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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Floyd Jr. next if Pacquiao beats Hatton

With his fight against British slugger Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton almost all but sealed, boxing superstar Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao is likely to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., if he gets past Hatton in a match being worked out for May 2 in Las Vegas.

Mayweather, the former pound-for-pound king and unbeaten welterweight world champion, has hinted his desire to return to the ring and fight anyone who could offer him a mega fight.

“Floyd, 31, has given Team Maywea­ther the green light to go out there and evaluate the biggest fights for him, to come back to him and present it to him. Then he will consider it,” Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s best friend and adviser, told’s Dan Rafael on Saturday.

Pacquiao, who succeeded Mayweather as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, has announced his desire to take on both Hatton and Mayweather in the coming year.

His trainer Freddie Roach earlier said that if Manny beats both Hatton and Mayweather, the Filipino icon could retire at the top of the sports—his legacy secure as one of the best boxers in the world.

Roach confirmed that if the Paquiao-Hatton May 2 super fight is wrapped up, “PacMan” will be back at his famous Wild Card Gym in Hollywood to resume his training early.

Ellerbe, who also advises Mayweather in the business of promoting concerts, said that if they “present Floyd with something he’s interested in, he will do it.”

He added that although May­weather has kept a low-profile and stayed away from the boxing limelight since retiring in June, he did watch Hatton stop Paulie Malignaggi on November 22 and Pacquiao dominate Oscar de la Hoya on December 6.

Ellerbe said Mayweather thought Pacquiao was “an excellent fighter and it was a tremendous win.”

He, however, added that Floyd had told him, “He [Pacquiao] is a good fighter, but I’ll beat his ass.”

Floyd “did see Hatton’s fight and said it was the best Ricky had looked in a long time with his [estranged] dad [Floyd Mayweather Sr.] training him,” Ellerbe said. “He said Ricky looked sharp with his father in the corner.”

When asked if Floyd Jr. would need any tune-up fight in the event he returns to the ring, Ellerbe said, “Hell, no. If [he] considers something, it would be the biggest thing.”

Ellerbe said that wherever Floyd Jr. goes, he is inundated with fan requests for him to fight again, especially over the past month while they have been out on the road co-promoting the “I Am Music Tour,” which features artists Lil’ Wayne, Keyshia Cole and T-Pain.

Floyd Jr., who has not fought since knocking out Hatton in the 10th round in December 2007, has kept a low profile from boxing, avoiding even going to major title bouts.

Ellerbe said Floyd Jr. has rarely been at fights other than at the Chad Dawson-Antonio Tarver light heavyweight title bout in October in Las Vegas, and only because a young fighter the boxer works with was on the undercard.


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