By Chris Robinson
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has once again taken over the headlines this Friday afternoon with the news that the undefeated fighter has been granted a five-month delay on a prison term that was expected to hit this morning. Last month Mayweather was struck with a 90-day jail sentence in relation to his role in a domestic violence case in September of 2010 involving his former fiancé’ Josie Harris and two of his children.
Mayweather had been lined up for a May 5th fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and earlier today, Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa said her decision to grant the extension was partly based on Floyd’s contractual obligations to that upcoming assignment.
Mayweather’s lawyer Richard Wright pleaded with Saragosa just how beneficial the move would be, as the city receives a huge economic boost every time Mayweather, one of the biggest draws in boxing history, fights in the area.
With Mayweather now clear to pursue his May 5th date, the question becomes exactly who will the 34-year old champion find himself in the ring with. A fight with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao is the most lucrative option but the Filipino icon’s promoter Bob Arum had already set the wheels in motion to pursue other options and there have already been extreme difficulties in making progress on the fight over the past few years.
Mayweather’s cornerman Nate Jones, a longtime friend since their amateur days dating back to 1994, also feels that May 5th would be pushing the envelope a little too fast for such a huge event.
“There’s a slim possibility it’s going to be Pacquiao,” Jones told me shortly after news of Mayweather’s delay hit. “I don’t think Pacquiao’s going to agree to everything on the table yet. But if he does it’s a possibility. I just think Floyd wants a little bit more time to get ready. We’ll probably need more time. Get everything done with the business and start training for the fight. We’d like a little more space in between. Aint no rush to fight a big fight like that.”
There are those in the sport who feel that Arum doesn’t have any true interest in a fight with Mayweather simply because he can make a profit with Pacquiao no matter whom the fighter faces, even if it is an opponent far less dangerous.
“I feel the same way,” said Jones of the Top Rank promoter. “Bob Arum is making a profit now, because he knows, with the last performance of Pacquiao, he didn’t look good at all. So the whole world knows that time is coming for this fight and everybody feels that with the last fight that Mayweather was going to destroy Pacquiao. And I’ve been saying that for the longest. Now he’s going to milk his cow as much as he can before this huge fight.”
But if not Pacquiao, then who is out there for Mayweather? Jones feels that WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, who has shown interest in pushing forward with his career as a free agent after ten-plus years under the Top Rank banner, is the best fit.
“Cotto would be very important,” said Jones. “It would be an interesting fight. I would prefer Cotto, but [Marcos] Maidana or Cotto or the young brother coming up, Tim Bradley. That would be interesting. Names like that.”
Jones had been corresponding with Mayweather, as is often the case with the two friends, and points out that Floyd seemed ready to go through with his impending time behind bars.
“We was talking back and forth all this week,” Jones finished up. “Just real short. He was saying ‘This time is going to happen. I’m going to do what I gotta do Nate’. I asked if he needed me to talk to him but he said he’d be ok.”