Mayweather’s boxing career lands in limbo

That May 5 date Floyd Mayweather Jr. had reserved at the MGM Grand Garden to resume his boxing career might have to be pushed back.

With Mayweather having been sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in the Clark County Detention Center after Tuesday’s guilty plea to misdemeanor battery charges in two separate cases, it might be tough for him to be ready to fight on the first weekend in May. And it almost certainly means a proposed megafight with Manny Pacquiao would have to wait until the fall — if it happens at all.

Mayweather and his co-manager, Leonard Ellerbe, did not speak to reporters at the courthouse after sentencing. Ellerbe did not return phone calls Wednesday in an attempt to clarify Mayweather’s boxing future.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao and was once Mayweather’s promoter, would not discuss the situation. “I have no comment on Floyd whatsoever,” Arum said.

Pacquiao, also a congressman in the Philippines, has indicated he will fight three or more bouts before retiring in 2013 to devote all of his time to his political career. He might choose not to wait for Mayweather to sort out his legal issues, depriving boxing fans of what would be one of the most anticipated bouts in decades.

And if Mayweather has to relinquish the May 5 date at the Grand Garden, Pacquiao could come in and fill it, either with a fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez or perhaps Timothy Bradley, who stopped Joel Casamayor on Nov. 12 on the undercard of Pacquiao-Marquez III.

Richard Schaefer, the chief executive officer of Golden Boy Promotions, which has helped promote Mayweather’s past five fights, also would not comment on the situation.

Mayweather, 34, was looking at a maximum sentence of 34 years had the original felony assault cases gone to trial and had he been convicted on all charges. He is scheduled to report to jail Jan. 6.

But even if Mayweather gets time off for good behavior and serves just two-thirds of the 90-day sentence handed down by Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa, that would leave him about seven weeks to prepare for the fight. Typically, Mayweather’s training camps last eight to 10 weeks.

Wednesday’s sentencing also would impact Mayweather’s ability to help promote a May 5 fight. It’s highly unlikely jail officials would allow HBO’s “24/7” cameras into the detention center to film Mayweather’s time behind bars, and the reality series has been a major part of promoting Mayweather’s past five fights.

Robert Guerrero has been mentioned as a possible May 5 opponent for Mayweather. Guerrero said he was sorry to hear what happened but that he’ll stay patient in the hopes of getting a shot at fighting Mayweather in 2012.

“As you well know, nothing means more to me than family, and I just pray for Floyd Mayweather and everyone involved, that they can come together as a family and put these issues behind them,” Guerrero said. “When everything gets rectified, I’ll be there to challenge Floyd. If that means May 5 or any day after, I’ll be 100 percent ready to go.”

Mayweather’s most recent ring appearance came Sept. 17, when he won the WBC welterweight title with a controversial fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz at the Grand Garden. Ortiz deliberately head-butted Mayweather early in the round and had a point deducted for the foul by referee Joe Cortez.

Ortiz was trying to continue to apologize to Mayweather and had his hands at his side when the fight resumed. Mayweather threw a huge left hook, followed by a right cross to the side of the head that sent Ortiz down and out. Ortiz contended that he didn’t think Cortez had restarted the fight and claimed Mayweather cheap-shotted him. But the outcome wasn’t changed, and Mayweather improved to 42-0.

Mayweather’s boxing license in Nevada expires Dec. 31. Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer said Wednesday the commission can’t suspend Mayweather because he will not be a licensee. But he probably will have to appear before the commission and note on his application for a 2012 license that he was convicted of a crime and spent time in jail.

The commission could delay issuing Mayweather his license by citing it’s not in the state’s best interests to have him compete in Nevada. But the likelihood of Mayweather being denied a license in a state where he has helped generate millions of dollars in revenue during his career are slim.

“Ultimately, it is up to the commission to determine whether he is licensed,” Kizer said. “Obviously, he’s not going to fight before Dec. 31, and until he applies for a license, there’s nothing to rule on.”

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

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