Details are still emerging about the postponement of the July 18 meeting between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez, but chat rooms and rumour columns are already alight with speculation over the outcome of a rescheduled bout.
Mayweather's camp announced that the fight, to be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, was being rescheduled owing to a rib injury that the fighter sustained during training.
Both Mayweather and Marquez expressed their disappointment over the postponement, with the latter vowing to remain fit and focused for the rescheduled bout.
Following the announcement, some fight fans and commentators speculated about the motivations behind the postponement, specifically about the possibility of Mayweather pulling out of the fight in favour of a meeting with Manny Pacquiao later in the year.
But Golden Boy CEO and promoter of Marquez, Richard Schaefer, quelled those rumours by confirming that the injury is legitimate and that the fight was being rescheduled, most likely for the fall.
"It's a legitimate injury," Schaefer told SportsIllustrated.com today. "We have talked to a doctor. My understanding is that it is muscle related. It's a tough injury for Floyd because he was looking to fight twice this year. Now he is probably only going to get to fight once."
Most fight fans were hoping that the "second fight" would be a bout with current pound-for-pound champion, Manny Pacquaio.
Pacquiao's camp had signalled that they would choose his next opponent after viewing the Mayweather-Marquez fight in July, with many perceiving a super-fight with Mayweather, should he defeat Marquez, as the most likely outcome.
Indeed Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, had openly stated that his preference would be a fight with Mayweather, as opposed to the possibility of the larger welterweights Miguel Cotto or Shane Mosley.
But the postponement of Mayweather-Marquez effectively rules out any possibility of such a fight happening until 2010.
It also increases the likelihood of a fight with Cotto, a matchup Top Rank president, Bob Arum, who also promotes Cotto, has been pressing for since Pacquiao's two-round demolition of Ricky Hatton in May.
Pacquiao was ringside for Cotto's split-decision win over Joshua Clottey at Madison Square Garden this Saturday, June 13, and has said he is open to a fight with the Puerto Rican.
Ring Magazine's number one welterweight, Shane Mosley, is also a serious contender for the contest, publicly stating that he would accept a 40-60 split and a catch weight in the region of 142-143 pounds.
But sources within Top Rank have stated that Arum is keen to keep Pacquiao's next fight as an in-house bout with Cotto in the fall.
What is certain is that the fight most boxing fans want to see, Pacquiao-Mayweather, will not even become a possibility until some time next year.
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