LAS VEGAS — Roger Mayweather, the uncle and trainer of five-time, eight-belt champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., told RingTV.com that he would like for his nephew’s next fight to be against WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley, who is coming off June’s controversial split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao.
“I would rather for my nephew to fight Timothy Bradley,” said Roger Mayweather, whose nephew was released from the Clark County Detention Center on Aug. 3 from a stay that began on June 1.
“I want that fight because that’s the last guy that has a win over Pacquiao. That’s who I want to see him fight. I think it’s possible.”
On Thursday, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer announced that Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts) is planning to fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on the two traditional Mexican holiday weekends — May 4 (Cinco De Mayo weekend), as well as Sept. 14, which is the day before Mexican Independence Day.
Mayweather, who turns 36 in February, is coming off a unanimous decision victory over then-WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto in May at the MGM Grand, even as he still is considered to be the WBC’s reigning welterweight titleholder.
Rather than a return bout with Bradley, Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) chose a fourth bout with welterweight rival Juan Manuel Marquez, which will happen on Saturday night at the MGM Grand.
Schaefer would not name potential opponents for Mayweather, but it has appeared that Golden Boy-promoted fighters such as interim WBC 147-pound beltholder Robert Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KOs) and WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) are among the lead candidates.
A Mayweather-Pacquiao fight has long been desired by the public, only to have negotiations with Pacquiao — promoted by rival Top Rank — fall apart over issues of drug testing and money.
But during a recent interview, Pacquiao claimed that he is willing to do whatever it takes to make the fight with Mayweather, going as far as saying that he would take the lower half of a 45-55 split.
Mayweather already has dominated Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) by unanimous decision in September of 2009, making that fight unlikely.
“Everybody knows who drives boxing. The boxing fans know. I don’t really have a preference as to what weight he fights at. He’s fought at 154 and won two titles at 154, and he’s fought at 147 pretty much for most of his career,” said Roger Mayweather.
“So, I don’t think that the weight wins fights, skills win fights. My nephew is just trying to get back to where he needs to be and do whatever he needs to do, and get focused on what he needs to do, and then, hopefully, things will work out for him.”
During an earlier interview with RingTV.com, Schaefer has identified Guerrero as a potential Mayweather opponent, saying “I’m going to see if Robert can get that Mayweather fight,” and, “I’ve already started negotiations for the Guerrero fighting Mayweather.”
Another potential rival might be Alvarez, who decisioned ex-beltholder Shane Mosley on the Mayweather-Cotto undercard.
In the aftermath of September’s fifth-round stoppage of Josesito Lopez, Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) called out Mayweather, Cotto or RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez as potential opponents for a May 4 return at the MGM.
Martinez, however, is slated to face unbeaten Martin Murray, of England, on April 27 in his native Argentina, and Cotto lost a unanimous decision this past Saturday to Austin Trout, although Schaefer still considers the Puerto Rican Cotto a possibility for Alvarez.
“They asked about Trout fighting my nephew,” said Roger Mayweather. “But fighting Cotto and fighting my nephew, that’s two different things.”
Mayweather said he expressed his desire to face Bradley with Bradley’s promoter, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, this after Arum walked over, shook his hand and spoke to him in the media room at the MGM Grand on Friday evening.
“How have you been,” said Arum, who turns 81 on Saturday.
“Everything is good, Bob, how are you?” asked Roger Mayweather, later saying, “I know a fight with Bradley is possible because me and [Arum] talked before. That’s the key about boxing.”
“Roger is a terrific trainer. Roger’s always been a favorite of mine,” said Arum. “Roger doesn’t talk for anybody, but if he’d like to see [a fight with Floyd Mayweather and Bradley,] that’s good.”
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org