Mayweather will move up in weight class to challenge Cotto for his WBA belt.
Miguel Cotto Will Defend WBA Super Welterweight Title Against 42-0 Mayweather
The possibility of ever seeing a highly anticipated showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao became even less real on Wednesday, with Mayweather confirming he will face Miguel Cotto on his previously reserved fight date of May 5th. The bout, which is for Cotto’s WBA Super Welterweight Title, will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I'm fighting Miguel Cotto on May 5th because Miss Pac Man is ducking me,” Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) posted on his Twitter page.
To those in the boxing world, the announcement does not come as much of a surprise, as the reality of a proposed bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao is looking more and more like a fantasy every day. Mayweather and his camp reserved the May 5th date at the MGM Grand prior to a third encounter between Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez (Pacquiao won via majority decision), giving another glimmer of hope that the superfight could happen. However, it again appeared derailed when Mayweather was soon after sentenced to a three-moth prison stint for domestic battery, but he then got that term pushed backed to June so the May 5th date could still go down. He and his camp then took to every public forum to call out Pacquiao and his camp to meet him in Las Vegas, but once again nothing came of it. While Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach both publicly stated they wanted to take the fight, promoter Bob Arum made it perfectly clear that he wanted nothing to do with it.
So, with the May 5th date drawing closer and Arum making it evident he would not agree to have Pacquaio meet Mayweather in Las Vegas, the Money Team has opted to have Mayweather move up in weight to challenge Cotto for his WBA Super Welterweight Championship. The undefeated pound-for-pound king last stepped in the ring in September when he knocked out Victor Ortiz in the fourth round to claim the WBC Welterweight Crown.
"Miguel Cotto is a world class fighter who can never be taken for granted and continues to prove he is one of the best in boxing," Mayweather remarked. "It will be a challenge for me to compete with him at this weight, but this is the type of test I thrive on and gives me the motivation to train even harder. I have no doubt in my mind that my title belt collection will increase once again and Cotto's reign as champion will come to an end on May 5."
Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs) will meet Mayweather after running through Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden this past December, stopping the Mexican fighter in the 10th round to avenge the first professional loss of his career.
"I am here to fight the biggest names in boxing," Cotto stated. "I've never ducked anyone or any challenge in front of me. I have accepted everything to give the fans what they like, great and exciting fights. That is what the sport of boxing is all about, making the fights that the fans want and deserve to see. On May 5, stay tuned, because I will convincingly beat Floyd Mayweather."
Ticket prices and additional bouts on this card are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.