By Rick Reeno
The boxing world is on fire after Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced on his personal Twitter page that he was close to finalizing his May 4th opponent, and named IBF welterweight king Devon Alexander as the frontronner.
"The negotiations for my fight are almost done. The front runner is IBF Champion Devon Alexander. It'd be a unification bout at welterweight," he posted on his official Facebook and Twitter pages.
Speculation exploded - especially considering that one day earlier Alexander revealed that he suffered a right bicep injury and withdrew from a scheduled fight with mandatory challenger Kell Brook. It was the second postponement of the match, which had an orginal date of January 19th and was then booked for February 23rd.
For several weeks it was openly being discussed that Robert Guerrero was the frontrunner to meet Mayweather on the set May date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Despite Mayweather's Twitter announcement, numerous sources have told BoxingScene.com that Guerrero is still the frontrunner.
Based on the facts, Alexander is not the likely opponent.
1. The IBF rejected the idea of approving Mayweather-Alexander as a unification.
2. The IBF has never received any request to sanction a Mayweather-Alexander fight.
3. Eddie Hearn, who promotes Kell Brook, has a signed contract for the Alexander fight.
4. Alexander's right bicep will require at least three weeks of therapy before he is even capable of training.
5. Kevin Cunningham, Alexander's manager and trainer, told BoxingScene on Monday that a period of at least six weeks would be necessary for Alexander to be 100% healed and healthy - placing his training start to at least some point in March.
6. The May 4th event will be one of the bigggest, if not the biggest, boxing pay-per-view of the year. From a business position, there is nothing that would make me believe that a show of that magnitude would rest on the shoulders of a boxer, Alexander, who just suffered an injury and his team confirms that it will take weeks to properly heal.
7. Cunningham, who wouldn't discuss the Mayweather situation when contacted Wednesday morning, told BoxingScene that Alexander's only focus is to "get his bicep back to 100%."
Contrary to some of the rumors floating around, numerous sources with knowledge of the details have told BoxingScene that there are no financial demands on the part of Guerrero which are stalling the match from being finalized. I've been told the monetary terms on Guerrero's side have never been an issue in making the Mayweather fight.
The truth is, there is no real explanation for Mayweather's social network commentary. There are some theories, but they are best left alone for another day when more facts become available.