It’s been a tough few days for Floyd Mayweather Jr., but it looks like Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer isn’t looking to alleviate any of that pain.
Even though everyone is already looking past Manny Pacquiao’s November bout versus Juan Manual Marquez and Mayweather’s September fight against Victor Ortiz, the Golden Boy head seems to believe the result of both matches is anything but a foregone conclusion. Speaking with BoxingScene, Schaefer -- traditionally one of Mayweather’s biggest allies in the business -- had this to say regarding the undefeated superstar’s chances when he laces his gloves up against Ortiz:
"Victor is in an amazing position. He is able to face the best fighter in the world. A fighter who hasn't fought in 16 months [by the time of the fight] and has had a lot of distractions outside of the ring that he's had to deal with. Let's face it, he can't hurt Victor Ortiz, but Victor can hurt him," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com's Luis Sandoval.
"I don't think the [Mayweather-Pacquiao] fight is going to happen. And I don't think that it's not going to happen because Mayweather doesn't want to do it or Pacquiao doesn't want to do it....or the split or the drug testing. I'll tell you what's going to be the reason on why the fight is not going to happen. The reason is - Victor Ortiz is going to beat Floyd Mayweather."
Ouch. Schaefer trying to hype up the fight by giving the underdog some extra billing through the press is a great tactic, but it also inadvertently makes a troubling amount of sense. Mayweather’s nonstop legal drama has kept him out of the ring since his massacre of “Sugar” Shane Mosley. He is distracted coming into this match. And, finally, the built-in motivation of being the first tally in Mayweather’s loss column does give some extra incentive to a boxer in Ortiz who can inflict some serious damage if he catches his opponent on an off day.
Obviously a loss by Mayweather effectively kills any shot at a Mayweather versus Pacquiao superfight, regardless of whether or not said loss was a fluke. That means in addition to carrying the burden of fighting his first match in a long while, his prized undefeated mark being a bout away from being a footnote in boxing lore, and continuous legal problems, Mayweather now also has to go into the Ortiz showdown knowing that he could potentially lose upwards of $50 million that he could garner from a fight against his Filipino counterpart.
Good luck, Floyd. It’s going to be an interesting few months.