The wait is finally over! Floyd “Money” Mayweather is making his return to the boxing ring, but he won’t be facing Manny Pacquiao, as many have anticipated.
Mayweather announced Tuesday (June 7), via his Twitter page (@FloydMayweather), that he will take on current WBC Welterweight World Champion, “Vicious” Victor Ortiz, in a title bout on September 17.
The announcement of the fight, which will take place on Mexican Independence Day weekend, follows Ortiz’s exciting win over former undefeated champ Andre Berto in April; and marks Mayweather’s return after a 16-month hiatus.
Ortiz showed what he was made of against Berto, putting on a slugfest for fans, resulting in 12 brutal rounds, complete with four knockdowns. In the end, he prevailed with a unanimous decision.
“I am ready to return to the ring and give my fans a fantastic night of boxing by fighting the best out there and for me, that is Victor Ortiz,” said Mayweather in a statement. “He is the current champion and an extremely talented fighter who showed amazing skills, and heart, in his last performance against Andre Berto.
“At this stage of my career, these are the challenges I look for — a young, strong, rising star looking to make his mark in boxing by beating me,” he continued. “Like the rest of my opponents, he is going to try to prove that he can beat me. I commend him for accepting the fight, but on September 17, Ortiz is just going to be another casualty, the 42nd one who tried and failed. Trust me, I will be ready.”
Ortiz, however, says he’s been waiting for this opportunity for years … and says he’ll be ready in September.
“I respect Mayweather because he has been a champion for many years and I know he will be ready, but so will I,” said Ortiz. “I’m a strong fighter and I have worked really hard to silence my critics. I’m a world champion for a reason and I am not going to let go of my title any time soon. This is going to be a great fight, but I will remain a world champion for many years to come.”
Despite his lay-off, Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KO’s) remains one of boxing’s biggest attractions, wowing crowds and generating record pay-per-view numbers each time he steps into the ring.
His last ring appearance came on May 1, 2010, when he dismantled “Sugar” Shane Mosley in a lopsided unanimous decision victory.
Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO’s) is on fire. He is riding a six-fight win streak including his sensational win over Berto on April 16th. The hard-punching southpaw proved himself throughout their 12-round battle when he survived a knock down in the sixth round and came back to drop Berto at the end of the sixth round in one of the most exciting fights in boxing this year.
Both fighters are set to head out on a nationwide press tour during the week of June 20, with additional details about it and the fight to be announced shortly.