Floyd Mayweather will report to a Clark County jail in Las Vegas at the end of this week. There, he will serve a 90-day sentence stemming from misdemeanor battery domestic violence and harassment charges. And there he will be, as the boxing world—Manny Pacquiao included—moves on. While Pacquiao has at least four options not named Mayweather, it is less clear what boxing’s “Money” man will do once no longer incarcerated.
According to a Clark County official, Mayweather could be released by March 11th with good behavior. Even so, the May 5th date reserved for his next fight is out of the question.
The earliest we could expect to see him in a boxing ring would be late June, and even this is unlikely. Summer is generally a slow time of year for the sport’s biggest names.
Since 1999, Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) has fought only once during a summer month. Expect him to use the summer to get his body, mind and life back in order before returning in the fall or early winter.
You can bet the house that Mayweather’s one bout in 2012 will not be against Pacquiao. If the next “Fight of the Century” is postponed once again, who might Mayweather choose to fight instead? His options are limited.
One is the winner of the February 11 rematch between Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto. Granted, this case of déjà vu is more likely if Berto comes out on top. But there is sufficient bad blood between Ortiz and Mayweather that a rematch of their abbreviated hustle is not unimaginable. The controversy of their September showdown also makes a rematch a potential seller.
If Pacquiao elects to fight Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time, Timothy Bradley becomes a viable opponent. However, people around the Filipino champion and other boxing insiders suspect that Bradley is likely to get the call.
Who is Floyd Mayweather most likely to fight first in 2012?
An interesting option is former Bradley foe Devon Alexander. There is hardly a buzz around Alexander at present, but he shares some potential key parallels with Mayweather’s last victim, Ortiz.
Alexander, like Ortiz, is coming off of a substandard performance against a very good adversary. His February 25 bout with slugger Marcos Maidana could produce fireworks. If it does, and if Alexander comes out on top, the former titlist could get a popularity boost similar to that which launched Ortiz after he overcame Berto.
A final name that is likely to be mentioned is Paulie Malignaggi. The New Yorker must get by title-holder Vyacheslav Senchenko, which could be scheduled for this spring. There had been modest mumblings of a Mayweather-Malignaggi matchup in the past. Now that the “Magic Man” is signed with Golden Boy and campaigning at 147 pounds, don’t be shocked to hear his name come up again.
Other potential welterweight opponents are either too green or too foreign to make sense at this point in the nearly 35-year-old Mayweather’s career.
Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson have their own business to settle.
Miguel Cotto is a promotional free agent in name only. Any negotiations between Cotto and Mayweather will have to involve Bob Arum, which throws a major wrench into those plans despite apparent interest on both sides.
Unless he decides to risk his undefeated record against Pacquiao (54-3, 38 KOs) in late 2012, Mayweather does not seem to have a blockbuster option once he is released from jail. This reality may force his hand, and as some commentators believe, we may get our “Fight of the Century” as a result.
But the odds are better that the world ends before we get that fight.