The boxing world isn’t going to get the fight it really wants to see this spring, but it will get the next best thing.
Floyd Mayweather announced during his hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission that he will fight WBA 154-pound champion Miguel Cotto on May 5. Mayweather was granted a one-fight license by the NVAC, clearing the way for him to fight the Puerto Rican sensation.
"Miguel Cotto is a world class fighter who can never be taken for granted and continues to prove he is one of the best in boxing," said Mayweather, whose only other fight at super welterweight came in a World Boxing Council (WBC) world title win over Oscar de la Hoya in May 2007. "It will be a challenge for me to compete with him at this weight, but this is the type of test I thrive on and gives me the motivation to train even harder. I have no doubt in my mind that my title belt collection will increase once again and Cotto's reign as champion will come to an end on May 5."
Mayweather was sentenced to 90 days in jail after accepting a plea bargain in his domestic violence case. He is scheduled to begin his sentence on June 1. Mayweather was able to get his original surrender date of January 6 pushed back to June 1, because he was already scheduled to fight in Las Vegas on May 5.
Mayweather choosing to fight Cotto means the public won’t see the undefeated welterweight fight Manny Pacquiao anytime soon. Industry sources have indicated that Pacquiao, who has set June 9 as his next fight date, is likely to face Tim Bradley.
It’s no coincidence the Pacquiao will face Bradley. Both boxers fight under the promotional arm of Top Rank. Cotto, a long time fighter under Top Rank, let his deal with the company expire after his last fight with Antonio Margarito.
"I am here to fight the biggest names in boxing," said Cotto. "I've never ducked anyone or any challenge in front of me. I have accepted everything to give the fans what they like...great and exciting fights."
Mayweahter and his promotional partner Golden Boy have failed on several occasions to come to terms with Top Rank on a potential mega fight with Pacquiao.