For now this is just industry chatter, but it can't go ignored. Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com reports that there are talks between the two camps that could lead to a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Paul Spadafora this summer.
Seriously. Paul Spadafora. From the BoxingScene.com article:
"I was approached about the fight. I spoke with Don [King] and a few other people [connected to Mayweather]. Paul is interested in the fight. He's wanted this fight for a very long time. Paul is ready to finish what he started ten years ago. We'll see what happens," [promoter Michael] Acri told BoxingScene.com.
For those who don't know what "started ten years ago," it was a sparring session where Spadafora quite famously got the better of Floyd. Mayweather has always said he wasn't in shape for the session, which I'm pretty willing to believe all things considered.
Spadafora is 45-0-1 (19 KO), but is also 35 years old and hasn't had a notable fight in years, or more precisely, since he got out of prison. Spadafora made most of his headlines after being accused in 2003 of shooting his pregnant girlfriend, then arrested again in 2004 for driving under the influence. A drug test later that year showed cocaine in his system, and in 2005 he was convicted of attempted murder for the 2003 shooting.
He returned to boxing in November 2006, and has gone 7-0 against marginal competition since then. He hasn't been able to secure a major fight and hasn't fought on TV.
Now don't me wrong: at one time, Spadafora could fight. He wasn't great, and he's never been as good as his W-L record looks, but he won a belt at 135 pounds and defended it plenty. He almost always fought at his home bases in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, but he was a credible fighter at one time. Years ago.
But to even have this come up anywhere is not only surprising, but kind of bizarre. Who wants to see this fight? Who's going to buy it? Who's going to take the PPV? Integrated Sports? Is Mayweather willing to put himself in league with the epic Michael Grant-Tye Fields clash? Floyd fighting is always going to be an event to some degree because he's that level of star, but he hasn't fought someone in Spadafora's class in about a decade. It's not just a step back, but a historically huge step back.
And again, this is all just chatter for now, but it shouldn't even be chatter. For those who have never seen the sparring session, it starts below.