By Edward Chaykovsky

As previously reported, there are heavy industry rumors that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will step away from pay-per-view and allow his September 12th return to be carried on network television by CBS.

Mayweather (48-0, 26KOs) has an exclusive contract with CBS/Showtime - which expires with his next fight. He claims the upcoming contest will be the final fight of his pro career.

In recent weeks, Mayweather has claimed that Andre Berto and Karim Mayfield are the two frontrunners to face him in the fall. Both of those options are easily tabbed as tremendous underdogs. The odds are so wide that most insiders believe Berto and Mayfield are being used as pawns to disguise the name of the actual opponent, who might be British star Amir Khan.

Would Showtime/CBS actually shell out the money for Mayweather to face Berto or Mayfield? Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president of Showtime Sports, was approached on the subject.

“One thing we’ve learned from Floyd is we know he usually does the opposite of what everyone says he’s doing,” Espinoza said to The Las Vegas Review Journal. “I can tell you nothing has been decided to this point. But we’re getting close to where you need to make a decision. I don’t believe it’s imminent, but that can change with one or two phone calls.”