Floyd Mayweather Jr. apparently is tired of getting into scrapes with mall cop security guards and making sure to tweet his gambling victories. He needs a change and perhaps a new influx of millions because, well, criminal defense attorneys don’t come cheap.
So he’s going to fight again.
For boxing and otherwise, it’s all good.
It’s good for the sport …
Mayweather returns to the ring for the first time since May 2010 when he opposes Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17, meaning boxing’s big picture has again come into focus.
What this does is move a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao matchup from DEAD AS A DOORNAIL to MORE THAN LIKELY IN THE SPRING OF 2012.
This is how quickly things change.
Do you believe the final fight of Mayweather’s career would be against Ortiz?
I still think the fight the world wants to see — Mayweather-Pacquiao — could be the fight the world falls asleep watching, that one of the greatest defensive fighters in history would not stand and engage Pacquiao much at all. Mayweather would fight in spots but not near enough to warrant the hype that would precede such an evening.
But it still would set pay-per-view records and earn both fighters more money than the Congo ever could hope to be worth. It still would be an incredible spectacle.
People haven’t been as hungry for Mayweather-Pacquiao lately, many assuming it never would happen because of Mayweather’s perceived lack of interest. Now, it appears that if both can survive tuneups, fans again will be ravenous for it.
Mayweather-Ortiz is a good fight. It’s not, as promoters suggested Tuesday, the year’s biggest night of boxing worldwide. That happens when Pacquiao fights. But it will sell. It holds enough intrigue.
Mayweather inside a ring is never a bad thing. Boxing has missed it.
It’s good for Mayweather …
He is 34 and has made news lately not for an undefeated professional record but for his next court date. Out of sight, out of mind, yet seemingly always in some sort of trouble.
But boxing is better with him active, and Ortiz is not your ordinary walkover-opponent-to-prepare-for-the-biggest-fight-in-history. Mayweather is always ready to fight, always in shape to fight, and will have to be both against a southpaw 10 years his younger as Ortiz.
"I am ready to return to the ring and give my fans a fantastic night of boxing by fighting the best out there, and for me, that is Victor Ortiz," Mayweather said in a statement.
To everyone else on the planet with at least one brain cell, the best is Pacquiao. Ortiz, however, has won six straight fights. Mayweather will have to be more than interested to remain unbeaten.
Want irony? Mayweather-Ortiz will take place on Mexican Independence Day Weekend, probably at the MGM Grand. If this were any other fight for Mayweather, he would have as many or more fans rooting against him than not. But a win by Ortiz could damage those Mayweather-Pacquiao plans.
Thus, the Mexican-American underdog shouldn’t count on the type of support he’d otherwise receive in such a fight on such a weekend against such an opponent.
It’s good for Pacquiao …
Extra motivation is never a bad thing, and the world’s pound-for-pound king has even more with Mayweather’s return.
Pacquiao next fights Juan Manuel Marquez for a third time on Nov. 12, and any slippage could cost the congressman from the Philippines his shot at the dream fight and mega-millions payday.
Pacquiao should win because he’s better, and we have seen Marquez at a catch-weight of 144 pounds. It was in 2009, when a much bigger Mayweather made Marquez his own personal punching bag while winning a 12-round unanimous decision.
That night, Mayweather threw 493 punches and landed 290; Marquez threw 583 and landed 69.
Said one ringside reporter during the fight: "He is Juan Manuel Marquez. You have to kill him."
I can see the same sort of result when Pacquiao is the opponent come November. Not the killing part, mind you. The domination.
Pacquiao will be too quick, too skilled, too strong for Marquez, a guy many thought won the second of the previous matchups. Those resulted in a draw and split decision for Pacquiao.
They also were featherweights.
Yeah, I’m guessing this entire big-picture thing isn’t so good for Marquez.
It’s good for mall cop security guards everywhere …
Maybe with a fight to focus on, Mayweather won’t be so concerned about where to park his car.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4618. He can be heard from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday and Thursday on "Monsters of the Midday," Fox Sports Radio 920 AM. Follow him on Twitter: @edgraney.