By Ronnie Nathanielsz
As reported on Wednesday, undefeated WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. was sentenced to 90 days in prison at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas on a domestic violence charge involving his former girlfriend Josie Harris, the mother of his three children. He was also accused of threatening their children.
Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa ordered Mayweather to report to jail on January 6 after the 34 year old boxer had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of battery-domestic violence and no contest to two counts of harassment.
Pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that “Manny’s official statement is that he’ll pray for Floyd and his family.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had earlier told BoxingScene/Standard that he was preparing to meet with Pacquiao in Los Angeles in the first week of January to discuss a possible Mayweather super-fight in June but has declined to comment on how the sentencing of Mayweather may impact on what is expected to be the biggest fight in boxing history, if it pushes through.
In handing down an additional suspended sentence of 90 days, Saragosa said “I think a period of time in incarceration will send the right message to the community and to his children that no matter who you are you will have consequences to your actions that are appropriate when this level of violence is inflicted."
Mayweather was also ordered to attend a year-long domestic violence counseling program, pay a fine of $2,500 and render 100 hours of community service even as he was warned by Judge Saragosa to stay out of trouble.
The Justice of the Peace apparently turned down a letter request from Harris asking her not to sentence Mayweather to a prison term but instead to have him undergo counseling. She also denied a request by the high-priced lawyers of Mayweather to place him under house arrest.
Mayweather who was nattily dressed in a suit along with his adviser Leonard Ellerbe declined to answer questions from reporters as they stepped out of the courtroom.
In pressing for a prison term prosecutor Liza Luzaich noted that given Mayweather's long history of domestic violence, counseling efforts and $1,000 fines haven't worked in the past. She said "The only thing that is going to get this man's attention is incarceration."
Mayweather’s lawyer Karen Winckler pushed for full community service which she argued would be more productive than a jail term even as she referred to Mayweather as “a champion in many areas” which included a promise to donate $100,000 for breast cancer research and buying toys for kids during Christmas.
Mayweather who is facing another misdemeanor charge of battery and for poking and verbally abusing a homeowners association security guard over parking issues in November 2010 will also plead no contest and pay a $1,000 fine.
Koncz said he was “certain that Mayweather would get reduced time for good behavior” but stressed that they are “not going to worry about who Manny is going to fight until after the holidays. But we now have a certainty as to Mayweather’s status is which we didn’t know before. So it's good and it's bad.”
Asked to elaborate Koncz said “it's good because now he knows what his sentence is. It's bad because Mayweather now has to pay the consequences for his problems because he’s going to be in jail for a short while.”
He said that “under the circumstances there’s going to be closure to that chapter of Floyd’s life and now he knows with certainty what that closure is.”
Responding to Arum’s statement that he was looking at a June date for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight which would give Mayweather enough time to train, Koncz said “I’m flying to General Santos City on Friday to meet Manny but in all honesty we are not going to discuss fight options. We’ll wait until the new year.”
Given a possible April 6 release date, possibilities of getting ready even for a bout in June appeared unlikely with a September or November date regarded as more practical. This would also give Pacquiao a chance to either face Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time or Timothy Bradley sometime in May or June before the mega-buck showdown with Mayweather.