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Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto: May 5, 2012

Floyd Mayweather Jr. put an end to all of the hoping, praying and daydreaming on Wednesday morning. In front of more watched than usual Nevada State Athletic Commission licensing hearing, the undefeated No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world said that he planned to fight Miguel Cotto on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The announcement put an end to longstanding rumors that Mayweather may finally get around to fighting his arch rival, Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather told the officials on scene that as a result of his looming June 1 jail sentence, he needed to be able to fight on Cinco de Mayo. Because he couldn’t make that day happen with Pacquiao and the rest of his Top Rank crew, the undefeated champ made the next best decision in his mind – fighting Miguel Cotto.

There were some murmurs in recent days that Mayweather would square off against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on May 5, but obviously that bout won’t happen now.

At this point, the seemingly obvious question is: what does this mean for a potential Pacquiao vs. Mayweather showdown? Well, it means that it’s on hold until at least November, and probably longer. Mayweather nabbing Cotto for a fight takes all of the drama out of who Pacquiao will fight next. Timothy Bradley, clearly, will be the next guy to catch a beating from the Filipino champion. From there, Pacquiao will likely wait and see who emerges victorious from Juan Manuel Marquez and Lamont Peterson’s inevitable clash, and then fight that guy.

So there you have it – that’s what 2012’s boxing schedule looks like in a nutshell. Don’t see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather on the agenda? That’s not an accident.

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