe said Mayweather informed him and fellow adviser Al Haymon on Wednesday of his decision to return in May.
"We had a discussion, Floyd, me and Al," Ellerbe said. "Floyd made it very clear to us what he wanted to do. He told us he is looking to make the biggest fight that is out there and to make it in May."
Ellerbe also informed Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer, who does not have a contract with Mayweather but has promoted his last five bouts, of the plan.
"I'm very excited that the sport's biggest pay-per-view star is going to be back on May 5," Schaefer told ESPN.com. "We have informed the pay-per-view industry and I have the arena on hold. I'm excited to continue my relationship with Floyd and his team. It's always fun to work with Floyd."
Although May 5 is seven months away, Mayweather's fights have typically been promoted for several months in advance of the fight. The first weekend of May is traditionally a weekend for a major pay-per-view fight.
"We have to plan any time you're the biggest star in the sport," Ellerbe said. "You have to plan in advance because his fights are events. In order to maximize the exposure you want to plan as far in advance as you can to make your event as big as possible. May 5, that is the date Floyd is fighting on. We have secured May 5 at the MGM. Floyd is excited to make his return."
Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs), who turns 35 in February, reclaimed one of his old welterweight titles with his knockout of Ortiz in a fight that Golden Boy said generated 1.25 million buys and $78.44 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue. The buys tied the fight for third place all-time among non-heavyweight pay-per-views and gave Mayweather his third consecutive 1 million-plus pay-per-view fight and fourth in his last five bouts.
Although Mayweather plans to fight, he still faces several legal cases. He was acquitted last week of misdemeanor harassment charges alleging that he had threatened the lives of two security guards in the gated community in Las Vegas where he lives. But he faces a Nov. 4 trial for a misdemeanor battery complaint alleging he poked another homeowner[..]ociation security guard in the face during a different confrontation over parking tickets in November. Mayweather has pleaded not guilty.
In the most serious case, Mayweather faces four felony and four misdemeanor charges stemming from an alleged domestic dispute with his former girlfriend, who is the mother of two of his children.