Mayweather and Pacquiao to Fight in Fall

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Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will be entering the ring later in 2011, but it won’t be against each other. The undefeated Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) recently announced on Twitter that he’s going to be taking on  WBC Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) on Sept. 17, which is Mexican Independence Day weekend.

Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) on the other hand, will be taking on Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs) for the third time when they meet Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. They fought to a 12-round draw back in 2008 with Pacquiao winning the rematch by split decision.

The fight everybody wants to see of course is Mayweather vs Pacquiao, but while it’s not happening this year, Mayweather’s bout against Ortiz could be a stepping stone to a bout against the Filipino in the near future. Before Mayweather fights anybody though, he needs to get a license and make sure he stays out of trouble with the law between now and September.

Ortiz poses a threat to Mayweather because of his never-say-die attitude, which he’s shown in fights against Marcos Maidana and his recent victory over Andre Berto, when he hit the deck and got back to his feet in both battles. Ortiz is young and strong and has a good mental outlook on the fight game. Mayweather will be entering the ring after sitting out for about a year and a half.

It’s a competitive fight that features one of boxing’s veteran stars taking on a rising star. Mayweather complimented Ortiz in the press by saying he has a lot of talent, skills, and heart and that’s what he’s looking for in an opponent to challenge himself.

The last time he entered the ring, which was in May 2010; Mayweather took apart Sugar Shane Mosley in a rather one-sided affair and earned a unanimous decision. However, Mosley rocked him hard in the second round, but failed to follow up on it. Ortiz has won his last six fights, with his last one being the exciting decision over Berto back in mid-April.

There are a lot of fans getting on Mayweather’s case for taking this fight, not because it’s not a good matchup, but because they say he’s ducking Pacquiao again. That may be true, but at this stage, Ortiz may actually be more dangerous than Pacquiao due to his determination and power. Considering some of the opponents that Mayweather was recently thinking about fighting, this matchup isn’t bad at all.

Mayweather getting back into the ring should also be considered good for boxing as it means one of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters hasn’t packed it in. Ortiz is young and hungry and will go in as the underdog, but if he does get beat he’ll at least go down fighting. Mayweather could also use this as a tuneup for a possible showdown with Pacquiao as there’s no way he’s going to take him on after such a long layoff.

It’s an intriguing matchup that’s for sure. However, Ortiz’s only realistic chance of beating Mayweather is by knockout or at least dropping him a couple of times to earn some points on the scorecards. While Mayweather vs Ortiz it may not be the fight everybody was hoping for, it’s probably the next best thing.