Floyd Mayweather Jr is only open to a rematch with Victor Ortiz if Ortiz can first beat Andre Berto. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
As the soap opera continues with Oscar De La Hoya and Victor Ortiz pleading their case to an audience that has seemingly grown increasingly hostile and tired of the excuses, the changing of stories, and the shame-shame-shame finger wagging toward a pair of legal blows that knocked Ortiz out on September 17, Floyd Mayweather Jr has responded to everything and said that it is possible for Ortiz to get a rematch, but with a condition:
"I'll give Ortiz a rematch but first he got to get past Andre Berto. The only man who can beat me is the man in the mirror. Victoria Ortiz's new nickname is 'take two of these and call me in the morning.' Victoria Ortiz thought it was a head-butting contest. But that two-piece gave him some [incentive to] act right."
A rematch between Ortiz and Andre Berto has been discussed, with Berto's promoter Lou DiBella saying it will only happen if Ortiz (and Berto, of course) agree to Olympic-style drug testing before the fight, same as Ortiz had for the Mayweather fight. Berto picked up the IBF welterweight trinket on September 3 with a win over Jan Zaveck, and neither he nor Ortiz really have anywhere to go but back toward one another in a rematch of their great April 16 fight, which Ortiz won by unanimous decision.
If a Berto vs Ortiz rematch happens early next year, and Ortiz wins, it might be possible to book Mayweather vs Ortiz II for May 5, which is going to be either a Mayweather or Pacquiao fight one way or another. But more likely Floyd will probably want to sit out for a year and wait until September again before fighting, if he does indeed plan to fight in 2012. We've seen him take more time than that off before, and it doesn't seem to bother him mentally or physically, though it does give him downtime that this last time led to repeated run-ins with the law.
Personally, I think it's fair. With Mayweather and Pacquiao no closer to fighting each other, the herd is thin at 147 pounds for potential opponents. Top Rank is hoping to set up Timothy Bradley as an opponent for Pacquiao in 2012, while Amir Khan has been discussed as a Mayweather foe. But if there's money in a rematch with Ortiz, that probably does lead the way. Whether or not there's money in it is up for debate, it seems.
But don't count out Mayweather looking at Andre Berto, either. If Berto were to defeat Ortiz, again, Mayweather's gotta fight someone, and when Floyd turned up for the first bout between the two in Connecticut, with Berto favored and the defending WBC titlist, the speculation that day was a Mayweather vs Berto fight later in the year, not Mayweather vs Ortiz. As usual, Mayweather, Pacquiao, and their teams are targeting guys and lining them up for potential fights. It's the way of the game for both sides right now.