Manny Pacquiao is happy to see press rival Floyd Mayweather Jr returning to the ring, and told the Manila Bulletin that he thinks Floyd might be using Victor Ortiz to prepare for a long-awaited, overdue fight with Pacquiao next year:
"That’s good. Ortiz is a southpaw like me so I think Mayweather is preparing. If he gets past Ortiz (then we can fight)."
Mayweather (41-0, 25 KO) announced his fight with Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO) yesterday, and the September 17 bout will be his first time in the ring since May 2010, when he dominated Shane Mosley. Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KO) faces Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KO) for the third time on November 12, after dominating Mosley himself on May 7.
And of course, this was bound to happen. Arguably the best news about Mayweather's return to the ring is that it does give at least that little spark of renewed hope that he will face Pacquiao next year, and the fact that he's facing a good, young southpaw does at least give the small hint that he's looking to "tune up" for Pacquiao, not that I think Ortiz should be considered a pure tune-up opponent. I also don't think either of them can truly prepare for the other man with other fights or any sparring partners, because the two just don't have equals out there right now.
And it says a lot that no matter what these two do -- even if the fights are good -- the talk eventually comes right back to what isn't yet happening.