By Chris LaBate
Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, consider Manny Pacquiao to be a good fighter and a big star in the sport, but he feels the Filipino's epic rise was helped in part by Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s long layoffs from the sport. Mayweather will hit the ring on September 17th against WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which is the first fight for Mayweather since the win over Shane Mosley in May 2010.
"He's a good little fighter," Ellerbe said to The Grand Rapids Press. "But he's benefited from a lot of what has happened the last couple of years. I'm not talking about the allegations [regarding steroid use]. I'm talking about the fact that he's the sole beneficiary of Floyd deciding to take a little time off."
Ellerbe denied the continued rumors of Ortiz being selected as a tuneup opponent for a potential fight with Pacquiao in 2012.
"I've heard all this B.S. about a tune-up, or a lead-in," Ellerbe said. "Nothing about Victor Ortiz is a tune-up. He's a tremendous fighter and he also comes in with a great deal of confidence because of his last win [over Andre Berto]. Floyd stepped up and said, 'Give me the best other guy out there,' since we can't make the fight with the other guy, for obvious reasons."