Mayweather announces fight with Cotto
With a blockbuster showdown against Manny Pacquiao ruled out, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will put his undefeated record on the line against Miguel Cotto.
"I’m fighting Miguel Cotto on May 5th because Miss Pac Man is ducking me," said Mayweather in his latest Twitter taunt of the Filipino superstar, who is known by the nickname Pac Man.
Mayweather agreed months ago to fight May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A judge even postponed his upcoming three-month jail term to allow him to meet the obligation.
Mayweather said he was ready to go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao, but boxing fans were left frustrated as the long-awaited fight once again failed to materialize. The American boxer told BoxingScene.com that he had even offered the Filipino superstar a $40 million guarantee to accept the fight.
Pacquiao’s manager Michael Koncz, however, said Mayweather had failed to agree on how to split pay-per-view profits — effectively preventing the fight from happening.
"I must break my silence to the media about our discussions, because both Floyd and I agreed not to discuss these dealings," Koncz said Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Since Floyd is unfairly chastising Manny, I can confirm he did offer Manny a $40 million guarantee, with $20 million up front.
"But when the back end [pay-per-view profits] was brought up, he said we didn’t need to discuss the back end, that ‘we can discuss it at a later time,’ which I took as ‘There is no back end.’"
In a press release announcing his upcoming fight, Mayweather said it will be a stern test for him to move up one weight class to face Cotto at 154 pounds.
"Miguel Cotto is a world class fighter who can never be taken for granted and continues to prove he is one of the best in boxing. It will be a challenge for me to compete with him at this weight, but this is the type of test I thrive on and gives me the motivation to train even harder," said Mayweather.
Earlier, Mayweather appeared in Las Vegas at a hearing of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which granted him a license for the May 5 bout. The license was given on the condition that Mayweather comply with a judge’s order to report to jail June 1, the Times reported.
The 34-year-old was sentenced to 90 days behind bars after pleading guilty to a domestic assault on his ex-girlfriend.
Cotto is nearly two months removed from a dominating 10-round TKO over Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden.
The 31-year-old Puerto Rican star oozed confidence on his chances to hand Mayweather his first career defeat.
"I am here to fight the biggest names in boxing," Cotto said in a statement.
"I’ve never ducked anyone or any challenge in front of me. … That is what the sport of boxing is all about; making the fights that the fans want and deserve to see. On May 5, stay tuned, because I will convincingly beat Floyd Mayweather."
Cotto is 37-2 in his career, with 30 knockouts. His only two defeats came to Margarito, who one fight later was found to be using an illegal substance in his gloves, and to Pacquiao in a 12-round TKO in 2009.
Cotto will put his WBA super welterweight belt on the line in the contest. Mayweather, at 42-0, is the world welterweight champion, usually competing at 147 pounds (67kg).
In his last fight, Mayweather scored a controversial fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz. He landed the decisive right hand while Ortiz appeared unaware that the referee had restarted the fight after a stoppage.