A few of the best prizefighters in the world today have all mentioned one fighter who they’d like to challenge. That person has been retired for more than a year and his name is Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.
“He’s the best pound for pound fighter and I’d like to fight him,” said Juan Manuel Marquez just after his knockout victory a week ago over Juan Diaz.
For months the rumors have filtered that Mayweather was broke, that he’s healing an injured shoulder, or that he’s busy with hip-hop. Boxing is not an option.
Basically they’re all rumors until now.
Mayweather was seen sparring in his own Las Vegas gym this past Friday March 6 by a source of mine. If a fighter has an injured shoulder he wouldn’t be sparring. If he’s retired, then why put on the gloves?
It could be Mayweather is prepping for a return to boxing and a few more mega fights.
The last time I called his front man Leonard Ellerbe, I was told that Mayweather is too busy promoting Lil Wayne and other hip-hop acts. Then a day later Ellerbee told another boxing writer that he could be interested in returning to boxing. Calls to Ellerbee were not returned on Monday.
Aside from Marquez, a number of top prizefighters like Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley and Paul Williams have openly challenged or expressed a wish to fight Mayweather?
Is it because they see the former pound for pound king as a weak link?
Before Mayweather hung up the gloves after stopping England’s Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton in December 2007, he had beaten Oscar De La Hoya and Zab Judah and was almost unanimously declared the best fighter on the planet.
But along came Pacquiao and Marquez who have moved up several weight divisions and proven good enough to handle fighters above 140 pounds. The stage is set.
“We could fight at 140 pounds,” said Marquez.
Pacquiao, who has a tough fight against Hatton on May 2, has not mentioned Mayweather’s name recently out of respect to his British opponent. But his convincing win over De La Hoya was something the Las Vegas fighter could not do.
Recently, Pomona, California’s resident speedster Mosley, surprisingly blitzed by former welterweight kingpin Antonio Margarito. Many had seen Sugar Shane as past his prime but his performance against the Mexican slugger dazzled boxing fans. And, he has always declared a willingness to fight Mayweather.
Back in January 2000, following a Mosley victory over Willy Wise in Las Vegas, an after-party for the Pomona fighter was attended by Mayweather in the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel. Mosley was signing autographs on a table when Mayweather walked up.
“When are you going to fight me Shane?” asked Mayweather in front of a dozen or more onlookers.
Mosley answered “whenever you want to fight.”
Now would be a perfect time for that fight.
They could fight sometime in June and the winner could then fight whoever wins between Hatton and Pacquiao in September or October.