Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, two of boxing’s best pay-per-view performers, have set their next bouts but the sport’s other notable marquee attraction remains silent on his next ring appointment.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been virtually quiet on possible opponents since completing a two-month prison sentence for domestic assault in August.
After his win against Cotto in May, Mayweather seemed eager to resume fighting before the end of the year. An opponent repeatedly mentioned for Mayweather’s first-post prison fight was 154-pound titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
If Mayweather does face Alvarez next, it will likely be early next year as Alvarez, whose popularity in his native Mexico has reached crossover status, fought on Sept. 15 and scored a fifth-round technical knockout over Josesito Lopez. Moreover, the December fight calendar is already loaded with Pacquiao facing Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 while Cotto will fight World Boxing Association super-welterweight champion Austin Trout on Dec. 1.
An interesting alternative for Mayweather won’t be in the ring with him any time soon unless there is a seismic transformation of promotional links.
Once Pacquiao opted for a fourth bout with Marquez, he denied Timothy Bradley an immediate rematch. Fighting Mayweather would provide Bradley a second consecutive pay-per-view opportunity after Bradley’s win against Pacquiao June 9. But because Bradley is promoted by Mayweather’s former promoter and nemesis Bob Arum, Bradley will need to look elsewhere or wait for Pacquiao next year.
After he broke with Arum 10 years ago, Mayweather has fought opponents devoid of ties to his former promoter. Although purse and drug-testing differences have been the prevalent issues blocking a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, Mayweather’s acrimony toward Arum is another underlying factor.
Interestingly, Pacquiao pushed Mayweather into the headlines last week, when Pacquiao softened his demands on the “50-50” purse split that has been a repeated thorn on their mega fight. Pacquiao, who is represented by Arum but also has formed his own promotional company, now says he is willing to fight Mayweather for a 45 percent share of the purse.
If a TKO loss against budding star Gabriel Rosado last Friday night in Bethlehem, Pa. turns out to be Charles Whittaker’s last fight, the Fort Lauderdale resident should be lauded for a solid and admirable professional career.
Whittaker, 38, reached his feet from two previous knockdowns and fought back gamely until the younger Rosado stopped him at 1:50 of the 10th round.
But if he retires, Whittaker, who has not revealed his plans, won’t be remembered for the Rosado fight. Whittaker persevered through highs and lows during a 19-year career.
Whittaker (38-12-2, 23 KOs) eventually won 12 consecutive fights, earning him a title eliminator bout against Rosado for the International Boxing Federation junior-middleweight belt. With his victory, Rosado will become the mandatory challenger to IBF champion Cornelius Bundrage.
And whenever he stores the gloves for good, don’t expect Whittaker to make a complete break from boxing. Whittaker already has promoted shows in his native Cayman Islands.
Hollywood resident Antowne Smith won a split decision over Ronald Cruz in a welterweight bout on the Rosado-Whittaker undercard. Smith is now 22-4-1.
Miami’s Randall Bailey will defend his IBF welterweight title against Devon Alexander on Oct. 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The fight was rescheduled from Sept. 7 after Bailey, 38, sustained a back injury during training camp.
“At my age you can’t take anything for granted and injuries are harder to overcome,” said Bailey, who prepares for his bouts at Contenders Gym in Fort Lauderdale. “But I am totally healed and ready to shock the world again by beating another young fighter like Devon Alexander.”
Bailey (43-3, 37 KOs) won the IBF title with an 11th-round knockout over Mike Jones, 26, on June 9 in Las Vegas.Trailing badly on the scorecards, Bailey dropped Jones, 26, in the 10th round and finished him with a single punch the following round.