Following Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s controversial fourth round dismissal of Victor Ortiz in September, the Mayweather camp was bombarded with questions about when/if ‘Money’ would step up to fight pound for pound champ Manny Pacquiao. At the time Mayweather, Jr. and company deflected the question as usual, but with this current news it seems as if Mayweather, Jr. may finally be seriously interested in setting up the fight all boxing fans (serious and casual) are waiting for:
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.”
“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.”
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.”
Pacquiao is set to face Juan Manual Marquez Nov. 12th in Las Vegas, their third fight in a series that has featured a draw, a split decision for Pacquiao and a bunch of knockdowns. Mayweather and Pacquiao have both been discussed the possibility of fighting in the past, with talks breaking down over conditions surrounding drug testing prior to the bout.
Some would argue that Mayweather, Jr. needs the Pacquiao fight to secure his legacy as the best boxer of this generation, which they may have a point. Some would also argue that Pacquiao cannot truly be the pound for pound best in boxing until he squares off with and defeats Mayweather, Jr, which I agree with.
As far as my prediction for the fight, if it happens? I still believe that Mayweather, Jr. is too technically and defensively sound for Pacquiao to land the barrage of hard punches he typically unleashes on his opponents. Mayweather, Jr. has fought his activity and agressive fighters in recent memory and make easy work of them (Ricky Hatton, for example), although Pacquiao is in another class. I see Mayweather, Jr. beating Pacquiao in a close decision behind a steady diet of counter left hooks and a heavy right jab.