UPDATE: The fight has been announced by Richard Schaefer. It's official. The weight will be a 143-pound limit. I wouldn't be surprised if Marquez only gets up to about 140, tops.
ESPN.com is reporting a confirmation of the news that broke in the UK yesterday: Floyd Mayweather, Jr., will return on July 18 to face Juan Manuel Marquez. There will be a press conference this afternoon to announce the fight.
The fight will take place at a 144-pound catchweight, nine pounds above the highest weight Marquez has fought at, and three pounds below Mayweather's most recent fighting weight. Mayweather hasn't fought since December 2007, when he knocked out Ricky Hatton.
I'm going to lay it down a little here: I think Mayweather is returning 5% for the money, 95% because he's jealous of the great press Hatton-Pacquiao has gotten. You know what one of the selling points of this major fight is? "It won't be one of those boring Mayweather superfights, I promise."
I like Floyd. I think he's an incredible talent, a funny guy, a good salesman. His dedication to keeping himself in peak shape alone is highly admirable. But let's not ignore the facts: Shane Mosley scored a stunning, dominant win over Antonio Margarito in January, and Mosley and Golden Boy Promotions tried to make a fight between "Sugar" and Mayweather. That didn't happen. Floyd was "retired" still.
Literally one month and four days later, Juan Manuel Marquez, a guy who could probably still make featherweight if he wasn't on a mad chase of Manny Pacquiao, beat Juan Diaz in a thriller of a fight. Marquez is probably a bit over his head physically at 135, but his tenacity, toughness, skill and pure guts make him a viable lightweight.
But then Marquez called out Mayweather. Mayweather has obliged in fairly quick fashion.
Why is that? There is at least as much money in a Mosley fight, which more fans think would be an actual test for Floyd. Frankly, I think he probably beats both of them. But he doesn't have the fortitude to try Mosley, a legit welterweight, on for size. He's taking on Marquez instead, a man most everyone sees as an easy style and size matchup for Mayweather.
I'm not saying I'm not happy to have Floyd back in boxing; I'll be even happier if he actually tests himself against a Mosley or a Cotto or a Paul Williams should he beat Marquez in July.