By Roy Cantelli
Floyd Mayweather will end a 16-month layoff against southpaw Victor Ortiz in September but still hopes to give fans a long-sought showdown with Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather, 41-0 with 25 knockouts, will face World Boxing Council welterweight champion Victor Ortiz, 29-2-2 with 22 knockouts, on September 17 at Las Vegas with an eye toward another southpaw, Pacquiao, after that.
“After this fight, if I’m able to negotiate a Pacquiao fight, it could happen,” Mayweather said. “(Ortiz) is a southpaw. That could lead to the Pacquiao fight. If it does or it doesn’t, I’m not going to stop fighting.”
Most of the fights on Mayweather’s agenda are legal ones. He faces three court cases, including charges from an incident with an ex-girlfriend that could bring up to 34 years in prison, plus a defamation lawsuit from Pacquiao.
Asked how that federal lawsuit could affect negotiations for a Pacquiao fight, Mayweather said, “I’m not sure at all.”
“You go through ups and downs in life. If that’s how he feels, things happen. If he wants to go to court for defamation of character, that’s up to him.”
Pacquiao argues that his reputation was damaged when Mayweather accused him of being a dope cheat in his push to have “Pac-Man” take blood tests close to the date of a fight, something the Filipino star has steadfastly refused but something that is also not required by any US boxing oversight group.
“Hopefully Manny Pacquiao steps up to the plate and takes the test so we can fight,” Mayweather said. “I’m waiting for the fight to happen. I’m taking one step at a time.”