Clock ticking for Mayweather to pick next foe

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is at the point where he has to make a decision regarding his next fight.

A source with knowledge of the negotiations said Saturday that everything is expected to be finalized in the next week. In addition to determining Mayweather’s opponent, the main portion of the undercard is being worked on with the intention of it being announced at the same time the Mayweather fight is made public.

But with the clock ticking down so he can fight on Sept. 12, there are major issues that still need to be decided.

First, Mayweather, 38, needs an opponent. Is he going to fight Andre Berto, as has been widely rumored? Or is someone else going to be selected to face boxing’s pound-for-pound champion, who is 48-0 with 26 knockouts?

Second, is Mayweather going to fight on free TV on CBS? Or is he going to fight on Showtime Pay Per View?

Berto is the leading choice to be Mayweather’s opponent after Amir Khan was no longer being considered by Mayweather and his team. But as of Saturday, no deal with Berto had been finalized. The fact there aren’t many choices given the politics within the sport and the schedules of some potential opponents may leave Berto, though not necessarily the most attractive choice, as the one who faces Mayweather.

As for TV, it appears likely that Mayweather’s fight will be on Showtime PPV instead of CBS because there’s simply not enough time to sell advertising to cover the expenses. CBS, which owns Showtime, has a six-fight deal with Mayweather dating back to February 2013. This will be the final fight of that deal.

“Usually, that’s a process that takes place six to eight months in advance, not six to eight weeks,” the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, of trying to sell advertising on CBS for a major sports event. “At this point, it appears more likely the fight will be on pay per view than free TV.”

Multiple sources said the fight will still take place Sept. 12 at the MGM Grand Garden during Mexican Independence Weekend, normally a big weekend in Las Vegas and a time when Mayweather traditionally fights.

Mayweather and his camp have not commented on the situation. Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, has previously said everything is being worked on and when everything gets finalized, Mayweather will make the announcement. But with the date for the proposed fight just seven weeks away, time is running short to get cable and satellite operators on board, print and sell tickets and promote the event.

“We’re getting real close to decision time for Floyd,” the source said. “He knows that. He’s just trying to put the finishing touches on things.”

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

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