Floyd Mayweather Jr. may find yet another way to avoid fighting Manny Pacquiao, after negotiations for a Mexico vs. Puerto Rico superfight pitting Saul “Canelo” Alvarez against Miguel Cotto appear to have fallen apart.
The Puerto Rican icon, Cotto, was in talks to fight Mexico’s newest boxing hero, Alvarez, possibly on May 2, or sometime soon afterward. But now that Cotto is apparently free of obligations in the spring, Mayweather may opt for a rematch with the hard-punching Cotto, whom he has already defeated once, rather than risk his undefeated record against Pacquiao, long considered by boxing experts the most dangerous opponent Mayweather could face, according to a report in the Sporting News.
Alvarez walked away from the Cotto talks last week, after what his promoter Oscar De La Hoya said was a fifth deadline for Cotto to sign a contract for the fight passed with nothing happening.
“They did not accept. So Canelo decided to move on,” De La Hoya said. “He has to move on and resume his career and we have to lock down an opponent. He’s still fighting May 2.”
With the always-fierce boxing rivalry between Puerto Rico and Mexico, the seemingly now-defunct Alvarez vs. Cotto matchup would have been the biggest event on the boxing landscape — except, of course, for Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao — a megafight that dwarfs everything else in the sport in terms of public interest and revenue-earning potential.
Last week, Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, announced that the Filipino icon had agreed to all terms for the fight. Pacquiao himself said he believed that the superfight would happen, and that only Mayweather’s signature was lacking before a final announcement could be made.
But while Mayweather has remained tight-lipped, members of his camp, speaking anonymously to the media, say, “not so fast.”
“When Arum says he agrees to his side of their deal, what does that mean?” a source close to Grand Rapids, Michigan, native Mayweather told a Michigan newspaper Friday. “The best way to get the fight not done is for Arum to feel in charge. He did it with drug testing, he did it with trying to put the fight in Cowboy Stadium, he did it with the financial split. Arum talking is the best way to not get it made.”
According to ESPN boxing correspondent Dan Rafael, Cotto himself may have been deliberately stalling his negotiations with Alvarez, expecting that Mayweather would back out of the Pacquiao fight and that he, Cotto, would present the obvious “Plan B” for Mayweather, who beat the Puerto Rican by a clear unanimous decision in May of 2012.
But other sources — including Mayweather’s own father, Floyd Sr. — have said that the only focus for Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015 is the hoped-for fight against Manny Pacquiao, leading many in the sport to keep faith that a deal for the superfight will inevitably get done.