Mayweather ready to get back into ring

Floyd Mayweather Jr. stared at the check, smiled and put it in his pocket.

This check wasn’t for $100 million like the one he received the night of May 2 after he defeated Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden. This one was for $50,000.

But money is money, which might explain why Mayweather was in such a good mood Wednesday. The boxer made more than any other athlete in the world, topping Forbes’ 2015 list that was released last week with earnings of $300 million.

“I’m just blessed,” Mayweather said Wednesday while holding court with reporters at his Las Vegas gym. “Anyone who is in Forbes is blessed. But I couldn’t have done it without the fans and my team.”

Mayweather (48-0, 26 knockouts) soon will start preparing for his next fight. He has secured Sept. 12 at the Grand Garden for his next fight on Showtime Pay Per View. He came out of the Pacquiao fight with no physical issues and said he’s ready to get back in the gym.

“I feel normal,” Mayweather said. “I’ve taken some time off. I’ve been making a lot of appearances. But soon, it’ll be time to get back to work.”

The big question, of course, is who will Mayweather fight?

“I don’t know,” he said. “But I’m going to choose who I want to fight. Everyone wants to fight Floyd Mayweather. Everyone wants to win the lottery ticket.”

Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said nothing has been decided.

“We’ve got a lot of options,” he said. “We’ve got time. We’ll be working on it soon, and we’ll start the sweepstakes search.”

Mayweather, 38, kiddingly suggested that Oscar De La Hoya should give him a call if he wants a rematch of their 2007 fight. De La Hoya, 42, said recently he is thinking about coming out of retirement after leaving the sport in 2008 following a technical knockout loss to Pacquiao.

“If he wants, we can rock ‘n’ roll in September,” Mayweather said.

He also jokingly threw out Andre Berto’s and Karim Mayfield’s name and acknowledged middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin, who has made it known he would like a shot at Mayweather. But the realistic option is Amir Khan, who defeated Chris Algieri late last month and has enough name recognition to help sell the fight on pay per view.

Mayweather did not mention Khan. Nor did he talk about Kell Brook, the International Boxing Federation welterweight champ.

He did talk about title belts. Mayweather was wondering how his World Boxing Organization title that he won from Pacquiao can be fought for by Jessie Vargas and Timothy Bradley on June 27.

“I still haven’t received my (WBO) belt,” he said. “How am I supposed to give up something I haven’t even received yet? Guys are talking about fighting for my belt that I haven’t relinquished yet.”

When he was done talking about Mayweather the boxer, he talked about Mayweather the promoter. His company is staging two cards this weekend at the MGM Grand Garden.

Former world welterweight champions Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter will meet in a 10-round catch-weight fight at 144 pounds Saturday in the main event of the Premier Boxing Champions card on NBC. Mayweather is trying to mentor Broner, the brash 25-year-old from Cincinnati who is 30-1 with 22 knockouts.

“Adrien Broner is super talented,” Mayweather said. “But there’s a lot Adrien still has to learn. I’ve been through all the things he’s going through. But he can be a pay-per-view star one day.”

Several of Mayweather’s young fighters will be in action this weekend. The list includes cruiserweight Andrew Tabiti (9-0, nine KOs), who will be on the undercard of Sunday’s PBC on CBS show, which will feature junior welterweights Rances Barthelemy and Antonio DeMarco in the main event.

“People need to follow guys like Andrew Tabiti and Badu Jack because they’re the future of boxing,” Mayweather said.

As for the present, Mayweather said he still has unfinished business.

“I’ve been around a long time, and I’m getting close to the end,” he said. “But this era is all about Floyd Mayweather. I changed the sport of boxing. No offense to the heavyweights, but I made it all about the smaller guys.”

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

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