It’s Floyd Mayweather, Jr. versus Marcos Maidana on May 3.
Mayweather made it official on his Twitter account on Feb. 25. He wrote, “I will be fighting Marcos Maidana on Pay-per-view Showtime/CBS.”
ESPN’s Dan Rafael notes the fight will take place either at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas or at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn:
“The 147-pound unification fight will be carried by Showtime PPV and take place at a venue to be determined — either in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, the frontrunner, where Mayweather has had his last eight fights, or the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., which came into the picture in recent weeks and is making a strong push for the fight.
“Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schafer, who has worked with Mayweather since 2007 and also promotes Maidana, told ESPN.com that he hopes to have the venue locked in ‘in the next couple of days along with the ticket information.’
“The fight will be the third of the 30-month, six-fight deal worth $200 million-plus that Mayweather signed with Showtime and parent network CBS last February. Mayweather has said he plans to retire at the conclusion of the contract.
“Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) holds titles at junior middleweight and welterweight but will return to welterweight to make his second defense when he faces Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs), the 30-year-old crowd-pleasing slugger from Argentina who will be making the first defense of his belt.
“Maidana, who landed the fight over fellow former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan, won his world title in dramatic upset fashion by scoring two knockdowns in a unanimous decision against Adrien Broner in their Dec. 14 brawl at the Alamodome in San Antonio.”
Mayweather told Rafael it was Maidana’s showing against Broner which got his attention.
“Marcos Maidana’s last performance immediately brought him to my attention. He is an extremely skilled fighter who brings knockout danger to the ring. I think this is a great fight for me and he deserves the opportunity to see if he can do what 45 others have tried to do before him — beat me.”
For his part, Maidana vowed to do this, per Rafael.
“I am extremely happy to be facing Floyd Mayweather because it will give me the opportunity to show the world that I am the best welterweight in the division. I just handed a great defensive fighter his first loss and I plan to do the same to Mayweather.
“I don’t care whether he’s the best or undefeated. I will bring some real Latino power to him on May 3rd.”
Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times interviewed Mayweather’s adviser Leonard Ellerbe, who said his fighter should not take a fighter of Maidana’s stature for granted.
“We’re ready to go. Maidana’s a terrific fighter, a devastating knockout puncher. It’s a very dangerous fight. He’s a guy that people have overlooked in the past. Floyd has got to be at his best.
“Maidana’s never in a bad fight. We know that from the opening bell, he’ll try to knock Floyd’s head off. He’s non-stop, relentless, can punch with either hand. He won’t let Floyd breathe.”
According to Pugmire, Ellerbe expects to finalize the fight venue “later in the week.”
Mayweather resorted to his social media accounts to ask his followers to vote on who his next opponent will be, The Los Angeles Times report adds. England’s Amir Khan actually won the online poll by amassing 57 percent of the fans’ votes.
However, Khan grew impatient and called out Mayweather and his team on Feb. 21 on Twitter.
“No response from Mayweather or his team. Fights not happening. I should of taken the title fight last December against Alexander…
“Very disrespected by his team. Wasted my time
“Good luck to maidana, against mayweather.”
Pugmire stresses Khan dropped out of negotiations for a fight against Devon Alexander in December. Ellerbe also told Pugmire that Mayweather wanting to fight Khan was “media speculation that comes with the territory.”
On the other hand, The Ring’s Lem Satterfield interviewed Madiana’s manager Sebastian Contursi on Feb. 24. Contursi said Maidana was unaware of Mayweather’s decision on Twitter to fight him until his manager informed him about it at the last minute.
“Marcos knew that he had a really good chance of being chosen, but I wanted the news to surprise him. So I just talked to him about 20 minutes ago, and that’s when he found out.
“Marcos is a very special guy with a very special personality, so he didn’t pay much attention to the stuff on the Internet. He’s from a small town in the country in Argentina. So at the moment Floyd made his announcement, he was not aware of it. So he learned from me that Floyd Mayweather had picked him.”
The Mayweather bout — which Satterfield dubs the “biggest” of Maidana’s career — will put off a potential rematch with Broner.