Mayweather to return against Ortiz in September

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is returning to the ring.

The undefeated six-time world champion announced on his Twitter

feed Tuesday he will end a 16-month hiatus when he faces WBC

welterweight champion Victor Ortiz on September 17.

Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) hasn’t fought since a unanimous

decision over Shane Mosley on May 1, 2010, and has repeatedly

declined to accept a bout against WBO welterweight champ Manny

Pacquiao – a dream ticket many boxing fans are eager to

witness.

Instead, it was Mosley who squared off with Pacquiao in May,

losing to the Filipino star in a lopsided 12-round decision.

Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) is riding a six-match win streak, most

recently defeating Andre Berto in April to claim the WBC crown in a

fight many consider the year’s best.

”I am ready to return to the ring and give my fans a fantastic

night of boxing by fighting the best out there for me; that is

Victor Ortiz,” Mayweather said in a statement. ”At this stage of

my career, these are the challenges I look for, a young, strong,

rising star looking to make his mark in boxing by beating me.

”Trust me, I will be ready.”

The 24-year-old Mexican-American is one of the sport’s strongest

young fighters.

”I respect Mayweather because he has been a champion for many

years and I know he will be ready, but so will I,” said Ortiz.

”I’m a world champion for a reason and I am not going to let go of

my title any time soon. This is going to be a great fight, but I

will remain a world champion for many years to come.”

The 34-year-old Mayweather’s time away from the ring has been

riddled with legal troubles.

He faces felony charges in a domestic argument with his

ex-girlfriend and two of their children last year.

And he faces misdemeanor harassment charges accusing him of

threatening two homeowner association security guards outside his

Las Vegas home. The charges stem from an October dispute over

parking with guards in the gated community where the prizefighter

lives.

Mayweather also faces a September trial on a misdemeanor battery

charge stemming from allegations he poked a 21-year-old guard in

the face during a separate argument over parking tickets in

November.

The venue for the September fight has yet to be determined.