Floyd Mayweather has been sentenced to a 90-day stint in a county jail, and the question every boxing fan would like answered is, how will this latest blip delay the projected super-fight with Manny Pacquiao?
For a while now, the handle Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has become synonymous with drama and controversy.
Now, out of the blue, and to the surprise of many, the seemingly untouchable Mayweather has, in actuality, been touched by the hand of the justice system.
Where 42 opponents have tried and failed, the law has prevailed—three months for assaulting the mother of his three kids is Mayweather's punishment.
"Money May" is set to begin his prison term sometime around Jan. 6, 2012.
With that said, this latest thorn in the side of the proposed fight of the century will most definitely delay a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight.
Let's look at the reasons why.
When Mayweather begins his sentence on Jan. 6 or thereabouts, he'll be out sometime in mid-March.
The three-month sentence in all essence will scupper any chance of a showdown with Pac-Man on Cinco de Mayo, the date pencilled in by Mayweather's friend and adviser, Leonard Ellerbe.
As any boxer or coach will tell you, it takes anything up to three months to be in tip-top physical shape for a boxing match, and even though Mayweather might have gym time, it's a different kettle of fish in the clink.
Lack of the right nutrition, proper training equipment and being locked down for a substantial part of the day will all play their part on his health and fitness.
And when he's finally released, the last thing on his mind, I can assure you, won't be anything remotely concerning preparation for a fight with Pacquiao.
He'll probably take time out and reflect on what could've turned out to be a harrowing experience.
Still, even if he was raring to go, he wouldn't be ready for a fight with Pacquiao until sometime in July, maybe even August.
And the worst case scenario would most likely see the matchup happen anytime between October and December.
Prison is no holiday camp and no joke, either.
Add to the equation the humiliation of not only being in prison, but more importantly, being stripped of the clout Mayweather had on the outside.
He'll be told when to sleep, wake and eat, and everything in between.
Taking orders from people whom he believes couldn't lace his boots on the outside will be tough going for the pride and ego of the outspoken and flamboyant Mayweather.
When Mike Tyson was freed from jail, in some respects, he was never the same fighter that once terrorized the heavyweight division.
Prison can either make you or break you.
Even though Money almost never permits anything to interfere with what's best for Mayweather, no one but the perpetrator behind those prisons' walls is truly privy to what prison time inflicts upon their psyche.
If he's not mentally right coming out of prison, the fight could be delayed for as long as it takes, or even indefinitely.
So what happens to Pacquiao whilst Mayweather is serving time?
Pacquiao has so many options that the name Mayweather could be a thing of the past.
Why should Pacquiao wait around for Mayweather when there are wars to be fought and there's money to be made?
That's Money's mantra: If it makes dollars, then it makes sense.
Pac-Man won't hang around for Mayweather that's for sure, and if his promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has anything to do with it, Pacquiao will be back in the ring by the time Mayweather makes that long walk to freedom.
With Mayweather tucked safely inside his cell, a fourth bout with Juan Manuel Márquez will make sense as well as make money.
Then there are also the likes of Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley and maybe even Antonio Margarito who could make the frame.
Nothing is a given in boxing, and on any given day, even the most elite of prize fighters can taste defeat.
Now, if Pacquiao were to lose to any of the aforementioned, or any fighter for that particular matter, that will push a date with Mayweather further down the line.
He might want a rematch or might even call it a day.
And if he wins, he might need to recuperate.
Either way, a Pacquiao win or a loss will have a negative impact on the time frame of a Mayweather fight.
Apropos Mayweather's jail sentence—the fight that the boxing world has clamoured for is now in a worst state than when Mayweather was a free man (technically, he's still a free man, but you get where I'm going with this).
The saga continues.