WBC titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. told Kevin Iole of Yahoo!Sports that he would consider fighting RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas if a bout opposite WBO counterpart Manny Pacquiao can not be made on that date.
Mayweather, who turns 35 next month, also dismissed as potential rivals WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto, WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul Alvarez and No. 2-rated lightweight Robert Guerrero, a five-belt winner over the course of three divisions.
Mayweather said Alvarez would be a good opponent “down the line,” but considers Cotto to be “Pacquiao’s leftovers,” having been dethroned via 12th-round knockout as WBO welterweight beltholder by Pacquiao in November of 2009.
Martinez will face Mathew Macklin on March 17 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“If Sergio Martinez can make 150, let’s make the fight happen. Like I said, there are no excuses,” said Mayweather. “I’m a little different than other guys. He’s got a very, very impressive style. But like I said before, my main focus is a Manny Pacquiao fight.”
Mayweather, who recently directed a “step up punk” tweet to Pacqauiao, spoke to reporters at his in Las Vegas on Wednesday and primarily blamed Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, for blocking efforts to make a bout whose negotiations have twice failed over the issue of drug testing.
“People around the world are anticipating a fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. What’s been so unbelievable is that the guy said he agreed to take the random blood and urine tests, so I said, ‘OK, so now let’s make [the fight] happen. Let’s give the fans and the people what they want to see,” said Mayweather.
“People all around the world want to see Mayweather versus Pacquiao and that’s a fight that I really, really want. I’m the best in the sport and I’m going to continue to show the world I’m the best. There is no fight I want more than the Manny Pacquiao fight. I guess he said he agreed to fight. The only thing that is stopping this fight right now, that I truly believe is stopping the fight, is Bob Arum.”
Arum told RingTV.com on Tuesday that Mayweather still is among the five choices for Pacquiao, including Cotto, RING lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez, WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley and IBF/WBA junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson.
Mayweather has targeted May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his next bout, but Arum and Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, have all but dismissed that date for Mayweather-Pacquiao, citing their camp’s desire to have built a 40,000-seat, temporary outdoor venue on the Las Vegas strip in late May or early-June to maximize revenue.
“Floyd Mayweather is the Plan A. And one of those other four guys is the Plan B. Our first priority is to see if a Mayweather fight can be made,” said Arum. “If that fight can be made, then everything will fall into place. If that can’t be made, then everything else will still fall into place.”
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org