Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
After a brace of failed attempts in the past, the biggest fight in modern boxing history could be on it’s way to negotiation as, according to Leonard Ellerbe – the adviser to undefeated defensive wizard Floyd Mayweather Jr – the American will return to the ring on May 5, 2012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas… all that’s missing is the opponent yet Floyd remains eager to fight ‘the little fella’ – Manny Pacquiao.
The prospective showdown between Mayweather Jr (42-0-0, 26ko) and Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38ko) would represent what has long expected to be the most lucrative in boxing history. It would provide a definitive welterweight number one and two, as well as who is the true pound-for-pound king.
“We’re looking to make the biggest fight possible and everyone knows what that fight is – the little fella,” Ellerbe explained to ESPN.
Following a 16-month hiatus, Mayweather Jr returned to the ring in September and defeated Victor Ortiz by way of fourth round knockout to become the latest champion of the WBC welterweight world title – his second reign (third as welterweight champion in general). There was an underlying implication that, despite Ortiz’s brawn-heavy performance against Andre Berto earlier in the year, the Oxnard-fighter – a southpaw – would be used as a ‘tune-up’ to fight Pacquiao after.
“Floyd made it very clear that he wants to give the fans the biggest fights that are out there,” continued Ellerbe. “He wants to stay active. We’re going to do everything in our power to make the biggest fight out there for the fans and we all know what the fight is.”
Attack-happy Filipino fighter Pacquiao, a champion of eight weight-classes, is currently aligned to box long-time rival and Mexican ring legend Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday, November 12. His representative, Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing, has been swift to state that no opponent has been lined up after Marquez upon increasing speculation that the addition of Timothy Bradley to the Top Rank stable meant a summer 2012 punch-up between the two could be likely.
Team Mayweather – Floyd himself, Ellerbe and power broker Al Haymon – have been in discussions and are hot to trot with Pac in May: “We had a discussion, Floyd, me and Al… Floyd made it very clear to us what he wanted to do. He told us he is looking to make the biggest fight that is out there and to make it in May.
“We have to plan any time you’re the biggest star in the sport. You have to plan in advance because his fights are events. In order to maximize the exposure you want to plan as far in advance as you can to make your event as big as possible. May 5, that is the date Floyd is fighting on.
“We have secured May 5 at the MGM,” said Ellerbe in a concluding statement. “Floyd is excited to make his return.”