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Merchant: Arum Was Right on Mayweather's Legal Issue

By Chris Robinson

The biggest news of this boxing holiday happened on Wednesday, when Floyd Mayweather Jr. was sentenced to 90 days in jail in relation to his role in a September 2010 domestic violence case involving two of his children and their mother, Josie Harris.

Mayweather had been eyeing a May 5th return to the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada but since he is scheduled to hit jail on January 6th, that means he won’t be released until early April, certainly pushing back his ring return. There had been hopes by many that Mayweather would finally meet up with Manny Pacquiao in a long-desired fantasy matchup but once again we will be left waiting.
 
Pacquiao himself lost a touch of luster on his career last month when he was pushed to the limit by longtime nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time. Pacquiao would pull out a majority-decision verdict on the night of November 12th but the consensus at the time seemed to be that Marquez, with his precise counter-punching and dictation of the ring, had done enough to steal the verdict.

Mayweather’s sentencing today has thrown a curveball to the sport and it remains to be seen how everything plays out from here. I caught up with veteran HBO analyst Larry Merchant earlier today to continue our ongoing column and got his take on the whole ordeal and the implications that lie ahead.
 
Slow coming out of the gates at first, this is what Merchant had to say…

Initial reaction to Mayweather’s sentencing…
“It is what it is. He’s been through a number of these charges before. This time he pleaded guilty. It speaks for itself. He pleaded what he pleaded and I don’t know what he expected.”

Whether Pacquiao-Mayweather is all but lost…
“I think it could still happen in the fall. What I have said of this all along is, the longer you wait, the more stuff can happen. In this case the stuff is Pacquiao might have lost a fight to Marquez. He escaped and Mayweather is going to be out of circulation for a while. Now it’s not unusual for Mayweather to be out of circulation. But we know now that it’s not his choice necessarily. Who knows what’s going to happen between now and the fall. If Pacquiao is going to fight and especially if he’s going to fight Marquez, who’s one of those matchups that’s not good for him, you don’t know what can happen. We only know what didn’t happen.”

The public’s interest in a fourth fight between Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez…
“I don’t know how much interest it would generate. The last one was a pretty good fight. I don’t know if people do want to see it again. And I don’t know if there won’t be some alternative out there. I don’t know that [Miguel] Cotto or [Tim] Bradley is out of the picture completely. It seems that the likeliest match would be Marquez, but I don’t think that’s chiseled in stone.”
 
The conflicting reports in the media in relation to Pacquiao-Mayweather ever making progress…
“I don’t recall anything that has had this kind extensive, long-running, non-event. I can say in this case that [Bob] Arum has been saying all along that he couldn’t make the fight because he didn’t know whether Floyd would be available because of all this and it turns out he was right. The ‘he said, he said’ is over, at least for the moment. I’ve said for a long time that I never said Mayweather was afraid of Pacquiao, but I did think he wasn’t eager to make the fight.”

A dissimilar situation for Mayweather…
“We went through something like this, with multiple charges if I recall, with Arturo Gatti. At the time there was an issue as to whether the fight could be made or if it could be made when they talked about making it. The only thing new about this is that this time the charges stuck. My recollection and I don’t know if it is right or wrong to tell you the truth, was that it delayed the Gatti fight for a while if I remember correctly. And maybe this will have the same effect, that it will just delay the inevitable. Or what seems like the inevitable but inevitably seems to fall apart for one reason or another.”

[Reader's note: Visit the following slideshows for a look back on 2011 with boxing's biggest stars Nonito Donaire / Juan Manuel Marquez / Victor Ortiz ]

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected] . Please follow him at www.Twitter.com/CRHarmony
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by pasawayako on 12-25-2011

Hahahaha. Floyd find his right place on this earth.

Comment by komandante on 12-25-2011

It is very clear Floyd pleaded guilty to avoid a clash with Pacquiao which he thinks he can lose. Arum is right, you can't beat him either you join him or be a loser.:boxing:

Comment by AlwaysOnTop on 12-25-2011

[QUOTE=Slip Stream;11600690]Regardless of whatever happens to Mayweather, he never ends up fighting Top Rank fighters or making any sort of joint profit with Bob Arum. It's puzzling to me that folks always end up blaming Floyd no matter how shoddy…

Comment by Slip Stream on 12-25-2011

Regardless of whatever happens to Mayweather, he never ends up fighting Top Rank fighters or making any sort of joint profit with Bob Arum. It's puzzling to me that folks always end up blaming Floyd no matter how shoddy Arum's…

Comment by AlwaysOnTop on 12-25-2011

[QUOTE=peplz;11600634]Mayweather called Stevie Johnston out a few times and Johnston ended up losing and leaving boxing before they ever got a chance to fight. Margarito is a Top Rank fighter and Mayweather unified the division against Carlos Baldomir instead of…

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